The Lord spoke to Moses and said, “I have heard the complaining of the Israelites; say to them, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall have your fill of bread; then you shall know that I am the Lord your God.’“ – Exodus 16:11–12
Andrew said to Jesus, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” – John 6:8–10
We live in a well-cared-for subdivision. The homes are nice. The lawns are well-manicured. The community spaces are groomed and well-maintained. All that through the efforts of the homeowners, Home Owners Associations and their management of the homeowners’ maintenance fees and the hard work of landscapers, maintenance workers, and developers. This, however, is not always the case.
There was a long period of time when a nearby detention pond was muddy and more of an eyesore than a beauty mark. There have been times when the developers’ trucks are in the way and debris from construction is strewn in the streets. There was even a house that remained unrepaired for several months following a fire.
All of these testify to both a reflection of God’s provision and sustenance as well as the brokenness of our fallen world. Paint fades. Mortar crumbles. Dirt flows into detention ponds: all these hint at the fallen nature of creation. Fires char and mar buildings. Yet we work to rebuild, clean out, repair, and repaint: all these hint at God’s constant care for his creation – fallen as it may be.
When it comes to God’s providential care for us and all of creation, I particularly love the words of Martin Luther’s explanation of the first article of the Apostle’s Creed, in particular the reminder that God provides for all our needs “purely out of fatherly divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me.” We would never wish to put God to the test by presuming on his goodness and mercy. Rather we should, “Thank, praise, serve, and obey him. This is most certainly true.”