When I ended yesterday, God had just provided Valentines and Laundry detergent for our family. He was teaching me to rely on Him and Him alone to provide for ALL our needs, and even some wants, like the Valentines. Something that seemed so trivial to me, but something that screamed PROVISION on the Lord’s part.
During month number 3 of waiting for our check, and choosing to continue to refrain from grocery shopping, the supplies in our pantry and deep freeze were rapidly diminishing. Again, God provided in a way only HE could. He is SO good to provide for my every need before it even crosses my mind to ask Him for them!!!!!!!
I owed a promised photo order to a friend and had to call her and apologize that I was unable to place my order with her or pay her, until we received this illusive check. She was very gracious and gave me an extended time to take care of it. We hung up, and I felt much better about it all.
Not 5 minutes later HER MOTHER shows up at my door toting bags and bags of groceries for us.
I was blown away.
I just stood there and WEPT, as she brought in load after load of food for us.
Here this precious woman, who only knew me through her daughter, was allowing God to use her, to provide for a need of ours. She told me that just yesterday, she was looking in her cupboards wondering why she had so much food for just her husband and herself? She instantly knew why, when she heard of our situation. She was going to share her food with us, asking only for prayer in return. What an amazing moment! It was food for my soul as much as for my families tummies!
It was right after this that the Lord started showing me verses about the Sparrows not worrying about what they will eat, or what they will wear, yet my Father in Heaven cares enough to feed them. He also reminded me that He wanted me to rely on Him to meet my needs for today and today only.
No gathering manna for tomorrow, it would only spoil. (Exodus 16) I was SO grateful for His provision from Valentines, to laundry soap, to groceries, that I was able to let go of another piece of my fear.
Hadn’t He proven His faithfulness enough for me to believe He was not going to let us go without?
Oh ME of little faith.
Dale was very thankful for this precious woman’s kindness, but a bit frustrated that I was talking about our finances to people. I assured him I had not asked for help, only called about a bill and this was as much a surprise to me, as it was to him.
Humble pie is hard for a man to swallow and I know he struggled with that on and off this whole process. I did my best to be supportive and let him know we were a team. It was us against the world, survival of the fittest.
It’s easy for our guys to feel as if their value is determined by their financial worth. I could tell by the slump in his shoulders, that he was taking this personally. I had to be careful the words that came out of my mouth like: “No Taco Bell kids, we don’t have money to eat out right now”.
I didn’t mean it offensive or hurtful, just was stating the reality, a verbal reminder of what can and cannot be at the moment. I tried my best to be encouraging to Dale, telling him I appreciate him getting out there everyday to sell, despite what the numbers in the bank show.
We started reading a financial prayer book my aunt had given us, talking about the power of spoken prayer using God’s word, and are starting to pray for our finances in that way. “When you speak God’s Word over your finances, you are planting seeds that will grown and produce abundantly for you.” We added this to our evening devotions in hopes that God would release His blessings on us once again.
You can imagine my shock and surprise, when MORE food showed up that next day. More meaning, my entire kitchen table full plus 2 big boxes and 2 large grocery bags on the floor. This time it was from my friend, who had asked her group of friends, for extra staples and groceries for a family in need.
It is SUCH a humbling experience to be on the other end of a grocery drive.
Once my grocery angel left, and it was just me in the kitchen, I just stood there and looked around at all these wonderful items we’d been blessed with and sobbed. Just sobbed at the blessings others had bestowed upon us, having no idea who it was going to, yet willing to pull from their very own cupboards to help another family out.
My kids ran around like it was Christmas, picking up on my excitement and tears, thanking Jesus for our food and asking questions like, “Are we poor?” This opened the door for great conversation about God’s provision in our lives, and we immediately went to splitting up the extras for a family we knew could use it. God had provided for our need in a MAJOR way, the least we could do was pay it forward, and bless them as well.
Dale came in from working out in our shed, to me putting away groceries. As I knelt there, unloading cans and packages of wonderful items onto empty pantry shelves, I mentally prepared myself that he may be offended by this and thought for sure he’d say: “You know we’ll be fine once this check hits, you shouldn’t have accepted this.”
Instead, I saw this softness come over him. I am unsure how to explain what I saw, but a physical change occurred, and he very quietly, and very humbly said: “We’ve always been on the other side of this sort of thing, maybe our job is to humble ourselves and be receivers at this time, allowing OTHERS the blessing that comes from giving.”
Praise God for the work He is doing in both our hearts!
The organized part of me wants to continue to think and plan ahead, make lists, and have excess funds in the ol’ bank accounts to feel safe. Yet the Lord continues to challenge me to hand over my “security net” and trust Him to not let my foot strike a stone. (Ps. 91:12)
Fast forward another month, and here I sit, typing you at 1 in the morning, and STILL working on letting go of my fear, and not taking it back again.
It’s now March 2nd, 5 months later, and still we await this specific check, actually ANY check will do. We’ve waited so long, that the second the check hits, it will be spent and gone on the bills we have pending. However, I have learned, and am still learning, to commit it to him. To not waste another MINUTE of these precious moments in time, worrying about what we will eat, what we will wear, how I can pay several thousand dollars worth of bills when the numbers DO NOT ADD UP. Yet time and time again, month after month, week after week, minute after minute, He takes care of me and my family….just in time.
One day, my families financial “store house” will be full again, maybe even overflowing, and we’ll look back on this time and see God’s finger prints all over it. We are learning valuable lessons, and sadly, it took lack of finances to get our attention and refocus it on our Father and His desire to provide for our every need, big or small.
May we never take on the spirit of self-sufficiency again! God disciplines those He loves! And like a piece of coal passes through fire and becomes something of beauty, so He is doing the same in our lives. And when we get through this fire? Something refined and beautiful will be there for all to see HIS glory in.
Hebrews 12:6, 9-11 “For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children. For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God’s discipline is always right and good for us because it means we will share in his holiness. No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it is painful! But afterward there will be a quiet harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.”
Praise His name!