7Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people--free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! 8He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, 9letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, 10a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
“He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need…”
There have been times when I’ve felt in want. When my husband was laid off for nearly two years, we cut back. We didn’t eat out as often. Our entertainment was limited to free things. We were careful not to buy clothing or material possessions that weren’t necessary.
And yet, we had everything we needed.
“…letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making.”
Genesis 2:8-12 shows the account of the creation of provision.
8 Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin [footnote: pearls] and onyx are also there.)
There were trees, pleasing to the eye and good for food—I’m sure they were great for shade and lazy afternoons, too. There was water from four rivers. Gold, pearls, onyx. I’m sure all of the five senses were bathed in lavish abundance.
During those two years that I felt in want, God seemed silent. I know now that He wasn’t, because I didn’t starve, I had a roof over my head, the bills were paid. Had I noticed the verse in Ephesians, I would have known He had plans for my provision, and that He took delight those plans.
“He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him…”
The Genesis account shows how He took care my physical needs. Ephesians takes it further. His long range plan for provision encompasses, indeed, envelops my whole being. His provision is evident in the things I can see, touch, taste, hear, and smell. But look again at this promise. He has “a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in Him.”
“Everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.”
God didn’t only take care of my physical needs, very important when living in a world rife with limitations. God took care of me, even beyond my life-span. Even after I die, after my physical body no longer needs food, clothing, or shelter, God will still be providing for me. And He did it all in Christ. In Christ alone can I enjoy God’s provision, on earth and in heaven. No one else makes this possible.
I’m beginning to see this provision as a whole rather than two parts: heaven and earth. I can see God, his hands cupped, scooping my time-line together, from the day I was born into eternal fellowship with Him. The word “delight” tells me that He’s holding that time-line close to his heart, pressing it to His massive chest—close enough so that when I question Him and His provision—if I just be still and listen—I can hear His heartbeat.
Dear Heavenly Father,
In this bruised and battle ridden world, it’s hard to hear Your heartbeat. It’s hard to believe that You took delight in the plans that are unfolding in my life. And yet, knowing Your character through Your word, I know that you ache whenever I doubt. I praise You for Your patience. I praise You for loving me in my weakness. I praise You for Your heartbeat. –In Jesus’ Name, Amen