Day 8 – Provision
My buddy, Randy, and I were lamenting the long winter we’d been experiencing at Concordia University in Seward, Nebraska. Randy was from Corpus Christi, I was from Galveston, and we had met each other during our first two years at Concordia College in Austin.  We missed the warm Texas sun.  So, over breakfast, on a cold Thursday morning in late February, we decided to drive to Austin for the weekend.  We hurriedly arranged for someone to cover for our campus jobs, attended our Thursday classes, and by 3pm we were southbound in his old Chevy Impala.  It was a long, cold journey.  I recall being so weary, that around mid-night, at a truck stop in Oklahoma, I paid $2 (decades before Starbucks) for a cup of coffee.  I didn’t realize that I’d been over charged until we were 10 miles down the road.  We arrived in Austin early Friday morning, had a warm spring-like weekend with friends and headed back north after church on Sunday.  As we drove through northern Texas and into Oklahoma we became more aware of our dwindling cash reserves.  Not only did that 327 V-8 drink the gas, it was also burning oil.  Thus, with every fill up we had to buy about 2 quarts of 30 weight.   We did have, in case of emergency, a Texaco credit card from my dad.  But if I used it, then Dad would know I had taken a road trip which was a drain on precious resources to pay for college expenses.  So, we dug between the seats and checked the ashtrays for coins.  When we set our bags on the floor of our dorm room early Monday morning, we did an accounting. We determined that we only had 75 cents left between us.  I imagine our guardian angels were shaking their heads. 
We don’t know what plans Joseph and Mary had to provide for their trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem.  The 90-mile journey would take about 8 – 9 days.  We’d like to think they had a donkey, but there is no evidence for or against that hypothesis.  Did they travel with a group for safety?  Did they sleep under the stars every night?  Were they cold?  Hungry? Tired from the elevation loss and gain? We have no idea. But we do know that God provided for them.  They arrived safely.  They had shelter. The baby was born with no complications.    We also know that God eventually sent someone their way who would provide gold for their future.  After that infusion of funds, they journeyed on to Egypt, then eventually back to Nazareth.  We don’t know all the details, but we know God provided.
How aware are you of God’s provision for your life?  As you and I move through Advent, perhaps God want us to remember that He sent His Son to provide for all that we would ever need. 

Here are 2 “provision” passages which apply to people who follow Jesus. 

  1. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).
  2. *“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9

How is God speaking to you about His provision?