I have added "the Lord will provide" to my growing list of annoying Christian phrases.
It's not because the Lord doesn't provide. I believe He does. In fact, Philippians 4:19 even says, "my God will meet all your needs through his glorious riches in Christ Jesus".
God provided manna for the children of Israel in the desert.
He also provided food for Elijah in the desert as well.
So why am I so annoyed at the phrase "the Lord will provide"?
Because I think that it's often used as a throwaway cliche, or as an excuse to do nothing.
Some time back, I saw an episode of the TV show Hoarders where a psychologist confronted the husband of a hoarder. The man wasn't working and, in response to a question from the psychologist about how he was going to support his family, said, the Lord will provide.
More recently, on a Facebook group I'm part of, someone asked, "If a Christian is not to work on Sunday.....who is feeding the hungry and caring for the sick at the hospital or nursing home?"
A discussion followed, and someone said, "I won't take a job if it requires working Sunday. I tell people before I take it."
When asked, "What if your family needs the income?" the poster replied, "The Lord will provide."
So . . . apparently the Lord will magically "provide" for your needs if you choose not to work on Sunday, even if your family is poor and in debt? I believe there's another passage in the Bible that talks about providing for your home and family, and if you don't do it, you've denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever. (One poster replied, "Maybe the Lord provides a job that requires work on Sunday?")
What about doctors, nurses, first responders, and other health care professionals? Will the Lord "provide" for them if they choose not to work on Sunday? What about those who work in retail? Those who work in an industry that is up and running 24/7?
In the Facebook example I posted above, "the Lord will provide" almost sounded like a throwaway answer, given with a wave of the hand that brushed off the person's concerns. "What happens if I need the money and the only job I can find is on Sunday?" "Oh, the Lord will provide."
While the Lord does provide, He doesn't always do it in the way we think He should. It's rare that he rains manna from heaven or provides ravens to deliver meat. Usually, he uses other people or opportunities that come our way.
I'd love us to cut out the annoying Christian phrases and really listen to our brothers and sisters who are having questions and concerns, instead of brushing them aside with phrases such as "the Lord will provide". Otherwise, a trueism--that the Lord does provide--just comes off as hollow, insincere, and annoying. Which is not what the Lord intended in the first place.
Just my .04, adjusted for inflation.