Santa Lists vs. God Lists: Does God Provide Material Things?
by Christel Thoden
I can’t believe it! In only four days, Christmas will be here. I hope you’ve finished your Christmas shopping or at least have a plan for finishing, and that God blesses you with a sweet time with Him these last preparatory days.
As I have been thinking about Christmas, Santa lists have been on my mind. A typical Christmas tradition here in the United States is to write letters to Santa. Kids write their requests to the big, jolly man and send them off to the North Pole or keep them at the house for Santa on Christmas Eve. They have a child-like faith that Santa will bring them what they want.
What if we had that same faith in God? What if we wrote God lists this Christmas instead of Santa lists?
I have a wonderful, godly husband who challenges me to rely on God in new ways. In our first year of marriage, he has specifically challenged me to ask God for specific things I want. I am not just talking about spiritual gift types of things or self-improvement types of things; I am talking about tangible, material things.
He would tell me stories upon stories about how God had provided him with food, books, shoes, and other things on various occasions during his traveling ministry year, when he solely asked God instead of taking matters into his own hands. With curiosity and skepticism dancing in my head, I decided to try it.
With a lot of trial and error faith, God has shown me it’s true. He does want to provide us with material things. In the last six months, he has provided us with groceries, money, furniture, kitchen supplies, a washer and dryer, and the most recent of all, a Christmas tree.
After Thanksgiving, I started dreaming of having a Christmas tree. I knew we couldn’t afford to buy one, nor would we have anywhere to store it if we invested in a fake, but that didn’t stop my desire. I longed to have a decorated tree in our first apartment, so I decided to pray. I simply told God I would like a Christmas tree. Nothing fancy, nothing special, just simply asked.
For a few minutes after, I thought of the different ways God could provide one, but then quickly forgot about the request as the holiday busyness swept me away. But God hadn’t forgotten. He had a plan to provide one for us all along.
Last week as I was coming home from the gym, I stopped to say hello to an elderly neighbor putting up her Christmas lights. In the process of stringing lights, she told me she had just bought a new Christmas tree. Her old one was droopy and so she decided to invest in a new one. During the conversation, as she briefly mentioned the plan to throw away her old tree, my ears perked up and I remembered my prayer.
I continued listening to her story and then piped in myself.
“Are you just going to throw away your old tree?” I asked.
Without hesitation, she replied, “Yeah, do you want it?”
With excitement from head to toe I replied with a joyous, “YES!”
As I brought the pieces of the Christmas tree up to my apartment (stand included), I couldn’t help but praise God. I praised Him even more when I saw that when plugged in most of the Christmas lights worked, and praised Him even more when the ones that seemed to have been out were magically fine after a few hours. God had provided us with a fully-lit Christmas tree.
All through the Bible, God says He wants to be our provider, but in our Western world, I believe we want to be the providers instead of God. What would happen if you chose to ask God first for something you wanted, instead of asking someone else or going out and buying it yourself? Maybe God wants you to use your money to bless someone else, but in return, He might want to use someone else to bless you.
God wants to shower us with gifts as a loving Father. While he is not a magic genie, He does want to be our provider and bless us in special ways.
Today I challenge you to ask God for something material and see what He does. I can’t promise He will for sure provide it for you, as I, too, don’t get everything I request, but I can promise that He will provide things for you that are in His will.
Regardless of the outcome, I challenge you to believe that God can provide material things, and replace your Santa lists this Christmas season with God lists.
What are you asking God for today? We will be happy to pray with you. You can leave a message in the comments box.
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Christel Thoden is a wife, writer and world traveler passionate about God and the hearts of young adult women. Chai tea lattes and long coffee shop dates are her sanctuary, and helping women discover their God-given callings is her mission. While supporting her husband’s vision to plant a church, she is a nanny to six children. She blogs here and looks forward to getting to know you.
Website: Hearts Without Borders
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