I once heard about a minister who was worried that his low salary prevented him from purchasing medical insurance for his family.
He worried a great deal about the problem, conflicted. He knew that he had been called to that particular ministry, but he worried about his family. What if someone became sick or injured? Should he quit his ministry job and find another job so that his family would have insurance in the event of an emergency? Wasn’t that his responsibility as the provider for his wife and children?
After some time of apprehension and prayer, he finally decided that if God wanted him in his current position and if that position did not allow for insurance, then the only thing to do was to pray and trust that nobody in his family would need insurance.
That’s exactly what he did, and do you know what? God kept his entire family healthy and strong. They never had a sickness or injury that required the use of insurance.
In the Bible, the scribe Ezra faced a similar situation. He was about to take a vast group of people (and resources) on a dangerous journey from their captive home in Babylon to their true home in Jerusalem.
Any number of problems could arise. Bandits were a very real threat to anyone carrying gold and other valuable materials. (Ezra’s traveling party was carrying plenty of that in order to rebuild the temple when they arrived at their destination.) There were wild beast and all manner of other natural threat to their safety.
Furthermore, this large group was being sent with the blessing of the king of Babylon, so nearly everyone knew when they were leaving, what they were traveling with and where they were going. There was plenty of time for anyone with nefarious intent to plan an attack against the defenseless group.
Ezra was understandably anxious.
He wrote: “I was ashamed to ask the king for soldiers and horseman to protect us from enemies on the road, because we had told the king, ‘The gracious hand of our God is on everyone who looks to him.’” (Ezra 8:22)
And so, Ezra declared a time of fasting and prayer for the group’s safe travels.
And do you know what? Ezra recorded: “The hand of our God was on us, and he protected us from enemies and bandits along the way. So we arrived in Jerusalem.” (Ezra 8:31b-32a)
Where God guides, He provides. If we are doing everything that we know how to be faithful to the work that God has put in front of us, we can be sure that God will take care of the details.