Perfect Provision, God’s Timing
When I surrender what I want, it frees me to receive something better later. One summer, I shopped for a duvet cover for my sister. A friend helped me dig through mounds of linens. A white duvet cover with royal blue tea cups caught my eye. It wasn’t perfect, but it would do. Because I was too lazy to carry it, I shoved it under a stack of sheets until I returned to check out.
Later when I circled back, I saw another lady toting around the thing I’d hidden. I was crushed. Those linens were supposed to be for my sister, yet someone else had them. I turned to my friend near tears, unsure what to do.
“It’s not yours,” she said. I was skeptical, but she reasserted, “It’s not yours. If God had wanted you to have it, she wouldn’t have taken it.”
She started to look through the sheets again. I stood by in shock that God has allowed someone to take what I’d intended to give my sister. Then my friend waived a cream-colored duvet cover with a white trellis design.
I was stunned. Not only was it my sister’s style, but it included the pillowcases and cost less than the other one. God had something better for me, I just had to keep looking. I would have settled, but God wouldn’t let me. The lady taking the other duvet cover was a blessing. It wasn’t what God had saved for me.
Philippians 4:19 says, “And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus [emphasis added] (NKJV).” So, when I don’t get what I think I should, God reminds me it’s not mine. It must not be one of my needs, or He would have provided it. I must surrender my desires to get God’s best. Sometimes, He gives it to me almost immediately, like with the duvet. I had needed it that weekend to give to my sister. Other times I have to wait.
Often, I get impatient, wanting everything right away. It’s hard to wait for God’s timing because it never seems like mine. There have been jobs I thought I deserved and didn’t get, only to get better positions later. Some of my relationships have ended before I was ready, but I realized later they weren’t what I needed. I’ve missed countless buses that I’ve chased, yet still eventually got to where I was headed. You see, those jobs, relationships, and buses—they weren’t mine. I had to wait for the right ones, but they were worth the wait.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” God strengthened me when I waited for those jobs, relationships, and buses and saved me from the wrong things. He reminded me that He was in control and would provide my needs. Even when my situation didn’t change, I realized I don’t know what would have happened if I had got what I wanted. Maybe someone would have accosted me on the bus had I caught it. God protects me from myself by providing the right things at the right times.
This assurance helps me when I don’t get what want in my timing, which happens more than I’d prefer. Recently, I went clothes shopping, trying to find the right outfit. I went to several stores and looked online, only to have things disappear hours before I decided to buy them. My disappointment ran deep because I got my heart set on the dress during the hunt. When it didn’t pan out, I got frustrated with God for preventing me from getting what I wanted. God told me it wasn’t mine. Because God has provided for me before, I know He will again. I don’t know what it is. I just have to wait.
Matthew 6:28-30 says, “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”
This verse comforted me. God loves me more than grass. He has the right clothes for me, and I will look beautiful in them. God is holding my dress for me. I don’t need it immediately, so I can wait. I choose to walk by faith and not by sight. The God who owns all things will generously provide me with the right thing when I need it. I can only gain when I wait for His provision in His timing.
4/23/2019 03:56:49 pm
Joanna, I loved that story. And if I can only remember that when I am disappointed. He has done the same for me.
4/24/2019 05:12:02 pm
The phrase "It's not yours" will run through my head when I have disappointments now. I have had to ask God to remind me when it stings, and He does. He is a good God.
4/23/2019 04:00:52 pm
I often think of a song from Garth Brooks entitled "Unanswered Prayers." Oh how many times in my life did God give me what I needed, not what I wanted. Wife, job, career, inspiration to write for Him, and the list goes on... Great post young lady.
4/24/2019 05:13:26 pm
Interestingly enough, the truth is that God always answers prayers - He just sometimes says No! While we don't like those words, when that's the response, God always has His best for us.
4/23/2019 10:00:42 pm
Right after I graduated from college, I applied for a teaching job that went to someone with less credentials and experience than I had. It was a painful experience, but the next year, I got a much better opportunity. I was hurt and angry at the time I was not chosen, but God's plan was much better. But, even though I had that wonderful reminder of God's grace more than 40 years ago, I confess to still being impatient when "my" plan doesn't seem to be God's plan for me. Thanks for your reminder.
4/24/2019 05:15:16 pm
God seems to give me frequent reminders that His ways are not my ways, nor His thoughts my thoughts. I love to plan, so when my plans crumble, especially after how carefully I crafted them, it stings. God reminds me He is in control and knows best.
4/26/2019 01:07:54 pm
"When I surrender what I want, it frees me to receive something better later."
4/26/2019 03:00:47 pm
Surrender demonstrates strength because it requires humility. 1 Peter 5:6 says, "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time." Pride demands its own way, but humility acknowledges the Sovereignty of God.
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Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Florida.