If you’re anything like us, you love hearing stories of how God is at work in the lives of others. We love celebrating and sharing the joy of Christ. That’s why we created a series all about stories of faith! Each month we’ll share a story from a member of the Lifeway team in hopes that it will bring you hope and encouragement.
Jehovah-jireh, The LORD Will Provide
While we were living in Madrid, Spain, on mission, sometimes it was difficult to navigate the healthcare system. A few years back, I found myself in excruciating pain one night in our flat, curled over on the couch. “I think I have a urinary tract infection,” I told my husband. “Or a really bad cramp.”
But not knowing where to go that night, I waited it out until the next morning to see our primary care physician who speaks English. The next day, I felt a little better, but I found out I had kidney stones after going to an ultrasound where the nurse was surprised I could even walk.
“Men have had to be pushed in with a wheelchair with the amount and size of kidney stones you have,” she said. I praised God for minimizing my pain as I found out I would need to have the bigger kidney stone lasered out. (Lithotripsy is the technical term.)
Going to a primary care physician was navigable in Spain, but now I had to go to the hospital and make an inpatient appointment. By God’s grace, the insurance attendant behind the desk was a British expat who had lived in Madrid for many years. She explained to me that insurance would not cover my procedure because our insurance was only six months old. Our insurance only covered surgery after nine months of being active. The procedure, then, would be over seven thousand dollars. I continued to ask questions since my appointment was the following week, so she kindly offered to make an inquiry for me since the insurance offices happened to be on the top floor of the hospital we were at.
My doctor assured me that this procedure was definitely necessary, so it wasn’t something I could forego until later. So we prayed and had friends pray and hoped for the best.
Early next week, the insurance attendant called to say she made the inquiry with the insurance administrators about paying for my procedure, but she said I shouldn’t get my hopes up.
“I have never seen them relent in situations like these in the past.”
I thanked her, and the burden of the cost weighed heavy on my shoulders. We had moved to Spain to be obedient to the call to share the gospel. We left everything. We already sacrificed our comfortable standard of living, and we’re to sacrifice more? I tried to get over my pity party and decided to thank God for His presence with us.
The night before my appointment, we still had no call from the insurance attendant and no money sent our way. We started brainstorming how we could possibly come into that kind of money.
The next morning around 8 a.m., four hours before my appointment, the insurance attendant called.
“Mrs. Bonesteele? I don’t know how to tell you this. This never happens. In all my years of working here, I have never seen them approve a situation like this, but they said yes. The insurance company said they will cover your procedure fully.”
I’m not a crier, but I definitely got teary-eyed. “Thank you so much!” I responded to the attendant. “We really prayed they would change their minds. God is really faithful!”
“You’re welcome,” she said. “So glad for you.” I could almost hear her smile through the phone.
Reflecting back, it seems like such a small story of God’s providence and provision. How could I even have doubted what God could do? Of course, God did not have to answer our prayers in this way. He could have sent money through a friend. He could have allowed us to make monthly payments. He could have simply calmed our worries without dealing with the money issue. But He moves in ways that are unknown to us. He is faithful to those who follow Him.
Whether it was for us, for the lady behind the phone, or for those hearing the story now, God wants His glory known. He is a God who provides. He provided the right doctors, nurses, hospital, and insurance attendant, and He orchestrated it all for His name to be praised. He is a good God who loves His people and provides for them. Jehovah-jireh.
Abraham faced a deeper trial when God asked him to go to Moriah and sacrifice his son Isaac in Genesis 22. And the most amazing thing about that story is Abraham’s obedience to God despite not knowing what God was going to do.
When Isaac asked, “’The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?’ Abraham answered, ‘God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.’ Then the two of them walked on together” (Gen. 22:7b-8).
I can’t imagine what Abraham was feeling at this point. Was he angry? Sad? Anxious? Afraid? I definitely would be. The Bible doesn’t describe his emotion, but it does describe his obedience. Abraham trusted in God and in His provision above all else. And when God delivered, providing a ram for the sacrifice, Abraham called the place Jehovah-jireh, “the LORD Will Provide,”(v. 14) the LORD will see to it.
This story foreshadows the story of Christ being a sacrificial lamb for us, a story where God, again, provided for the needs of His people through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross. He provides the solution for sin, death, and our separation from God.
When we remember stories of God providing for us in big or small ways in our lives, we also remember that God gave us the ultimate provision. The provision of eternal life, the provision of a relationship with Him, the provision of eternal peace as we walk with Him and follow Christ. God provides for us in our needs because He is a loving God; He is compassionate and caring. But He also provides for us because it points back to our greatest need and His greatest provision, Christ Himself.
Y Bonesteele lived on mission in Madrid, Spain, for six and half years. She has her M.Div., with an emphasis in evangelism and discipleship, from Talbot School of Theology. She currently resides in Middle Tennessee with her husband and four children and wonders where they sell “jamón ibérico” in Tennessee.