He withholds no good thing from us.
He has given us everything we need for life and godliness.
I’ve heard these sentences my whole life. They’ve been really hard for me in the past few months, maybe even years if I’m being totally honest. In the past few years, I’ve gone without a lot of good things that I need. Health. Justice. Reconciliation. Joy. Employment.
I believe these are all things that matter to God, even my employment situation. I’ve tried to rationalize, tried to convince God that these were all things that I needed, really needed, and therefore He had to provide them to me because doesn’t it say that in the Bible? Didn’t I hold up my end of the bargain by doing what the doctor said, standing up for what is right, reaching out in love, filling out innumerable applications?
But then I was at a church service and saw a woman holding her very still and very sick baby. Then I visited town hall for a job test and saw a man wrapped in a thin sheet on the lee side of a fountain, so still that I don’t know if he was alive or dead. Then I heard my sister in Christ share her story, recount how blessed she was because the man her parents forced her to marry promised her that he would let her read her Bible, that he wouldn’t tell his family she loved the Lord.
And I think that when people beloved of God who quite obviously need food and shelter and safety and a next breath go without those things, we have two choices: we can think that God lied to us, or we can begin to understand that maybe there are two kinds of need.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.” -2 Peter 1:3-4
“For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11
There is the need for food, jobs, health. And God cares about those things. Sometimes they come easy and sometimes they don’t come at all. God is infinite in wisdom and there is so much I do not understand.
But if I die of cancer, if I default on my student loans because I can’t find a job, if I never see the end of this depression until the end of my life, I know that God has been faithful. He has given me everything I need for life and godliness. He gave His Son, He gave the Holy Spirit. He gave us Himself.
I’ll be the first person to admit that it’s hard not to have the things you need in a practical, earthly sense. Some days it feels impossible. Some days I lie in bed for hours because the weight of everything is too heavy and I can’t get up. As anxious as I feel some days, I can’t even imagine the desperation of being without a home, or watching a child die without access to medical care. But God is with us in our desperation, even when He does not immediately end it. And He has prepared an ultimate ending to the desperation and the longing of the whole of creation.
He is everything we need, and He gives of Himself abundantly, making us partakers of His divine nature.
He is everything we need for life and godliness.