“Oh if I could just win the lottery, it would solve so many problems”, she lamented zeroing out her checkbook once again, the bills were paid, but some were a little late and there was nothing leftover, no extras.
I have to admit I let my mind wander there, then I got into a conversation with God about it, then I bought a lottery ticket, I obviously did not win.
It is an easy trap to fall into, resting on the security of the things of this world rather than resting in the security of Jesus, I am guilty of it myself. We have 401K’s as security for our future retirement, health insurance for future illnesses, savings accounts for future emergencies. I am not saying any of those things are bad it is good to plan for the future, but what do you do and where do you go when those things dry up?
What do you when you are hit with an illness that has maxed out your health insurance benefits, the medical bills have dried up your savings and you are now tapping into your 401K to pay the doctors?
What do you do when a job loss has taken your health insurance, the unemployment has run out, and your savings account is just about empty?
What do you do when you have a child who got mixed up with the wrong crowd and is now hooked on drugs? You have used every available resource to get them help, your tank is dry and your child has once again relapsed and there is no more money left for another rehab.
The nasty divorce that has dragged on for too many years and has left you depleted in every sense of the word.
Do you wait for that mysterious check to arrive in the mail? Most of us have heard one story or another about stuff like that happening, days away from foreclosure and a check arrives from a long lost relative they never knew about or the letter in the mail that your bill has been paid in full and you are pretty sure that it wasn’t you who paid it, do you buy a lottery ticket?
For the last few days I have been feeling the nudge to share what God has been doing in my life, but it has taken some time process my thoughts.
1. If you have read any of my previous posts you will know I how much I loved my dog Whitney. She was a handful, at times headstrong and willful, but I loved her just the same. My promise was that when it got to the point where she could not enjoy life anymore and that she was just merely trying to get through the days I would let her go, that time came this past December, you can read that here. We had 13 good years together and although I miss her and still love her I don’t regret making that decision, actually in many ways she made the decision for me, she pretty much let me know that she was ready to go. I felt peace that day, a peace that passes understanding. Our last days together were good ones, we had a gorgeous summer and we spent many of our days at the neighborhood pond swimming and hiking (well, she would swim) having no idea that soon I would be saying good bye to her. I have often wondered if God cares about those tiny things, I have determined He does. I had a whole summer to say good bye to her, He gave me extra time with her to say good bye, to make our last days together count, and we did.
2. Have you ever wondered where God is the midst of your turmoil? He is right there with you, and He will let you know it, but so often we are looking for Him to show up on our terms that we totally miss Him showing up altogether, so often what we think we need is not what we need at all. That is something that He has taught me time and time again as I walk this journey. The mysterious check did not come in the mail as I was paying the bills and realized I didn’t have enough to cover the expenses, but what He did do is lay it on a persons heart to write a blog post that felt like it were a love letter just for me straight from God, I would receive a phone call or an e-mail from someone just letting me know they were thinking about me, He would lead me to a particular scripture or an overwhelming sense of peace would come over me, He would lead me to a bible study I needed to be in, or just a gentle nudge that He was still with me letting me know it is going to be ok. No I didn’t get what I wanted, He gave me what I needed, and that was Him.
3. I have been attending the Christian Life and Witness course my church has been hosting by the Billy Graham Association, I need to be there, I am supposed to be there. Lately I have been feeling the nudge to go deeper, to let go and go deeper, I have gone as far as I can go and now it is time to dig deeper, and when I cried out to Jesus that I didn’t even know what that looked like, along came this class, and a book. The Christian section of the public library knows me very well and I know it, so as I was perusing the shelves last week I was a little taken aback when I saw a book that did not belong. In the hundred or so times I have been there I have never seen that book before, but there it was with its orange cover nestled among all the other black ones sticking out just enough to get my attention, Let Go by Sheila Walsh, of course it had go home with me, He told me just that morning to let go. He has given me what I need, to do what He what He wants me to do.
4. There are so many things this past year that I have done that I would not have been able to do if I had still been working. There are serving opportunities and bible studies I have had the chance participate in, I have met some great new friends, but I think the most important thing I was craving was time with Him. My days were often long, more often than not I would say a quick prayer before I left for work in the morning and a quick prayer in my car in the parking garage before I went inside to start my day, but many times I was just too tired to give Him any quality time, I was too tired to take that relationship deeper, He gave me the time. I have realized that God is not nearly as interested in my life as I am. In other words, He was interested in developing a relationship with me and building my character, I was interested in paycheck. I have recently made the decision to go back to college, something else I would not have even thought about if I were still working. I was comfortable, making a good living and even though I felt like I was suffocating I saw no reason to change, so He changed it for me. God is good like that.
I still haven’t gotten to the point of total surrender, of complete and inexplicable faith, I want to, so badly do I want to, but I haven’t gotten there yet. I worry that the money is going run out before another means of support comes along, I worry about the day coming when I won’t be able to pay the mortgage, I worry about finding a job that will pay me enough to meet my responsibilities. I haven’t gotten to the point of letting go and letting God take care of that. But I do know that this season is all from Him, it is Him taking me deeper, building that relationship because making me comfortable is not nearly as important to Him as developing my character.
Father, help me to let go and surrender it all to you today, to not worry about how I am going to get through tomorrow, help get through my life today completely surrendered to You. In Jesus name I pray.