What a week this has been. After months of preparation (mostly spiritual), much prayer and trusting in the promises of God I’m living in Texas. To be completely transparent with you I’ll let you know that I feel nothing like I expected. I’ve been EXTREMELY discouraged since I arrived here. From the moment we set out on our drive across the country I’ve been covered by what has felt like a cloud of discouragement and doubt. This week has been hard. The story has a good ending… er middle rather, but I’ll get to that.
Most of the discouragement has come in the form of financial concerns. My needs are met, make no mistake, but things are tight and I’m being stretched in a way that I didn’t realize I needed stretched. It also doesn’t make things easier that I live in an apartment that costs $200 more per month than my house payment in Indiana. Cost of living is higher, to say the least. I’m also in the process of eliminating debt, etc. In just the last couple of weeks I’ve had an unexplainable decrease in work which has made things even more challenging. It’s been very easy for doubts to creep in. “God, why did you lead me here only to pull the rug out from under me financially” has been the sentiment of my prayers. In moments of clarity I see His perfect provision, even though it seems to wait until the last possible moment to intercede in my circumstances. I don’t need to go on and on about the circumstances, I’m sure at some point in your life you’ve faced a similar situation. But this is where the story changes.
Tonight I attended the first worship service at Gateway since moving here. The worship was of course amazing and was a wonderful reminder of His Amazing Love and how unimportant my struggles seem in comparison. Pastor Dino Rizzo from Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, LA was speaking and so many of his words were an incredible encouragement in this time. He spoke about how Satan loves to cause a storm after an act of obedience, and how when we take a step to be where God wants us he’ll come in and try to destroy our trust and our faith. Amen to that.
He also talked about being in “the middle” of God’s promise. God gives you a promise and in the process of getting to that promise you have to experience the middle, which is the process of turning you into the person He needs you to be in order to fulfill that purpose He has for you. Amen to that.
The scripture was Luke 8:22-25 where Jesus is napping in the boat and the disciples begin to worry about the storm that comes about. He asks them where their faith is. I feel ashamed that I was so quick to doubt God’s promise just because things haven’t been just the way I wanted them to be. Instead I should be trusting in His perfect plan and provision, even if it doesn’t make me as comfortable as I’d like.
After the service was over, a man sitting in the row in front of me asked me if he could have my contact information. I was excited that someone at church had taken the time to introduce themselves and was interested to get in touch with me, but of course I was curious, why had he asked? Turns out he heard me tell someone else sitting next to him about being a web designer and he himself is a search engine optimization specialist. God is amazing.
Several times this week Abraham has come to mind. When you think about God asking him to sacrifice his son Isaac it’s easy to focus on the sacrifice, reflecting on how difficult it would be if God asked you to do something so unbelievable. But I’ve been thinking about another aspect of God’s command. Remember the promise that God had given Abraham? The promise to make his descendants as numerous as the stars through Isaac? Well, that promise was obviously tied to Isaac’s fate and I believe the reason that Abraham was willing to take the steps of faith up that mountain in Moriah to sacrifice his son was because he believed that God wouldn’t break his promise. He trusted his son would live because God had already promised to bring Abraham many descendants through him.
So, I’ll continue to trust. Trust that if there are valuable trust lessons for me to learn through hard financial times that it’s for the best.Trust that if God wants me to live a life of limited financial means that I’ll be okay with whatever he provides. Trust that He has made me a promise and that he never breaks his promises.