On a particularly hot day, eight-year-old Carmine McDaniel wanted to make sure his neighborhood mail carrier stayed cool and hydrated. So he left a cooler filled with a sports drink and water bottles on their front step. The family security camera recorded the mail carrier’s reaction: “Oh man, water and Gatorade. Thank God; thank you!”
Carmine’s mom says, “Carmine feels that it’s his ‘duty’ to supply the mailman with a cool beverage even if we’re not home.”
This story warms our hearts, but it also reminds us that there is One who will “meet all your needs,” as the apostle Paul phrased it. Though Paul was languishing in jail and uncertain about his future, he expressed joy for the Christians in Philippi because God had met his needs through their financial gift to him. The Philippian church was not wealthy, but they were generous, giving to Paul and others out of their poverty (see 2 Corinthians 8:1–4). As the Philippians had met Paul’s needs, so God would meet theirs, “according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
God often sends vertical help through horizontal means. Put another way, He sends us what we need through the help of others. When we trust Him for what we need, we learn, as Paul did, the secret of true contentment (vv. 12–13).
How might God be prompting you to meet the needs of others? In what ways and through whom has God met your needs? Spend time thanking God for His provision.
God’s provisions are always greater than our problems.
In addition to today’s text, other Scriptures reinforce how God uses fellow believers to meet our needs. When Jesus sent out His disciples to minister, they were to trust God to provide for their needs through other people (Matthew 10:9–11; Luke 10:4–8). Jesus received help from Martha (Luke 10:38). A group of women traveled with Jesus and His disciples “to support them out of their own means” (8:1–3). And the apostle Paul had the practical support of many churches he ministered to (Romans 15:26–27; 2 Corinthians 8:1–6; 11:8–9).