The economy is struggling...anyone can see it and if you can't, then you can hear about it in the news. We are a country plagued with financial worries. And you don't have to look far to see a family struggling to make ends meet, it seems. It seems we have always struggled financially, so I'm not new to the concept...and am actually getting quite used to it. Since I stopped working and Jody and I started building our family, we've not always been smart with our money...thought we needed more at times than God knew we did...and this is why we have struggled for the most part...but God has been faithful, even when we have made poor decisions...our lot, I suppose, is to spend our lives on earth pinching pennies till they scream. Now, don't think I'm fishing for sympathy, I'm not...we are learning to live by faith and trust God more. But I have thought alot about times of want and times of need lately, have pondered the whys and the hows of it all. And there are some lessons you learn in times of need that are...well, more precious than gold (now if only lessons paid the bills, right?)
More than anything, God wants HIS children to trust him. Trust is not easy for people by nature. Now, carry that into the spiritual realm and it's even harder. Because to trust God means to have faith and the Bible says "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." It's hard enough for us to trust those we can see alot of the times, but to ask a person to trust God whom we cannot see is tricky. But, we are required to do it...faith is the glue that keeps our spiritual lives together. Without faith it is impossible to please God. There have been so many times since 18 months ago when Jody lost is job that things looked so discouraging, so many times I wasn't sure how it was going to work out and, yes, I have been known to give into despair over physical circumstances. Yet, God has come through again and again. Sometimes I recognize it right away, other times it's a week or so later and it hits me that He actually came through but I was so busy worrying and being in despair about other things that I couldn't see it. Faith and trust in God is essential, God knows this and so it's into the refiner's fire I often find myself, knowing that "all things work for good to them that love God..."
You learn to separate you want's and your needs. When I was growing up, I trusted my daddy and mamma to provide for us...we didn't have fancy things, we didn't eat filet mignon, we didn't take vacations, but I never went without a house, clothing and food...certainly never was short on love. What we didn't have, we didn't need. We got things we wanted from time to time, but needs were met above all else. God is no different in this respect. I have always had money to pay the mortgage, if I didn't have it he made a way. If you could see us, it's obvious we're not starving, nor are we without clothing. Now, we haven't been able to go places and eat out. We've done without things we thought we needed and turns out, we didn't.
Even in slim times, the Lord will use you to help those around you. Even though I find myself discouraged sometimes, I have found myself to be more sympathetic to those in need around me. Even in my slim financial times, God has still given me , not only what I needed, but the resources to help others meet their needs. For this I am so thankful. And though those we help may think they're the only one's getting the blessing, it is not so...it helps me immensely to see how God can use my circumstances to improve the circumstances of others.
Peace with circumstances. Even when things seem to be piling up on us and the creditors come calling, I find there is peace, if I want it. Now, sometimes I don't always choose to grab onto peace and squeeze it to death. For some reason, I sometimes opt to waller in the chaos and worry and anxiety. But when I want peace, I can have it. How? Well, the apostle Paul said in Phillipians "Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and Iknow how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." Later on he writes "But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus." The prophet Isaiah writes "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee."
Have a blessed weekend!