The kids and I just had a little shouting service over a check that came in the mail for $52.30. That might seem odd, but when you're nervously checking your bank account and calculating if you have enough to buy groceries AND pay the day care (at which you do NOT want to lose your son's place for non-or-late payment), every little bit helps. Justin and Miss Pink took a jar of change to the counting machine earlier today. So an extra 50 bucks was worth shouting, "Go Jesus, go Jesus, go Jesus!"
Oh, if I were always as grateful to God for everything He has done for me as Miss Pink was when she heard the amount, which seemed huge to her! If God had made the check be $5,000.00, I'm sure I would be shouting for joy. So I went ahead and shouted for this first little blessing even though it won't pay the past-due bills. Yet it reminds me of the woman who made a cake for the prophet with the last meal and oil she had; God kept on giving her just enough for the rest of the famine.
Now, I realize I am sounding like one of those faith-filled people. Nothing would make me happier, but the truth is my faith is still very weak. I spent yesterday and this morning fighting fear that roared through me like a hurricane. Last night I called a good friend and wept my heart out and received love and encouragement. This morning my husband and I assessed the situation prayerfully (we hope he will get paid some Monday, and more by the end of the week; the jobs are completed, and now the builders need to stop dragging their feet and pay what they owe him, but we can't force them to). And then I sat down to study because I agreed to teach a class at church tomorrow.
If you've never experienced trying to say something positive to a group of people, all of whom are older and wiser than you, while you're dealing with one of the worst struggles of your life, well...it's not that fun to get started. I had planned to teach something else, but this week I knew I needed to teach out of a series I had recently studied: Beth Moore's Believing God. Y'all, that study rocked my world. And then I had to live it, and it has nearly beaten me to death.
I don't have time to write the whole thing here, but in my lesson I say that until now I have never HAD to depend on God and nothing else. On one hand I have been distraught that I can't pay my bills on time, and a big part of that was IMAGE: what other people would think if they knew, and if we did end up losing our house, etc. how ashamed I would be. And I was thinking, If You are God, and You do love me, why aren't You delivering me? This hurts SO MUCH!
And on the other hand I knew that I have no right to demand that God give me money. I know many wonderful people who prayed, believed God, and were told no. I also know many people who received their miracle. For reasons we are not allowed to know, God wants us to ask, believing that He is able, but trust Him that if He says no, He will redeem the pain and that someday--whether in this life or on the other side--we will understand. And in the meantime He will be with us.
I know it sounds like a cop-out. I know it sounds like God gets a pretty sweet deal: all the credit when things go well, and a free pass when they don't. But all I know is that when I pray and read my Bible, I receive just enough strength to pick myself up and keep going. Just enough light to see the next few feet. Just enough money to buy groceries from an unexpected source.
It is hard for me to write this. I know many of you believe like I do, but some of you have other beliefs. That's okay (as long as you don't bash me, please). Some people have trouble being "real" online. That's not my problem; I have to force myself to maintain my boundaries. Although I love sympathy and encouragement, that is not why I wrote this. I just want to remind myself, the next time I am drowning in doubt, that on Saturday, January 16, 2010, I chose to believe. It's taking everything I have, but I'm hanging on to the One in whom I have believed, and I'm not letting go.