Sunday, June 12, 2011

If There Were No Needs to Meet

It's a verse to live by: "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus " (Phil. 4:19). As Christians, we believe this. So, our prayers are filled with what we need...and we want that need met, now please.

But a God who is Sovereign, Omniscient, who knows every need before we even know it--why does He wait until we identify a need, a lack before He responds? Why doesn't He just provide before we need so that there is no need to begin with?

God waiting for us to realize we need, we lack, we are incomplete--it's a pattern in Scripture. The stories are tucked within--stories of real people in history with real needs, all coming to their heavenly Father, asking for help, and God responding in His time...and when He responds to meet that need, there is always joy.

There is Hannah who petitioned the Lord for a child after years of barrenness...and God responded with her son Samuel so that her heart exulted in the Lord: "I rejoice in Your salvation" (1 Sam. 2:1).

There is Queen Esther and her "uncle" Mordecai who petitioned the Lord for protection for their people when Haman had contrived the coming of a Jewish holocaust...and God brought salvation, so much that the holiday Feast of Purim was established with "feasting and rejoicing" (Esther 9:22).

From Genesis to Revelation, the in-between is filled with examples of people feeling a need and God fulfilling it. But, I find value in looking at the Alpha and Omega--the first and the last.

The very first time man finds He lacks something, has a need only God can fulfill, is found in the second chapter of Genesis:

"Then the LORD God said, 'It is not good for the man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.' Out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a living creature, that was its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him" (Gen. 2:18-20).

Here, Adam needed a helper. The Lord said as much. Why, then, did the Lord not immediately create Eve? Why first did He bring forth every animal to parade before Adam? Yes, to name them. But why now? Why not do the naming after He created Eve?

It's likely that God wanted Adam to realize what he lacked, for Adam to realize he had a need only God could fulfill in supplying the helper. And in the knowing came an appreciation of what he gained by God meeting that need.

This need-understanding, this lack-filling in Adam--it's a foreshadowing of a fallen race of Adams, Hannahs, and Esters, men and women with the taint of sin coursing through their veins so black that only the blood of a coming Messiah could cover and redeem. But the key to receiving redemption is that you first must understand your need for it.

This is what happens in the last example of this pattern in Revelation, when it is time for the book with the seven seals to be opened. John says, "And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it" (Rev. 5:2-4).

Here, "no one" is found worthy enough to open the book and start the countdown to the kingdom calendar's culmination. It is obvious that there was a search based on a lack, a need seeking to be filled.

Yet, with the search over and no one found, John begins to weep--he loudly wails in grief as one who is mourning the dead. He feels the hopelessness of an eternity without one worthy enough.

God waits, allowing John to truly understand His need, mankind's need of a Savior. Then, one of the elders speaks up, directing him to look at the "Lamb standing, as if slain" (Rev. 5:6).

The Lamb, Jesus, the one sacrifice for all time--He is there to open the books, and at that moment, myriads of angels begin to praise Him in joy, shouting "Worthy is the Lamb!" (v. 11). From weeping to uproarious joy in seconds.

It initially sounds pretty good--God meeting our needs before we even know what we need. Imagine the grief we could avoid if we did not feel loss or lack, if there were no void waiting to be filled in us.

But this would not be a gift at all. Before we can appreciate anything of great value in our lives, God is gracious to either let us feel loss or the lack first. Otherwise, we cannot really appreciate the gain to the fullest. More importantly, though, without this recognition, we cannot realize our need for a Savior.

Photo from:


  1. Beautiful post, beautiful song!!

    Thank you Jennifer.

  2. Love this!! Feeling a lack right now as I walk a desert path and grow more thirsty daily. Thanks for the perspective.

  3. I totally understand. We're just coming out of a 2 1/2 week pass-around sickness in our house. It's been a very dry path. Looking for the rain.