Monday, May 9, 2022

Devotionals for the Heart: When God provides for you right on time

God’s Provision for a Yielded Heart
A devotional by Janis Van Keuren

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”—Philippians 4:6 (NIV)

As newlyweds, excited for the next step in our married life, we sought the Lord for one of the most important decisions we would make: owning a home.

After one year in our rented apartment, it was time to look for a house we could turn into a home. A home filled with the love and laughter of children and a place to entertain friends and extended family members.

No decision, especially one this major, could be made without seeking God’s wisdom and counsel. So, we penned our request on a yellow-lined slip of paper and dropped it into our Christian community’s prayer basket. Besides relying on the person called by God to lift up the requests, we also had our evening time of worship and praying to God.

When I realized my husband, Tom, was asking the Lord for a four-bedroom house, at a specified price, and close to his work, my jaw dropped. I was astonished at his presumptive attitude. Afterall, I had been a new Christian longer than he, and I assumed you only asked the Lord for what you needed. I did not comprehend why we would need a house that large!

But then I remembered that the Bible says, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19 NIV).

Even though I disagreed with my husband’s assumption and explained my reasons to him, I dutifully dropped the prayer request into the sacred basket. Yet, when we prayed nightly as a couple, Tom would request the four-bedroom house while I whispered to God that a three-bedroom would meet our needs.

Our exhaustive search ensued throughout the western part of the San Fernando Valley in California. Each house our realtor suggested either needed repairs, had little appeal, or was located near traffic. On one of our quests, we met a realtor who recommended another house.

We made an appointment to see the house that met Tom’s requirements. We walked up to the house located on a cul-de-sac of homes with manicured front yards and knocked on the door. As we passed through the front door, the smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies wafted our way. The owners greeted us warmly and led us on a tour through their home, sharing family memories colored with love.

We envisioned my grandmother’s dining room table and chairs sitting under the shimmering glass chandelier. Each of the four bedrooms was spacious enough for our meager furniture. The living room boasted a wood-burning brick fireplace and through the sliding glass doors was a small patio fit for a Sunday BBQ. A lush, green lawn stretched beyond the patio to a wooden fence.

“Is this the house?” I asked the Lord silently as the mouthwatering aroma of fresh cookies tickled my nose and tempted my tastebuds.

The price was higher than our prayer request.

I thought, “That’s not a good sign. It exceeds our budget.”

Tom discussed the price with the realtor and the homeowners while I held my breath. The owners were being transferred out of the country and that gave Tom bargaining leverage. Within an hour, the price had dropped to meet our limit.

I was so nervous that we had to walk up and down the street. Taking slow, deep breaths and discussing every aspect of the house with Tom, I asked God again if this was the right house.

We signed the paperwork in the Spring and by June we were moving in. As planned, my widowed mother moved in with us. Two bedrooms were already occupied. We turned the third room into a den/computer room. And the fourth bedroom was eventually filled with guests until our first son was born.

Through this process, God taught me two lessons: First, He knows what we need and will provide for us when we seek Him and His direction. Second—one I keep relearning—is to trust the Lord working through my husband. This means we discuss our decisions with mutual respect. It means I must rely on God’s work in my husband. We all make mistakes, husbands and wives included, but ultimately, I need to trust God’s headship through my husband. I know this is true because of what the Bible says in Ephesians 5:22 (NIV): “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.”

God confirmed His leading through the lifetime of memories we shared for 17 years in that home. We both learned to seek the Lord often for decisions affecting our family, finances, and our relationship. When we followed our own inclinations, stumbling down rocky paths, God graciously led us back to His wise plan.

Let's Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for leading us and providing for our needs even when we may not understand your plan or your ways. Thank you for your patience with us, your sheep, who may need to learn the same lesson repeatedly. Thank you for your faithfulness in working through those whom You have placed in our lives. Give us hearts of submission to You, Lord. In Jesus's Name I pray. Amen.

Author Bio:

Janis Van Keuren is a published author and freelance writer with stories appearing in “Divine Interventions,” a Guideposts’ compilation, and in denominational and secular publications. 

She began writing for her high school newspaper and the career stuck through college, despite a temporary blip when she toyed with majoring in economics.

When she hung up her hat as an award-winning professional writer to raise a family, she discovered the Lord calling her to write and edit a publication for her Christian community. Occasionally, she guest posts inspirational pieces on other author’s websites.

Currently, Janis is working on her first devotional book revealing God’s touch in the stories of thirty individual women’s lives.

When Janis is not writing, she and her husband Tom enjoy traveling through God’s majestic and varied creations capturing His artistry in her photography, coupling it with Scripture. Summers find these desert dwellers relaxing along the beaches and rugged coastline of California.

Connect with Janis:
Her website Heart-Filled Moments:
Facebook Author Page:

1 comment:

  1. Janis's insight and wisdom continues to be an encouraging reminder of God's goodness and generous love for His children.


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