This week we are beginning a new series called “The Lord Will Provide”. All of the stories in the series are true, from people whom we know from all kinds of situations, places, and life stages. They are a little part of the record of the Lord’s faithfulness to His people, showing His power, love, and concern for His children’s good. The people in these stories have big and little needs, in exciting or discouraging situations, but each time, the Lord has shown Himself again to be Jehovah-jireh.
Courtney, Missouri, 2011
When my husband asked me what I thought about possibly moving to Grand Rapids, Michigan for him to attend seminary at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, I barely even knew where Michigan was. We prayed about possibly making the move, talked with our families and after a visit to the school in August of 2010, we felt very much at ease with the decision of coming to Puritan to further Spencer’s education…and educated we were…
The next May, the day after I graduated from college, our world was forever changed. On May 22, 2011, a tornado swept through our little town of Joplin, Missouri. By God’s grace, Spencer and I were not in Joplin at the time of the tornado. We were at his parent’s home about 10 miles outside the city. We didn’t know what we might find when we drove into town that night, and I really don’t think that anything could have prepared us for what we were to see that evening.
Once we got into the town and saw everything displaced, we had to park and walk to our apartment to see if it had survived the storm. After walking about five blocks, we could see it and again, by the grace of our Lord, it was still standing. The storm had stopped on 15th Street: our apartment was located on 13th. The only thing that was affected was our roof and one window. We lived on the top floor in a far corner and the wind had pulled off a section of the shingling and blown out the window of our bedroom. There was water damage to almost everything in our bedroom, and we lost nearly all of it, but the rest of our home was almost untouched.
After talking with a few of our neighbours, we soon realized that we were the only ones that had any renter’s insurance. Although our apartment was damaged the worst, oh how much of a blessing it was that it was our room that was on that corner and no one else’s, for if anyone else had lost what we did, it would have not been replaced. Although in the past we had grumbled about paying for renter’s insurance, something that we weren’t even really sure we needed in the first place, oh how amazingly the Lord provided for us that night.
We were planning on moving to Grand Rapids in the middle of June. It was now only May and we were out of a place to stay for the next three weeks. The family I babysat for had been planning to take a vacation the next week and decided that since their home had not been affected that it might be best to still go as planned. That family was gracious enough to allow Spencer and I to stay in their home for the time that they were gone. This was a tremendous blessing because it was not too far from our soiled apartment and we were able to go back and forth easily to salvage what we could, take pictures and send in what we couldn’t save to the insurance, and still pack for the move to Michigan. How gracious is our God to have placed a roof over our heads that was so close to our old home!
When the time came to move, we loaded everything into a U-haul and both our families drove with us to Grand Rapids. After unpacking and getting settled, both of our families headed back to Missouri, and I began to look for a job. We had a bit of money saved, but not enough to last too long. By August, I had not heard anything back from any of the countless jobs that I’d applied for. We knew that finding a job in Michigan would be difficult, but we didn’t think it would be this difficult. Our funds were dwindling and anxiousness had begun in our hearts.
Our foolish hearts were doubtful and our faith was shaken. We were just starting our journey and worried that the Lord might not provide for us. My heart was very greatly soothed during those weeks by reading the journal entries of George Mueller. His faith in serving his God and the faithfulness of the Lord truly opened my eyes to a type of reliance that I’d never before seen.
It came to the middle of August and our next payments were due the beginning of September. Although trying to not worry and remain strong in the Lord, oh how difficult it became as the month crept on. By the grace of God, I did receive an interview on August 17th. That evening, I was called and notified that I’d been blessed with the job! Our Lord had worked out the details so perfectly that the day I began working was the first day of the two week pay period. Had I not received the job just when I did, we would not have been able to pay the next month’s bills.
It would not be difficult to say that the Lord has not only provided for us in countless ways, but He has also grown us closer to Himself though all that we’ve been through. To say that we never doubted would be wrong and most definitely incorrect, because we did, but the Lord sustained us. Through His Spirit, He comforted and loved us. When we thought we’d been forgotten, oh how our Saviour blessed us. Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord Will Provide…now and forevermore!