"is He not able?"

Thoughts of a child coming have again brought forward the challenges of looking to God day to day for provision. Those challenges were always present when I was out on the road, and I was confronted with them again when we got married and attempted to begin life together here on the farm. Five years later, we've seen how God has provided for us. Not exactly what I expected but certainly no complaints. Many things have been given that seem overwhelmingly generous on God's part, much more than what was needed. But even after getting used to that, it again seems a bit daunting to wonder how all the needs of a child can be met.

I found some encouraging words in a letter I wrote almost eight years ago. Responding to some hard questions of a friend, I answered:

I agree that God loves our children even more than we do and is ultimately concerned with their care and safety. So why would I not trust him to provide for them just as well (or better) than he has provided for me? Is he not able? Has he not promised to do so? Do I really need to take things back into my own hands if I get married and have children (because the risk is just too great)?

We're just beginning baby preparations, but already I see signs of God's provision. Baby clothes offered by a friend. Another friend to teach Heather about making diapers. A good playpen found next door after our neighbors moved away. And a nice crib in storage in our apartment, which I found I could bring up to safety code with a replacement part from the manufacturer. More importantly, not far away there is a hospital with a birthing center staffed with nurse midwives, much better for Heather than the usual obstetric units. And today we found out we qualify for medical coverage for Heather and the baby, which means the birth will not cost us anything. Because of the talk of mandatory medical insurance over two years ago, I'd thought about the possibility of accepting government coverage, and had to admit that God could provide through such services also sometimes. It still makes me a little nervous, but our experience so far has been good. I feel like I had been gradually prepared to receive what was being offered to us now. That gift, however, raises the need for transportation to interviews and the many check-ups. But it looks like we can ride along on the bakery's weekly deliveries, which go right near the birthing center.

There are still many, many needs ahead of course. But I am reminded that those needs also provide the occasions for faith, with greater challenges calling for greater faith. And greater joy when God shows himself in those moments.