God’s provision never ceases to amaze me. I am, even in this moment, utterly struck by his ability to provide. This year has been characterized by his provision. Day in and day out God has come through.
Starting last year around this time I felt the prompting of the Holy Spirit to begin getting ready to propose to my new wife (but who was then my girlfriend). I remember hearing God say that now was the time. I had no idea how I would afford the ring and I remember asking Him to provide the money. It wasn’t a month later that two guys walked up to me and said, ‘hey we want to support you with this gift but you can’t spend it on ministry. We want you to spend it on something you need.’ I asked them, how about a wedding ring? They said, ‘that would work.’ In December I went and bought an engagement and wedding ring. God provided.
In January I left on a mission trip to Africa, where God provided in numerous ways. Over and over again he provided for food, shelter and other needs. On one particular occasion God went above and beyond. During our time there my Birthday happened. We were planning to travel from one village to another village deeper in the bush that day. However, the night before we embarked it rained—hard. About 35 minutes into our journey we came across a river, where the road used to be. We decided to turn around. We knew of a missionary’s house nearby so we decided to go there. Her and her husband welcomed us with open arms. We chatted in the shade of their house for several hours. Eventually it came out that it was my birthday. The missionary woman disappeared inside. Two minutes later she came out with a bag of frozen M&M’s and said, “I have been waiting for a good time to give these away.” They sang me happy birthday and we all shared the candy. It wasn’t necessary but God provided a birthday treat. He is good.
I returned home in February, proposed and was on another airplane just 3 weeks later headed to Papua New Guinea.
This trip to Papua New Guinea could have gone wrong in so very many ways, but it didn’t. As on many of my trips it usually happens that when we embark that morning we don’t know where we will be sleeping that night. It was the same for this trip. We brought tents, but we never ended up using them because every night there was a roof over our heads. We brought food, but didn’t finish it because everyone fed us. We brought clean water but didn’t need it because we had access to fresh water wherever we went. God provided in so many ways. On one particular occasion I had just gotten very sick with something like food poisoning. I was recovering and feeling very hungry for some protein (we had been impromptu vegans for a week and a half at that point because locals usually only eat fruit, and vegetables, and nuts). That night at dinner we were given a giant piece of pork out of the blue. God provided. He just showed his love for us in that way. I could spend hours talking about all God provided on this trip, but in the end I would just say the same thing: He is able!
When I returned from PNG wedding preparations were in full swing. We needed a location, a caterer, the dresses and suits, the decorations, and everything else you might need for a wedding. The first way that God came through was by providing a budget, a gift from Taylor’s parents to us. Then he provided a location at a reduced cost because it was the church that my fiancé and her family used to attend. Then God provided the caterer. A friend from church had called me and was asking how I was doing. I told him that I was struggling because we could not find an affordable caterer. He said, “let me make a call.” By the end of that day I was on the phone with some other friends from church who are caterers and they were offering to cater our wedding at cost. It was God’s provision. Then one Sunday at church a friend of ours walked up and said I would like to make your wedding cake as my gift to you.
In case you lost count, God provided a cake, a caterer, and a location all for significantly cheaper or free.
At this point it was late May and it was time for me to head out to a missions training in Nebraska that I help with on a yearly basis. It was good! Except on the way there my car broke down. I was going around a curve on the highway and all of a sudden my car would not go forward when I pressed the gas. Thankfully I was driving through a town when it happened and was able to pull off the road into a gas station. I was able to find a guy who knew a little something about cars. He said that I needed to be towed. As I was in the car calling people and praying for help I felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to put the car in 4-wheel drive. When I did, it lurched forward and began moving at a very respectable 35 miles per hour. I was able to complete the last 50 miles of my journey in around an hour and a half. Thank God! But the provision didn’t stop there. After several people in the town spent time working on my car for free, we figured out it was not an easy fix. It was the day I needed to leave to return home. I called a local farmer friend to ask if I could give my car to him as a spare farm truck. He said, “how bout I trade you straight up?” So he gave me an old ’91 Pontiac Bonneville and took my broken down ‘94 ford explorer. I was able to get home on time and with a vehicle that worked.
The next week was a youth missions trip to a local Colorado town where refugees hang out. It went well. We saw God come through and several local children decided to follow Jesus.
After the mission trip it was time to start building our basement apartment. Taylor and I needed a place to stay after we got married. Thankfully Taylor’s parents have a rental property in town and offered to let us finish the basement so that we could have an apartment. They even paid for supplies. So, my Dad and I spent 6 weeks this last summer finishing the basement. Along the way God provided and gave us the help of 2 professional contractors, a master electrician, and several other people who loved us enough to donate their time to help us have a home. God really came through.
After the apartment was finished it was time to get back to wedding prep. We still needed the dress, suits and a number of other things. Thankfully, God provided again. My fiancé was able to buy her dress and veil for a mere $300-ish. That’s crazy. God provided. By the day of our wedding we had all we needed and more.
At our wedding we had tons of help from family and friends who were willing to give us their time for free. A number of volunteers from our church became the wait staff. Taylor’s family helped us to decorate the reception. People helped and God provided.
A year ago today I had no idea how I would get to where I am now and I struggled because I wasn’t exactly sure how God would provide—I wasn’t even sure if he would. But time and time again, God came through. He worked through our friends and family. He worked through strangers and in the hearts of people I had met only once. God is a God who fulfills his promises. He provides!