Philippians 4:19 - And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
My friend Rex had a rock on one of the shelves in his office, just behind his desk. Whenever I’d meet with him, I could see the rock sitting conspicuously behind him over his shoulder, with a painted inscription on it. It said something like, “when the well is dry, God provides.” Eventually I asked him about it.
The story was that he and his wife, Deb, and their two young children, were living in an older house while planting a church. They were serval years in to the church plant and things were going well, but they were still surviving on very little money, both personally and as a church. It was the middle of the summer when the very old well at their house dried up completely, and they were unsure of how they were going to come up with the funds to dig a new one. The church rallied, and soon a new well was dug at the house. The rock was a reminder to him of God’s provision.
We had a similar situation a few weeks ago when the Air Conditioning at the parsonage died during a heat wave. A new AC unit is arguably not as important as running water, but the house got uncomfortable quickly. And, of course, it happened during the summer, when people are gone and appeals to assist financially might go unheard. There was some anxiety about how to proceed, but then the people of Restore did what they always do and stepped up to help solve the problem, for which my family is eternally grateful.
The passage quoted above from Philippians is an interesting one, because it follows Paul’s expression of gratitude to the church for meeting his physical needs. That, in part, is why he can be so confident that God will meet theirs. Yet here is the key: the way that God meets any of our needs is almost always through the community of the church.
During the summer we can get disconnected from the church as we are all traveling and busy with family gatherings and events, but don’t let that dissuade you from getting reconnected when it’s back to the status quo. Eventually, you’ll have a need, and it’s important to remain connected to the vessel that God will use to meet that need: the Church.
I don’t have a rock in my office, but I do have a new thermostat in my hallway. Every time I look at it, I’ll remember the summer when the AC died, and God met our needs through the community of Restore.