Monday, January 31, 2011

Make It Grow

“ For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 

“ For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      So are My ways higher than your ways,
      And My thoughts than your thoughts."  Isaiah 55:8-9

Every time I read these verses in the Bible, they make me smack myself a little bit.  Every time.  These are some of those verses that should be posted somewhere in the house so that we see them every single day.  Because we are always trying to give God the answers to our problems.  Always.  It seems that no matter how many times I see God answer our prayers and needs in unexpected ways, I still always try and solve a dilemma in my head, trying to figure out exactly how God will take care of it.  I really need to stop doing that.  And I really need to find a way to make my faith grow.

I was telling Andy the other day that every month God comes through for us, and I just shake my head, because I knew things were going to be okay, and yet... and yet I still spend time worrying- even just a little.  Usually around the middle of the month I can look at the bank account, look at the odd jobs Andy has lying around, do the math, and I know that we will not have enough to meet our end of the month expenses- primarily our rent.  And then I look at the pantry and fridge, and I think that, well, we have to eat, so I go grocery shopping and I regret spending money on groceries.  And then the end of the month rolls around.  And somehow, Andy has worked a little extra or done something unexpected, or actually got called into work for a few days, and- imagine that- we had enough to pay our bills AND put food on the table. 

And I KNOW that God is going to make things work out according to His plans, and yet, it seems like every month at some point I can't help but do that mental math and I just know things don't add up to having all the bills met.  I have been working more and more on not worrying- on not focusing on the lack of money that is present at times- because God can work in mysterious ways and make everything all right.  I still remember several years ago, Andy was laid of for about six months and things were beyond dire.  And yet, every bill was paid, and we had food on the table.  When I went back and did the bookkeeping afterwards, the math did not add up.  We had more outgoing money than incoming.  In black and white, it was right there in front of us, and yet our bank account was not in the red.  There was little in it- but it was on the plus side.  God worked something miraculous with our finances during that time. 

Yet that worry likes to creep in often, so I've been spending time reading the gospels, because the words of Jesus always seem to chase that worry away, and they help my faith to grow, and to expect that God does take care of His children.  Take a look at this passage below:

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
“So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble."  Matthew 6:25-33

Right there.  He says that we need not worry about clothing or food, because God will provide.  Luke, chapter 12 also says similar things.   We also need not worry about having a roof over our heads, so doesn't it stand to reason, that as long as we are good stewards with the little money that comes in this time of year, that we will be able to pay our rent and put food on the table?   Being good stewards is a learned thing though- it hasn't always been like that for us.  There was a time where money would come in, and we would spend it on things we didn't need- things like movies, CD's, video game things, going out to dinner, things like that.  We just were not wise and careful, and then we started learning about giving and tithing, and we found that as we tithed, and as we gave out of the little we had instead of spending frivolously, that things began to fall into place and we could rely on God's provision.  Because He provides for His children.

And yet every month, I find myself in that place of trying to figure out for myself exactly how we're going to come up with the money to meet all our bills.  I want my faith to grow.  I don't want to give away time I could be spending doing something productive to the act of worrying.  Worry is a waste of time, and God always has thoughts and plans for us that I couldn't even dream up myself.  So I need to stop answering for God and just let Him do what He's going to do. Because He's a great God and an awesome Father, and He cares deeply for ALL His children.

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