Knows My Needs and Well Provides Me

By Katie Helmreich

Ah, school supplies… There’s something uniquely invigorating about a fresh notebook. Pristine erasers. Loading the lead and clicking it to the tip of the pencil. Cracking open a package of juicy new pens. That first cushy step in new socks. The luxurious stretch pulling on the soft sweater that actually fits… It’s all amazing.

Each of my kids had widely varied supply needs this year. Everyone got what they needed but the other kid’s stuff always seems so much more exciting.

“It’s not fair!” 

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that these past few weeks I could buy that gorgeous pack of 80 markers I’ve had my eye on. 

Fair isn’t everyone getting the same things; it’s everyone getting what they need. What a blessing it’s been to be able to fulfill every need from new underwear to a camp chair! But as I pulled out the goodies from Amazon boxes and Target bags the kids struggled with envy.

My initial response was righteous indignation. Don’t you know how good you have it? Do you realize how much time I’ve spent identifying everyone’s needs and searching for the perfect items? How dare you see this abundance and only focus on the stuff without your name on it!

Later, when my kids went outside, I sorted the supplies into three bags and started thinking. How many times do I react the same way?

I’m surrounded by a humongous pile of blessings! But sometimes all I want is the stuff without my name on it. Skills, traits, vacations, possessions, opportunities, relationships, health… There are so many things to envy. And envy sucks the joy right out of everything. It doesn’t seem fair.

But fair isn’t everyone getting the same things; it’s everyone getting what they need. And my Heavenly Father has expertly identified my every need. My Good Shepherd knows me and well provides me. The Spirit has equipped me in every way for the work ahead, for building up Christ’s Church and revealing His glory!

The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does.
(Psalm 145: 15-17, NIV)

It’s an incredible thing when someone wholeheartedly rejoices with us about a blessing we have received. And when I can cheer with you about that new water bottle (with dinosaurs AND rainbows on it) without pining after one for myself, we both feel happy and connected. It seems to change our relationship from competitors to companions! Joy shared is doubled.

Some days we can talk ourselves out of envy with logic. But when our feelings aren’t so easily convinced, music often helps. As I write today I find myself humming “Counting Every Blessing” by Rend Collective.

Music tends to get under the skin of resentment better than any lecture on attitude. (One of these days I’ll remember to skip the lecture bit.) 

Pretty soon we’re all dancing around the living room, remembering that we belong to a good and faithful and generous God. The fact that she didn’t get a new thermos and he didn’t get mechanical pencils fades into insignificance. They’re ready for the new year, equipped by the Spirit to do the work Jesus is calling them to do.

I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing,
letting go and trusting when I cannot see.
I am counting every blessing, counting every blessing,
surely every season You are good to me.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
(Hebrews 13:20-21, ESV)

1 Comment

  1. Thank you for the good Word, Katie. In this age of posting it’s hard not to want & complain….and I sm now reminded to count every blessing! ( one of my favorite RC songs!)

Leave a Reply