Friday, November 22, 2013

Par for the Course

I have often heard that if you follow God's call on your life whole heartedly with reckless abandon, don't expect it to be easy.  Expect Satan to attack; expect trials to come your way because Satan DOES NOT want you to be effective in the spiritual war for lost souls. He does not want us to live in and by faith, reach others for Christ's Kingdom, or point others to Christ with our lives.  When we follow God's call on our life, that's what we are doing, so expect Satan to step in and try to mess things up. Similarly, I have learned that God can lead us into storms like Jesus led His disciples into the literal storm in Matthew 8. Verse 23 of that chapter states that "he got into the boat and his disciples followed him," leading them into the storm.  Through that trial in their lives, the disciples hopefully learned that they needed to trust Jesus with every situation in their lives and stop acting in fear.  When we live and walk by faith, God wants to use us for His glory.  Sometimes, He is most glorified in our weaknesses, so we must trust Him in the storm.  He knows best.

So far, since my husband and I made the decision to step out in faith and transition from two incomes to one so I could follow God's call on my life to stay at home with my children, we have experienced these situations.  Whether they have been from Satan's attacks or God's leading, we have found ourselves in the middle of a faith battle on more than one occasion.  Have we always responded in faith?  Absolutely not.  I have worried, feared, and reacted much like the disciples did in the boat, calling out "Jesus!  Wake up!  Save us from this storm!" more times than I would like to admit.  But God is very patient and gentle with me, much like He was with His disciples.  "Oh, you of little faith" He would gently whisper to my soul, then remind me of His promises in His Word, such as in Exodus 14:14, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still."  Or Proverbs 3:5-6 when He says "Trust in Me with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Me and I will make your path straight."  Then, I would repent of my sin of fear and worry (lack of trust and faith), and He would help me up, dust me off, and equip me with the power to continue to walk with him in faith and obedience.

Recently, on Halloween day actually, my husband got some scary news at work.  Effective January 1, 2014, his company would no longer be paying for our insurance policies--the money would have to come out of his paycheck.  We were hit blindsided with this daunting news, looking at the numbers on paper and being faced with a potential $10,000 pay cut in salary, which is essentially what insurance would add up to in a year.  We couldn't live on that salary.  Only judging by numbers on paper and not by God's omnipotence, we would probably have enough money to pay our immediate bills, but nothing extra--no groceries, gas, clothes, etc.  We wouldn't make it.  So, here we were in the midst of a storm where we could see no sunlight breaking through and we have a baby on the way.  How were we going to pay for medical bills?

In my Bible study, God had been leading me through Matthew and right after this news, He led me to Matthew chapter 6, verses 25-34, which I clung to and prayed throughout this trial.  He reminded me what a big God He is and how He has always taken care of us and He always will because we are His children and we are more important to Him than anything else in Creation.  So, I clung to those promises.  My husband and I swapped off from time to time in our weaknesses.  When I was strong, I lifted him up in his weakness and he did the same for me when my faith would waver.  Ultimately, we knew God would provide for our needs, we just didn't know how.  He is faithful.  He has always been faithful in providing for us; His promise doesn't end when we reach a certain trial.  His promises never expire; they are true all the time just like He is true all the time.

Meanwhile, as we waited out the storm, we had a few options we could pursue--an alternative job or alternative insurance providers.  There was a strong inclination to run!  Out of fear, we could have run to another job or another provider, but we chose to pray and wait for God to direct us where to go.  So, we did and God provided once again.  He has provided insurance for our family at no additional cost to us.  What an amazing God we serve!!  We had nothing to do with this trial and no way of controlling the situation, but we wanted to focus on God and allow Him to use us in the trial for His glory, even if it meant He would use us on the street. Lol.  I have learned that nothing on this earth (my home, material possessions, etc.) comes close to comparing with the relationship I have with my Jesus.  I would give up everything I have to follow Him and to live with Him.  There is no greater security, hope, joy, and love than that of Jesus.  He is our Advocate.  He loves us with a passion and wants the best for us.  That's why He died for us and left us His Word so we can live an abundant life with Him!!

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