All I Have Needed

She insisted I should be the one to paint on her brand new kitchen walls. My college roommate Mary, who paid her way through school teaching and playing piano at church, was builiding a house and wanted one particular verse from a hymn painted in the breakfast nook above the window.

"All I have needed thy hand hath provided."

While the house was still under construction I climbed a folding ladder and carefully painted each letter of the verse by hand. Mindful to keep it in a straight line. Careful not to misspell. (I'm still haunted by the infamous "Happy B-Dappy!" sign I made for a friend in high school. A phrase we still use years later.)

While I was up there, the construction crew was coming in and out and there were a lot of distractions. This meant I had to repeat these words over and over while I painted them. 

All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.
All I have needed thy hand hath provided.

It was as if I was a young pupil at the chalkboard who had gotten in trouble and had to write the lesson or rule broken repeatedly as punishment. It was not lost on me! I was reminded of all the times in my life that God had provided. I was moved to tears and quietly wiped them away while atop that ladder. I whispered, "Yes, Lord. I hear you."

Years after I painted this verse, I sat at my dining room table with our son. He was a senior in high school and had been wondering if it would really be possible to attend Auburn University. Was it something we could afford? It was time for him to make his college decision and I wanted to put his mind at ease. I tearfully shared with him examples from my own life when I believed God provided. And I told him yes. I had faith it was possible and not to worry. We would put our trust and faith in the Lord and find a way.

Just a few hours later, I was back in the basement studio and he came to the top of the stairs excited to tell me that he had just found out he was awarded a scholarship. I said "See! What did we just talk about? God is providing! Remember this." A cynic may think that was just coincidence but I thought it was a real time example that he could now look back on in his own life. And I hoped he would never forget it.

Back when I was up on that ladder I was consumed with worry about if it would be possible for me to stay or work from home while our children were growing up. The verse from the hymn and this "lesson" I experienced reminded me to keep the faith. Sure enough, provisions came! Through my art shows and commissions. It's been over 20 years now and going strong.

Great is Thy faithfulnessGreat is Thy faithfulnessMorning by morning new mercies I seeAll I have needed Thy hand hath providedGreat is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me

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2 comments

I love that song! And how it has played out so many times in my life as well. Great is His faithfulness!

Elizabeth Cooper

I love your writing…..and, yes, He has provided all I needed and more!!

David Crews

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