It was pitch black outside as my mother led me to the dining room table and had me take a seat in the pre-dawn hours. I was taken by surprise as the pastor of our church and his wife moved from the kitchen to my side at the table. I remember thinking, “It’s awfully early for a prayer meeting…” still unsure why they were gathering at our house before the sun was even up.
“Michelle, your father is gone. He died …”
That was all I heard before my mind started processing the implications.
What do I need to do to provide for my family?
I was just a young girl but already I knew the implications. My mother was not an American citizen, and within moments of my father’s death, the welfare of our family slipped in and became my concern.
Or was it?
I didn’t realize it at the time, in fact I didn’t realize it for another 30 years, but in that split second a spirit of poverty and drivenness entered in and ran my life because I didn’t know truth. I took on a very independent spirit, believing that in my father’s absence, I was responsible for the welfare of our family.
The problem was, it was ungodly and unbiblical. God promises to be our provider and our protector.
“The helpless put their trust in you. You defend the orphans” (Psalm 10:14).
“Even strong young lions sometimes go hungry, but those who trust in the Lord will lack no good thing” (Psalm 34:10).
Yet for years God wooed me to trust Him. Trust Him for the little things (like finding misplaced items and good grades) and trust Him for the big things (like a God-honoring spouse and medical check-up results).
Just as I delight in providing for my children, God delights in providing for His children. It was never His intent that we would strive and strain, growing weary carrying burdens that He never assigned us to carry.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:29-30).
Yet I never fully received the heart revelation of His desire to be my provider until I had the privilege to pray for a friend who lost her husband. She was mourning the loss and wondering how she would make it on her own. As I prayed for her and grieved with her and for her, remembering the days when my own mother lived as a widow while I felt the need to care for her, the Lord showed me that it was His desire all along to be her husband, her provider.
“Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation” (Psalm 68:5).
As I began to search out the scriptures, I found that out of the over 220 verses pertaining to trust, over 35 of them in some way related to God’s provision. Yet what I noticed was that the Lord often seems to require that we trust Him FIRST, then His provision follows.
“Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper” (Psalm 37:3).
“Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you” (Psalm 37:5).
“For if you are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as who we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ.” (Hebrews 3:14)
As a young girl, I didn’t know God’s truth, so I was vulnerable to the lies of the enemy. I believed I had to be all, and do all myself. But in His persistent pursuit of me, God’s spirit brought truth and taught me to trust Him to be my provider.
He wants to be your provider too. Will you trust Him?
(If you have a question you’d like Dr. B to answer, contact her here now. Your name and identity will be kept confidential.)
A short brief about Hope Prevails.
Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
Speaking from personal and professional experience, a neuropsychologist unpacks what depression is, shows how it affects us spiritually, and offers hope for living the abundant life.
Neuropsychologist Offers Hope to Those Struggling with Depression
-By 2020, depression will be our greatest epidemic worldwide
- An estimated 350 million people worldwide suffer from some form of depression
- As with the bestselling My Stroke of Insight, the author experienced the same condition she treats
- Helpful features include personal stories, biblical truths, prayers, and music recommendations
In Hope Prevails, Dr. Bengtson writes with deep compassion and empathy, blending her extensive training and faith, to offer readers a hope that is grounded in God’s love and grace. She helps readers understand what depression is, how it affects them spiritually, and what, by God’s grace, it cannot do. The result is a treatment plan that addresses the whole person—not just chemical imbalances in the brain.
For those who struggle with depression and those that want to help them, Hope Prevails offers real hope for the future.
Hope Prevails is available now wherever books are sold. To find out more, see: http://drmichellebengtson.com/hope-prevails-book/.