Readings (Year B):
Reflection: God will provide
Her words reverberated through the college lecture hall and shook my spirit: “Trusting the Lord means putting all your eggs in his basket, and you don’t have any other baskets.”
The speaker was teaching on Proverbs 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Growing up Protestant, I had memorized that verse. I knew the words well, but in that lecture hall freshman year, it was like I heard them for the first time.
I always had a God basket, but I also always had many other baskets to help me feel secure. Baskets for friendships, romantic relationships, my college degree, and savings account. When it came to the way I actually lived, the God basket was too hard to put all my trust in. The other baskets made me feel safe.
The two widows from our readings today lived one basket lives.
The widow in the first reading was afraid to give the little she had, but Elijah prophesied that God would provide and she chose to trust. She gave her last handful of flour and final drops of oil. The widow put everything into God’s control.
Then she experienced miraculous provision. For an entire year, she dipped her hand into a jar that never ran out of flour, for an entire year she poured from an everflowing jug of oil.
I wonder what that must have felt like.
As a college student with many safety baskets, I made small steps to release them. I broke off an unhealthy relationship, I let go of career plans to follow a call to ministry.
Now as a married adult, I continue to feel the challenge to live with one God basket.
One way my husband and I chose to do this was by deciding to practice Natural Family Planning. The method inherently involves openness to life, but what if we got pregnant when we didn’t want to be? Especially in our Silicon Valley neighborhood, having an unplanned baby seems catastrophic for couples when there are careers to consider.
And the unthinkable did happen two years ago. We got pregnant with our fifth baby when it felt like the worst time. I cried when I read the pregnancy test, I didn’t think we could do it.
Joseph was born at the beginning of the pandemic. Named after St. Joseph, his name means “Jehovah increases.” Every single day since his birth, we have experienced God providing for our family’s daily needs.
Pots of Korean soups were left outside our door and soothed my ache for my Korean mother who couldn’t be with us. Friends sat outside my window in the middle of a pandemic to meet Joey and give me needed company.
In the midst of deep tiredness as parents of five young kids, we have felt God giving us what we’ve needed every single day. Giving up safety baskets allowed us to experience God’s miraculous, abundant provision.
What extra baskets do you have?