"Be not afraid, O land;
be glad and rejoice.
Surely the LORD has done great things.
22 Be not afraid, O wild animals,
for the open pastures are becoming green.
The trees are bearing their fruit;
the fig tree and the vine yield their riches.
23 Be glad, O people of Zion,
rejoice in the LORD your God,
for he has given you
the autumn rains in righteousness.
He sends you abundant showers,
both autumn and spring rains, as before.
24 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.
25 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
the great locust and the young locust,
the other locusts and the locust swarm —
my great army that I sent among you.
26 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
and you will praise the name of the LORD your God,
who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
27 Then you will know that I am in Israel,
that I am the LORD your God,
and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed." Joel 2:21-27
I love reading the book of Joel. (Okay, I say that about a lot of different books.) Joel starts out with warnings and destruction and then a breath of fresh air swoops in and we get such encouragement from God. It says to not be afraid and to rejoice in God. Rejoice in God. That is key for all things, isn't it. When we are at the lowest of lows, nothing else matters, but delighting and rejoicing in God.
I kind of forgot that, I think. And sometimes I forget that God is God and He can do what He wants, and He can solve problems in ways that I can't even imagine. And yet we try to solve them for Him.
Andy got the official word that his work year is wrapping up. He has a few weeks left of work this year and then he's done already. It actually is sort of good timing at first, because we have a huge conference going on at the beginning of October, and he won't have to ask off of work for it. (And feel somewhat bad for doing so.) But. We're so not ready this year for a lay-off time. We still haven't caught up from last year's lay-off time. So since Andy got the news at work last week, we've both been kind of quietly racking our brains, trying to figure out what we're going to do. What things can be done to bring in income, that kind of thing. And in my prayer time I've been praying for that extra side work to come in for Andy, and for it to be on the calendar so that we can have peace of mind, really.
Except that God is God. I was reminded of that yesterday. We had a bit of a testimony time at church where people shared about all the good things that God has done over the last several months. There were people who got up and shared about how they had no money to the point that they literally had empty refrigerators, and I just was floored by that. God came to their rescue and provided abundantly for them to fill their fridges and feed their families. I realized then that I was worrying for no reason. Because I have been worrying. Our freezer is not stocked well. Our pantry is not stocked like I like, and there are many times where I find myself wishing I had extra money to really do the stocking up that I want to. But last night I realized that I don't need to stock up.
I had to apologize to God. I had to say I was sorry for trying to dictate answers to Him. I try to solve our money problems by thinking that God will send us a mystery check or will send the right odd jobs to Andy, or even that his place of employment will suddenly have more work for him. And yes, all that is possible, but do you know what? I really just want to let God be God. I want to rely on His provision completely. What if, by praying for work or a mystery check, I'm holding back the real blessing of having God completely eliminate any and all debt? Really. He could totally do that. What if, by praying that my van keeps working fine I'm holding back God blessing us with a new vehicle? Last week I finally bought the very last things we need for school this year, because I kind of had to. With Andy's work coming to a close, money wouldn't be there in a few weeks when I actually need the items. And yet, as I've been assembling school materials this year, do you know what I was asking God for? I was asking that the money would come in to buy the materials. Don't I feel stupid now.
And so I pray this morning that He will open up my eyes and my mind. I pray that I will stop trying to put God in a box, and just let Him do what He does best- and that is take care of His children. I know He will take care of us in the best way that He thinks possible. God loves us, and He will not allow harm to come to us. I trust that. I trust in Him completely. I will rejoice in the time to come- and I will rejoice in the now. I will rejoice and be glad because God is our supply and our provision. God will provide, and you know what? By letting Him take over, by giving up my control over situations, I'm totally opening up to a situation where we are going to have a wonderful testimony to share. That's what I can't wait for. I can't wait to be able to tell everyone we know how God provided for us. How He blessed us in such an incredible and mighty way. Then they will know that He is truly the Lord our God and that He loves ALL His children.