Everytime I begin to write this post I type a sentence or two and delete it. There really doesn't seem to be a good way to admit/share financial struggles. I remain perplexed as to why this particular issue is so hard to discuss. I can talk all day long about my heart's cry and desire regarding grief, adoption, daily things that come up. I can be vulnerable in all those areas without hesitation at all. But, for some reason, and I am afraid this is true for a lot of people, when it comes to finances we clam up.
Is it because it is tied somehow to a fear of judgement?
As in, if I admit we have financial issues, someone out there is going to judge us ---"do you work hard enough?" ;"did you save enough?"; "Did you Really go out to eat, when you could have stayed home and saved $10?" "join the club", or...even a good one...(seriously this is a good question)
"Are you following all the Bibilical mandates required to be financially in line with God?"
Last week we had a tough realization again, that we are on our "last month" of payments.
and bills have piled up.
God has brought us to this place before and supplied.
Can He do it again?
I'm certain He can.
Sometimes events happen that I like to call God's "chain reactions". They may begin with heart ache.
God brings us to a place of complete vulnerablity and humility. Then He says "watch this"...
There is a precurser to this one-the day before, my good friend Katherine asked "so how are you guys doing financially?" I answered with some question because at that point I just was not sure.
the next day...
I heard my husband say "there is nothing left"
I left the house to go to my Bible Study, stunned and hurting.
I still went not knowing the next steps God was about to take.
I listened as Priscilla Shirer spoke on Ephesians 3:20-21.
I felt a tug at my heart like this video (made in 2009) was made just for me this night.
My friend Katherine approached me afterward and responded to a text I had sent her before the study telling her it was "not good".
Other ladies were over hearing me recount our distress.
Then the lady next to me felt led to give.
I was overwhelmed and wept at God's Provision.
I came home and showed it to Peter and he smiled.
That is how my God works...
over and over and over again
We just have to be open to being vulnerable and "seeing".
He Is Faithful!
I need to hear that daily!
I need to open my eyes to seeing how He works.
And ready to accept what He offers in the moment--with humility and recognition that it came from Him.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen
Our struggle remains. But, watching God supply even gas money, is such a huge blessing.
During our study, Priscilla Shirer was challenging us to believe in the beyond-the-beyond of what God CAN do. Do we believe the Creator of the universe CAN do "immeasurably" more than we can even ask or imagine? Right now for us it is a financial issue.
But for others it is health or relationships or other things.
My struggle has never been believing He CAN!
I remember sitting with my hands on Jacob's body the day before he died and feeling whatever had spread to his neck (lumps) and praying---KNOWING full well that God could perform a miracle in this boy. Even when it looked impossible. A miracle of healing. I know people who have experienced this kind of deliverance and I KNOW my GOD CAN! There is not a shadow of doubt within me that He CAN move mountains, that he IS the Creator of the universe and every detailed cell in our bodies.
He has more power than you or I could ever begin to put words to.
Jacob died the next day.
So how could I still believe that?
The difference is this...
in His Sovereignty
(which I will always desire to get a peek at)
Now, I'm faced with a similar challenge. Do I believe God can deliver us from this struggle? I feel like I am laying hands on a cancerous tumor. And things look bleek.
Do I believe He wants to give us "good gifts" (Mt. 7:9-11)?
How do I ramp up the faith to believe again?
I DO believe that even in financial struggles God CAN deliver-
In our study, Faithful, Abundant and True, Priscilla suggested that we go ahead and pray for "Immeasurably more" and then even believe he can do beyond that.
(Having said that, I throw in a caution...I'm not talking about a "name it and claim it" mentality that some people teach. Pulling scripture out of context is not what I'm talking about. God is not a vending machine...I put in my 25cents and he gives me what I want...ugh! no!--that's another whole topic for discussion)
Here in lies the other piece to the puzzle.
If I get to the place where I believe that He CAN do beyond the beyond in our lives,
I've laid myself open to being very vulnerable.
I've done this repeatedly in my life.
Then God says:
"I have another plan"
"It involves pain"
"It may not 'look' good"
Rom. 8:28 says:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
So if God chooses another plan, another path that I would not choose because it causes pain, does that mean I get to discredit him and say....
"I don't believe you Can?"
After the study last week I got in my car and this song was on the radio. Another piece to the "chain reaction"... I've heard it a thousand times because it is played a lot, but God's timing was amazing. After it was done, I just turned the radio off and sat to think about how God speaks to me.
How dare I not believe God will be faithful "again" no matter what.
I Lift My Hands
Now, here is the thing. I know my husband has talent. I know he is an extremely hard working man. He has a very positive attitude and heart. He loves the Lord. I know he wants to supply for his family. And I know this season is so hard on him. So could you just pray? I feel like I have to cry out to the masses. On his behalf. We've asked for prayer from strangers to relatives before. We are not asking for pity.
That is not why I am sharing...We are asking for prayer...
Pray that there would be something "Immeasurably more than we could ask or think" that God could do. I don't expect a life of ease. I'm not saying "drop a million dollars in my lap so I can live on easy street." I know with all my heart, that simply living in America and having food to eat is a bigger blessing than most of the world has. Maybe that is part of the hesitation in bringing up this issue too. But, I also cannot disregard that God may have a plan that we need to get in line with. Maybe He does want to show us "immeasurably more" than we could ask or think. And maybe it is going to involve pain and loss again.
But, maybe, just maybe, he has something that we need to tap into here that we should not discount.
We need to enter into this with a heart of Gratitude and remember what He has done in the past.
In the past, prayer warriors from the ends of the earth have rallied with us to watch what God can do.
Please join us in prayer!
Let Faith Arise...
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To God be the Glory Now and Forever