Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Luke 12:24
The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.Psalm 34:10
There is something about timing that has always intrigued me. Take for instance, what transpired in my life on Monday. After a long day at the office, I hopped in my car. Very quickly I noticed that something was off with my brakes. They weren’t catching, and I begin to panic as I performed my best Fred Flintstone impression with my foot on the floor of my car. By the grace of God, I made it home, but I knew a date with a mechanic was soon to be in the cards.
Then, evening hit with my daughters doing their usual routine – dinner, homework, cleaning up and, lastly, some lounge time. While my youngest daughter was upstairs taking a shower, I was on the sofa trying to unwind by mindlessly checking Facebook. That’s when I heard a strange noise – DRIP, DRIP, DRIP.
Taking a break from my screen, I looked up and noticed condensation, as well as water, dripping from the ceiling. Yes, you guessed right: the shower was leaking, meaning on top of my rendezvous with the mechanic, I’d be also carving out some quality time with a plumber.
Being my typical neurotic, worrisome and worse-case scenario self, I began to calculate how much this was going to cost me. And this is the part wherein a typical devotional you’d expect me to say I handled it with grace, trust and a whole lot of faith. Well, sorry, but you’d be wrong.
I began to panic. The anxiety started to rise. I lost perspective and grew frustrated. I wallowed in self-pity as well as experienced feelings of jealousy over folks who have it better off. And, then I remembered how for the next few weeks I have the task of writing devotionals on finances, stewardship, and generosity. I’m not going to lie; I was close to calling the powers that be and asking if I could take a seat on the bench and let others write about these topics that, at the moment, I was a bit jaded towards.
I decided to hit pause and gain some perspective with some time in prayer as well as seeking out insight from a few folks I trust. In both instances, I left with these thoughts: God is up to something and trying to get my attention. Rather than looking at these things as setbacks, what would it look like to paint them as opportunities to deepen trust?
Even though covered in grace, their words were piercing and hard to take in. Everything in me wanted to push back and justify my responses. But, deep down inside, I knew my hesitation was due to running head on to an unshakable truth. Often, we have little to no control over the circumstances that come our way, but we do get a say in one crucial area: our response.
When it comes to your finances, maybe you are in the same boat as I am. Worry and doubt are winning over trust. Perhaps you’re afraid to be generous because you don’t know how ends will meet. And, on top of this, you don’t believe your little part will matter anyway. Maybe things are much worse and you’re drowning in a sea of debt with no life raft in sight.
My advice to you would be the same as I received: Sitting in frustration, worry, doubt, and fear is no way to live. God’s trying to get your attention in the areas you attempt to avoid the most. He’s always pushing you to deeper levels of trust and for your eyes to be open to His faithfulness and provision.
Also, don’t do it alone, invite God, along with people you trust and respect, into conversations over the financial issues you’re facing. Let them into your world, regardless of how chaotic, messy and confusing it might be. We find freedom in those places when we voice those issues that we’ve kept to ourselves for far too long.
- Who knows the struggles, hopes, and fears you have towards your finances and your quest to be a good steward?
- How would you describe your current attitude towards your finances? What is the dominant emotion you are experiencing and why?
God, may I pay attention to the places where You are leading me to take a step faith. Help me to trust You as my provider, my source, and my hope. Developing a generous heart requires me to be tested and stretched. Allow me to display courage and respond to these opportunities for impact. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.