At the beginning of 2023, April and I stepped out in faith to meet a need. We were excited about taking this step, especially April. She could use her gifting and trained skills to bless families. At first, things were going well. Then one by one, the families chose to go in a different direction. It was as if they were turning their nose up at what April brought to the table.
As I pondered these events, I compared the families’ actions to refusing filet mignon and, instead, choosing to go dumpster diving. In other words, God wanted to bless these families with a loving, faithful servant of his, and they were turning their backs on her. Their behavior reminded me of the Israelites, which will be discussed in another blog post.
April and I’s savings account took a huge hit making this opportunity possible. And with no one seeking April’s services, covering our added expenses month to month was like watching a gas pump running in reverse regarding our savings account. It was hemorrhaging. We needed God to perform a miracle.
About the same time these events began unfolding, I started rereading Psalms but this time from The Message version. What stood out to me was how much complaining there is about God and his behavior. Take the following verses:
Get up, God! Are you going to sleep all day?
Wake up! Don’t you care what happens to us?
Why do you bury your face in the pillow?
Why pretend things are just fine with us?
And here we are—flat on our faces in the dirt,
held down with a boot on our necks.
Get up and come to our rescue.
If you love us so much, Help us! Ps. 44:23-26 (MSG)
Asking, “What is causing these people to say these things to God?” one can only point to one reason, “Fear!” I have to admit, I could now understand these individuals. Watching our savings account dwindle, I, too, was asking, “What are you doing, God? Why won’t you help and rescue us in our time of need?
I was trying to think of any possibilities that would keep us from living on the street. I checked into one course of action, but then I sensed God’s Spirit whisper, “Don’t turn to men for what you are asking God to do.” Out of fear, I almost put our house on the market, but it didn’t feel right.
I enlarged my prayer circle. A friend told me that God shared with her, “The bigger the miracle, the bigger the group praying needs to be.” I sensed divine direction and followed it. I took action, and God answered one of my prayers three days later. I had to ask God, “What is it with you and three days?” Then I laughed. He did too. I think.
The following week we got another answer to prayer for April. You won’t find our home on Zillow.com, and in a few months, our savings account will return to a respectable level. God doesn’t sleep, and we are always on his mind. He knows when things are not fine in our lives, but it is always okay to express what we are feeling and going through to Him. It’s never fun going through the valleys of life. I’m not a fan of having my faith tested, but with that confession, let me wrap this up with two thoughts. Both, though tuff, brought me some comfort:
The tester wants you to pass. The tempter wants you to fail.
6 This makes you very happy. But now for a short time different kinds of troubles may make you sad. 7 These troubles come to prove that your faith is pure. This purity of faith is worth more than gold. Gold can be proved to be pure by fire, but gold can be destroyed. But the purity of your faith will bring you praise and glory and honor when Jesus Christ comes again. 1 Peter 1:6-7 (ICB)
Okay. One more:
16-18 So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.
2 Cor. 4:17-18 (MSG)
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