Provision In The Design
You’ve been designed to live in a very specific way. You know that right? God created us- people- humanity in general- to function in a very specific way and He gave us everything we need to live that way every day. And yet we don’t. In pretty much every area of life, we are so far off from functioning in the way we were intended.
I heard it said in a podcast recently that you wouldn’t look to your car mechanic to tell you how your new phone works. Yeah, maybe he could figure it out but probably not very efficiently or completely. Because he wasn’t the designer who created your phone! Instead you look to the phone company that made your phone to tell you how it functions. The same is true of us. God is the designer who created us yet most of the time, we go to other people to tell us how to live. That’s dumb! That’s going to your mechanic to tell you how to use your phone! It doesn’t make any sense, but we do it. And because we do it, that explains why we have so many issues in this world.
In the past month or so, I’ve been studying Psalm 104 and by far, the biggest thing that God has been teaching me through it is how much He provides for us. He designed us with intentionality and provides everything we need to live and function in that way. This has been very fitting to the times with this whole coronavirus thing, but there’s more to it than that-
The psalmist starts out and the second line says “O LORD my God, you are very great;” Can we just stop there for a sec and take note of that description of God? “Very Great”. I remember being taught in third grade writing that we should use literally ANY DESCRIBING WORD OTHER THAN “GREAT” because “great” is boring! When I first read that, I was confused and almost appalled at the psalmist for not picking a better word to describe the God of the universe, but then I realized- there is NO WORD to describe the God of the universe! We can try, but words simply cannot express the greatness of our God. So why not use very great?! The whole rest of the psalm describes His greatness in detail.
Verse 2 says “The LORD wraps Himself in light as with a garment; He stretches out the heavens like a tent.” This is day 1 of creation. God was in charge and at work since day 1. Remember that when you start to get anxious or angry, unsure of what is going to happen to our country or our world. Remember that God’s been in control since day 1 and that hasn’t changed.
Now one of my favorite parts of this whole chapter comes in the next set of verses (5–9). These verses explain how God created the earth and covered it with water, so much water that even the mountains were covered. But then He spoke and “at your rebuke the waters fled…They flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them.” Turn on your imagination quick and try to picture what that would have looked like- water higher than the mountains all the sudden on the move, flowing around and down until it filled only specific areas. That would have been mass chaos and a crazy amount of power and force! I mean, have you ever seen the damage that flood waters can do?! But God did that on purpose! As I pictured the scene described here, I realized that yes it was chaos, but it was CHAOS WITH A PURPOSE. If you read the creation account in Genesis 1, the water was moved and land created on the BEGINNING of the third day, which means there’s still three more days of creation left! But God couldn’t have completed the rest of it if the earth was still covered in water. He HAD TO institute chaos to bring order and prepare the earth for what was next. And with that order, came the beauty of the rest of creation- which includes you and me!
See how fitting that is to our current situation? We needed major chaos and panic to put things back into perspective for a lot of people. Suddenly instead of idolizing things like work, sports, or social gatherings, people are spending quality time with their families and appreciating the little things in life. There is beauty from chaos.
Now comes the part about how God provides for His creation (verses 10–18). This includes everything from water for the donkeys to environments for trees to shelter for wild goats. His provision through creation is very thorough and you can bet He did the same for you and me. The psalmist says “He makes…plants for people to cultivate- bringing forth food from the earth: wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts” (verses 14–15). To break that down, it means He provides us with work to keep our bodies busy and our days purposeful (plants to cultivate), results from our work which gives us a sense of accomplishment and motivation (food from the earth), things to make us happy and life more enjoyable (gladdens human hearts), things that are beneficial to keep us healthy but not necessary to keep us alive (oil), and all the things we physically need to survive (bread that sustains). All that to say, He takes care of us! He doesn’t just give us the bare minimum to stay alive; He goes above and beyond and gives us what we need to thrive!
Even the natural rhythms of the earth are under His control. The sun and moon don’t control the seasons or the daylight hours, they are just the visual representation of the rhythms God has set in place (verse 19). They don’t speed up or slow down; they are steady and consistent, doing what they were created to do. Absolutely everything happens in His time (verses 29–30). We can’t rush Him, many people have tried (including me and probably you too) but as we all figure out, it doesn’t work. It’s all up to Him and we can trust Him.
Again, this relates so well to our current situation. God will take care of us. In fact, He already has. He told us that in this world, there will be troubles…but He has already overcome it! (John 16:33) God provides for us here on earth more abundantly than we could ever imagine, yet for those of us who know Him, there is so much more in store for us in heaven. Yeah, things may look a little cloudy and uncertain in regards to this virus, the economy, and the future, but we can look past that to see the light of glory, which is in heaven with Jesus.
So yes, God is “very great,” but He is also glorious and sovereign and trustworthy. He created everything with purpose and intentionality and everything He created, He provides for. Like I said in the beginning, God created you to live and function in a specific way. I think the most pertinent thing to say about that right now is that He did not design you to live in fear and worry. He designed you to trust that He will provide.
Provision is a part of His design.
This was the fourth time I sat down and tried to write this post and I started it many more times in my head, but it was just never right. I had too much to say and yet not enough, so I was stuck. Lately, God has been teaching me a lot of different things that I wanted to share with you, things that I thought could help and encourage you, and I realized they all fit around the theme of how we are designed. God created us to live and function in a very specific way, but more often than not, I haven’t been living that way and chances are, you haven’t been either. So from now until I don’t know when, I’m going to be digging into this, I’m going to study our Designer and they way He designed us. I don’t quite know what this will look like yet but I invite you to learn along with me! Each area of design that I learn about, I will be posting about so that you can learn as well. Let’s learn to live the way we were designed!