Have you ever heard of George Muller?? (It’s pronounced with the dots on top of the u, he’s of German descent.)
He was an ah-may-ZING man of God. I’ve heard the story before, but this week in Sunday School it was once again brought to my attention. It’s one of the greatest stories of God’s provision in recent history that I have heard. This man by the grace of God was able to care for countless orphans throughout his life. And God provided for their needs countless times. One time in particular is my favorite…
It was 19th century England, early one morning, as the whole orphanage full of young children and caretakers alike sat down to breakfast. There was no food. Not a crumb to be found. Nothing on the tables, nothing in the kitchen, nada. George Muller asked that they all bow their heads so that they may offer up thanks to the Lord for providing and to bless the food. Moments after the prayer was finished, a knock came at the door. And there stood the baker, who had baked more loaves than needed and was asking if the orphanage could use them. As the bread was being delivered, another knock revealed the milkman, whose carriage had broken down outside the orphanage. He needed to find a use for the milk before it spoiled, and asked if the orphanage could make use of the jars of fresh milk. And for breakfast all were fed.
Now I’ve heard the story before, and maybe you have too, but this week I was struck with a thought that I had never had before. I was struck by how George Muller and those orphans had a need that God met.
And then I thought about my “needs.”
And I realized they looked more like my “wants.”
I feel like I “need” a new pair of black heels. My current ones have seen better days, I should probably replace them. But you know what? Those shoes do the job. They keep my feet warm and dry. Sure, they’re a bit scuffed up and the soles are thin, but they’re not falling apart. There aren’t any holes. In fact, I’m sure nobody but me notices that they are sparkling brand new. That’s really a want.
And sometimes I think we “need” a new vehicle. You know, because the TWO that we have sometimes need brakes replaced, or new windshield wipers, or squeak a little at stop signs. I have it in my mind that that’s not good enough. The truth is that IS good enough. We have plenty. That vehicle may not win at a car show but it reliably gets me from point A to B. I get to work on time every morning.
And speaking of work, that job is a huge provision that the Lord blesses me with every.single.day. He’s provided for so many things in advance just by providing a place for me to make an income and provide for us. Jesus says in Luke,
Do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds…And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things[c] shall be added to you.
Luke 12:22-24 & 29-31
There’s so much packed into these verses! Instruction, a promise, encouragement. We can learn that we are more important to God than anything else He created. And yet we sit here and we worry about how we will be provided for. As if God is going to see to it that the ravens are fed and let us starve.
He’s so not! He loves us so much He is never going to let us go un-provided for. That provision doesn’t mean that the Lord sits at the table and cuts our prime rib for us, it means He goes before us and prepares our way. The Lord desires to greatly bless His children, and does, we’re just sometimes too thick-headed to see the forest through the trees.
So meditat on these verses, and tell me, what do you really need?