‘Appreciation’ Meditations No.27: Good provision
1 Tim 4:4“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving.”
The starter verse above is in the same vein as the one we used as we started this part on the goodness of God: “Every good and perfect gift is from above,” (Jas 1:17) but unfortunately we often focus on the bad things of the world and thus forget this truth, which is why I often encourage us to take time to sit down and write a list of all the good things that God has given us and done for us. When my wife and I sit and pray together each morning, we frequently start off with a litany of all the good things He’s given us and done for us, so we start with thanks and praise. But let’s be real and face the world head on.
Did God create wasps? I’m not sure. There is a difference between what God created as perfect and what has mutated or evolved as a result of sin in the world. Human perceptions and human behaviour are mutations (yes!!!) from what we were originally, and it is clear from scripture that wrong thinking leads to wrong behaviour which has wrong consequences. It’s what we see all round us.
An example? Fidelity in marriage. Infidelity, adultery, promiscuity, lead to…. well you do the maths as they say! Seriously, think of the consequences in the world around us. NOT of God’s making, NOT good. “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil” (Isa 5:20)
So yes, I do want us to dwell on our starter verse and it’s encouragement to be blessed by all the good things that God has given us, but goodness also means using what He provides within the limitations of what He provides. Again the examples should be obvious. Marriage was God’s design, as is often said, for pleasure and procreation: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh…. and they felt no shame.” (Gen 2:24,25) His design, His GOOD design. But sin messes it up, so we almost casually say, ‘the relationship broke down’ when what we mean is that one or other or both became so self-absorbed that the other felt rejected and isolated. Or perhaps one finds pleasure in the body of another person outside the existing marriage. God calls that adultery. You know the rest.
Then there is food and drink. Incredible variety of provision – good provision, wonderful provision. We may have different tastes, but there is plenty to choose from. It’s when we choose too much and become obese from over-eating (not thyroid problems) when, if we can be honest, we’ve stepped over God’s boundary of good provision. Ah, we’ve missed something. the closing words, “with thanksgiving.” That adds a God-awareness to our taking and using that provision that should put a check on us to avoid the over-use abuse.