"Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?" Psalm 42:5
That is a question I seem to be asking myself a lot these days. I don't think I have to tell you that we are living in financially trying times. It doesn't seem to be getting better, especially for those of us who are self-employed, like my husband and I. Greg and I have been going through a tremendous transformation, spiritually. Difficult times will do that to you. Our biggest issue is money. We don't have a lot of it right now. We are not greedy people, so, it's not like we are asking for much, just a little security.
Everything inside me screams at me, "Go get a job!!!". I mean, it makes sense, right? Go get a job! But every time I try I am reminded that that is not what He has called me to do. He has called me to ministry and for the past 18 months or more I have not focused on that calling. I was not in a place mentally, physically or spiritually where I could focus on my calling. But He has brought me through, and more than ever, it is CLEAR what I should be focusing on and I pray that I am faithful to follow Him, even when it doesn't make sense.
One thing we have learned is in WHO are we putting security? Ourselves or God? The trial has been good. I wish it didn't have to happen, but the bible tells us over and over that we will have trials and tribulations, and somehow, this is all supposed to be for our good. Some days, I admit, it is truly hard to focus on that bit of truth..."all things work together for good."
I was putting gas in my car yesterday and was mindlessly thinking about things and I looked in the back seat at my kids empty car seats. Then I thought about the things that Carter says or does and Griffin's laugh and walk and I thought, man, they have got it so easy. No trouble, no trials, they don't have to worry about anything. Greg and I supply everything they need and more.
Remember how you always wanted to grow up? When you were in high school you were always 16...and a half or almost 17, right? I wonder at what point we stop adding half-years to our age? LOL! I know it has been a while since I added a half. But, it is so funny to think about how all we wanted to do was to be grown up. Have responsibilities. Get a job. Get married. Have kids. Be free from what our parents were telling us to do.
And do you think we listened to our parents when they told us not to grow up too fast? No, we probably rolled our eyes at them. We had no idea the responsibilities that came with growing up, having a job and a family.
I would love to trade in some of that responsibility about right now. Don't get me wrong. I am tremendously blessed and I do not take that for granted. I love my husband and children and I am so thankful for them. But....
The weight of this world, not only the financial crisis our country is in, but the spiritual state of our country. The wars and rumors of wars. The horrendous crimes against women and children in all parts of the world, including the US. Sometimes. Sometimes it just bogs me down. It makes my soul downcast. The responsibility. Oh, the responsibility of it ALL.
What is going to happen with our business, the kids education, their safety? How do I keep my children safe in this kind of world? What are we going to have to handle as Christians in the future? What kind of world have I borne children into??? It's scary. It was a lot less scary when it was just me and I was worry about paying all my bills. Now I have to worry about my kids, and all our financial responsibilities. Along with the possibility that the world as we know it is coming to an end.
Sound a bit dramatic? It probably is, but it's what I FEEL. So, I am putting it out there. And I am thanking God that in the midst of all my worries and trials I don't have to endure it alone. I mean, I can, if I choose to. But, God has provided a way out. Not to sound cliche, but He's got the whole world in His hands. It's not my responsibility to worry about all this.
Right now we are praying for a miracle, financially. God has provided and our needs always seem to get met, but we are facing some things that could cripple our future and our life. We don't know how to get out of it. And it is not due to fiscal irresponsibility. I married an excellent money manager. I thank God for that. We live very conservatively with what we have. We don't have car payments. We do everything "right". I am very thankful for that. But, we are still in a mess because of the economy. We have had two years of financial downfall and as good as we have been at managing money, when the money stops coming in, eventually, you run out.
I say all that to say this. We are fully trusting God for a miracle. For Him to provide like He has never provided before. Something that only He can do. And we have thanked him in advance for his provision. We are willing to do whatever He asks us to do. Even if that means making some very painful decisions.
But one thing we have learned through all of this is in WHO are we trusting and WHO is providing. Our work and investments do not provide for us, God does. I do not put my trust in our ability to be financially responsible. I put my trust in GOD. He is the one who is providing everything. Bottom line. I think we had forgotten that and God had to remind us of that. But now, we know. He is Jehovah-Jirah. And we will praise Him in this storm.
If the end of the world is coming (and I don't think it is) who better to trust in than the ONE who created the world.
Just like Greg and I provide for our children, God provides for us. It may not be in the exact way we would wish for, but He provides, bottom line.
"You Parents, if your child asks for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish do you give them a serpent? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him." Matthew 7:9-11
I can rest in the truth of God's word, even when what is going on around me doesn't make sense.
The second part of Psalm 42:5 says this, " Put your hope in GOD for I will yet praise Him my savior and my God". My Life Application Bible describes this verse this way,
"Depression is one of the most common emotional ailments. One antidote for depression is to meditate on the record of God's goodness to his people. This will take your mind off the present situation and give hope that it will improve. It will focus your thoughts on God's ability to help you rather than on your ability to help yourself. When you feel depressed, take advantage of this psalm's ANTI depressant. Read the Bibles accounts of God's goodness, and meditate on them".
vs. 6, "my soul is downcast. Therefore I will remember YOU [God].
Sounds like a good plan to me. Beats any plan that I can come up with. He's going to protect us and our kids and make everything work for our good. God has a plan for my kids. As scared as I am with what they are going to have to face in this nasty world I am more encouraged that God has a plan for them and who knows, maybe my boys are the next Martin Luther or Oswald Chambers? Huh? I want them sold out to Christ more than I want them 'safe', whatever that means. I want them to be used for His glory, not mine. So I let them go. Trusting that God has a plan for them and He can protect them a whole lot better than I can.
Put your hope in God.
Okay. I will.