I just posted on Twitter, ‘I love the portability of God’s provision.’ I mentioned it as a random thought of gratitude, but as I thought about it a little more, the idea expanded and deepened for me. I travel a lot, and I backpack. The thing I dislike about both, the packing. Packing for normal trips comes almost as second nature. I don’t have to think about it much, but I still don’t like it.
I rent my office from one of my backpacking buddies. Even though he cleans and organizes better than anyone else I know, he calls me the ‘anal retentive backpacker.’ True, I keep a lengthy list of what needs to go, how much it weighs, how much I need for how many days, etc. When I carefully position everything in the ‘right place’ in my pack on camp departure mornings, he rolls his eyes. We both use internal frame packs, so weight placement and balance effect how comfortably the pack fits.
Preparation makes for a better trip, but no matter how well prepared, backpacking trips and life always throw surprises. God has saved me from some very bad situations. He provided what I needed when I needed it. Once my friend and I were borderline hypothermic, disoriented, and on the middle of an ice field when we were suddenly socked in by a thick fog. A few minutes later, we heard running water. As the guide, I needed to keep us both from panicking. God provided me the courage and the peace to make the necessary decisions to get us safely across.
I didn’t place God’s provision of courage, peace, and wisdom in my pack, but God gave it when I needed it. It didn’t add weight to the pack. He guided us that day, and we didn’t break through the ice. If I don’t trust him to provide, there’s no way I can fill up my pack with enough stuff to make it through this life and into the next. And with a too heavy pack, I very well might break through the ice and lose my life.