Wants and Needs
Posted: Saturday, February 18
Verse of the day:
“The Lord will not let the godly go hungry, but he refuses to satisfy the craving of the wicked.” (Proverbs 10:3)
Early in my ministry journey I found myself interning at a small country church in the hills of middle Tennessee. I lived in an apartment that the church had in its basement, a place for visiting missionaries and others to stay. Have you ever tried to sleep over night in a church? Well that is a topic for another day. The pastor I worked for was a native of Milwaukee, a place I did not know much about and was very foreign to me: brewers, brats, etc. I had much to learn but no rush, not like I was ever going to live there or anything.
The pay was only a small stipend each week to help cover food and some gas. Some weeks I had to decide who was hungrier, my car or myself. There were many nights that I would go to the church kitchen and look through the groceries that I had, or did not have. Many nights I was craving steak and potatoes or something from the local fast food choices. Those nights I usually settled for Ramen noodles or PB&J. There were a few nights however that I had nothing. No food and no money would make for a long night. However, looking back, every time I went to the kitchen and there was nothing, I would get a call inviting me to dinner with the pastor or at the local Sonic. I learned that summer there was a difference between how God provides for us.
God understands what we need and he knows what we want. We think that God will provide all of our wants, but what he really does is provides our needs. Today’s verse is a simple reminder for us to keep in mind the difference. The nights I craved something, God showed me what he had already provided. The nights I had nothing, he provided with something I needed. He knows the difference.
Cravings can be a powerful motivation in our lives. However, cravings always arise from a place of lust, not of need. We long to satisfy that inner hunger or that thirst. Have you been praying hard about a thing you have been craving? Maybe the reason that you have not gotten an answer is because God does not satisfy the cravings of the wicked, but he will provide the needs of his people. Evaluate today if you have a want or a need. Sometimes it is hard to know which is which. I have heard it said that if you are very thirsty, your body will trigger the same feeling as if you are hungry and that if you would just drink some water that craving would go away. Thirst masked by hunger.
God cares about his people and will provide for us. Don’t be discouraged if he is only meeting your needs and not your wants. Crave him and you will have all you could ever desire.