I pray that God will take care of all your needs with the wonderful blessings that come from Christ Jesus! (CEV) Philippians 4:19
In this series on hope, we have discussed the connections between God’s peace, presence, and hope. Today we are looking at the third strand of hope: God’s provision.
Today’s devotional story feels like a fairy tale. Right before a young boy’s party, they realize they forgot to buy a cake. But, before the tears fall, a delivery driver shows up with a beautiful birthday cake.
It’s easy to roll our eyes and scoff at such nonsense. We know that isn’t how life works, and that God is far too busy to care about things as mundane as a birthday cake. Except he does care. I know, because I’m the one who forgot to buy the special donuts for my son’s birthday, but there they were, in the delivery driver’s arms, all the same.
God doesn’t stop at extras like birthday donuts though; he also provides for our very real needs. We witness it when a stranger pays for the groceries a mom can't afford, an off-duty trauma nurse saves someone’s life after a crash, or a mystery check arrives in the mail with the amount needed to cover rent.
The cake is a more kid-friendly version of those blessings. And when we share stories like this with our children, we’re teaching them about God’s hope and provision.
Count Your Blessings
Telling stories is important, because God knows we remember things better the more we hear them. Plus, remembering the ways he’s helped us in the past gives us hope that he will do it again in the future. Here are a couple of fun ways to talk about it:
Story Time: Cozy up with blankets and hot chocolate and share your story about how God has helped you and how it made you feel. Then ask them to share their own stories.
Blessed from A to Z: Working together, brainstorm a way God has blessed you for every letter of the alphabet.
Count Your Blessings: Grab some paper and pencils. In two minutes, write down every blessing you recall. When you’re done, ask: Who listed the most? Which blessings were most surprising? How did writing them down make you feel?
Pray the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13): After you’ve said the prayer, ask your children what it means when we say “Give us this day our daily bread,” and how does our hope assure us that God will provide what we need.
Living with Lemons
While it’s wonderful when God provides for our needs in such tangible ways—like cake or a surprise check—it’s important to remember that it doesn’t always happen that way. God has plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), but they might not look like the plans we have for ourselves (Proverbs 16:1-4, 9). In the end, his plans will be better than we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21) because God’s dreams will always be bigger than ours (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Remind your children that it’s when we’re really hurting that hope comes into play. That is when we need to count our blessings and to remind ourselves how he has provided for us in the past. Doing so fortifies our trust and belief that God will do it again.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Finding Hope