Don't you just love it when, out of frustration or maybe even desperation, you blurt out a prayer at God that goes a little something like this: "God I know you're there, and I know you love me, and I know you are able to take care of me...but frankly, right now, I just don't see your hand...show me how you're going to get me through this!" Then, as if God just wants to prove the point that He is always good and always faithful, He spends the next several days showing you by throwing neon flashing billboards of His goodness directly into your path.
Let me confess to you that things have been a little tight financially around the Shearon mothership lately. The sluggish real estate market (my wife is one of the hardest working real estate agents in town) coupled with the soaring cost of everything from gas to granola bars, has definitely put the squeeze on this family's budget. The economic downturn has been prolonged enough that lately we've been playing the "tyranny of the urgent" game with our monthly bills...as in, okay, what do we need to pay this month to keep it from getting cut-off. Of course, the real fun starts when your next paycheck is already gone several days before you even get it. Then your left wondering what in the world you're going to do until the next paycheck. For those who've been there, you know the unbridled fun I'm describing here.
At times like this, I must confess to you, even as a Believer, I often find myself stuck somewhere between faint-hearted trust and all-out panic. However, no sooner than I had whispered the words "show me", God commenced showing me how He takes care of my family...all the time, not just when things seem to be financially tight. So here's how all this started. The phone rings at my office and it's a freind of mine from church saying he's been thinking about me lately, and he wants to buy my lunch. Hmmm...could that just be a coincidence? Probably so, I thought.
But then, later that evening I get to church to find out that another friend of mine has just sponsored me for a major portion of my upcoming mission trip expense. Okay God, are you trying to tell me something here? Then after church, the wife and I get invited to dinner by some friends - their treat. By George, I do believe He is trying to tell me something!
If that wasn't enough, the next morning, I get a call from my wife saying that she's just won a $50.00 gas card at her weekly Realtor luncheon. Okay God, maybe I was a little hasty with that whole questioning your hand of provision thing. By this time it's lunch time again, and for the second day in a row, a friend calls and says he wants to buy my lunch. Okay God, now you're just showing off. But it doesn't even stop there though. The next day, we get a check in the mail for $50.00 from some friends who said they had just felt "led" to send us a check. By this time, even someone with as thick a spiritual head as mine is getting the message.
But just in case I had fallen into a coma and missed His point, God sent me one more for good measure. Sometime back, we had paid for something for my mom and she had intended to pay us back, but never did. She had forgotten it until the other day she just "remembered it out of the blue". So when I was over visiting her the next day, she hands me $40.00 and tells me she's finally paying me back. Well by now, I'm speechless...which if you know me, you know is a miracle of sorts in itself!
But in all seriousness - all of this happened in the span of four days. Truth be known, if I really paid attention to what was going on around me all the time like I do when some little crisis is going on in my life, I believe I would find that things like this happen on a daily basis. Unfortunately, so many times it's not until I'm in a difficult spot that I really begin to get in tune with what God's up to in my life...or, as a friend of mine likes to say...God has to shake me to wake me. How true. My pastor announces from the pulpit all the time that we really don't have to learn all of life's lessons face down in a ditch somewhere. Man, I hate being face down in a ditch!
So what did I learn last week? Well, aside from being reminded of the obvious lesson that God is always in control and He is always taking care of us, I also got a refresher in how God's economy works. God doesn't want our worries and concerns - whether they be finances, family issues, physical health, etc - to become an obstacle that stands between us and doing what God wants us to do...which is to love and serve others in His name and for His sake. You see, when we allow ourselves to be consumed by our problems, we unwittingly become self-centered and unaware of the needs of other people around us.
That's why God goes to such great lengths in scripture to assure us that He will always take care of us in every area of our lives. It may not always be according to our time table (it seldom is), and it may not always happen the way we would draw it up, but we are never out of His care and He never fails to provide what we need. Armed with that security, God's desire is for us to always live above our day-to-day circumstances, and be outward focused - looking for every opportunity to be Jesus to those we come in contact with.
But God knows our frame, so says the Psalmist, and He knows that sometimes we need a little extra "showing". I know I did last week...and God went out of His way at every turn to show me His hand. I wonder what part of Missouri God is from!
2 days ago