Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
6 in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3: 5-6
A few weeks ago my husband and I found ourselves in a stressful situation. We met to have our weekly financial meeting and found that we were in trouble. We are no strangers to financial hardship. In the last four years, I have been a stay at home mom and it has been a financial challenge. Through each challenge we have learned more about dependence on Christ for our needs. The bottom line was that we had about $20 to feed our family (of 5) and not enough gas money for that week. We didn’t know what we were going to do.
My husband was confident that God would provide our needs. I was breaking down. How were we going to feed our family? How were we going to get our son to his preschool graduation? Questions flooded my mind that I couldn’t answer. I spent a whole day stressing out and breaking down over the situation. To make the situation a little more dire we were expecting company during the week. Before the next paycheck we needed to feed our family, get my son to his rehearsal & graduation, take him out for ice cream as promised, and provide for our company for two days. It was impossible!
I called the wisest woman in my life….my mom. We talked and talked. I told my mom that I couldn’t understand why God wasn’t providing through my husband’s job? We were doing everything we could do to provide for our family. She agreed we were doing everything we could possibly do to provide for our family. Then she said something that baffled me. She said, “Kelly, you are putting God in a box.”
How could I be doing that? This is how He provides for people…through their jobs…right? I just didn’t understand what she was saying at all. That night I prayed for God to show me how I was putting Him in a box.
The next day I went to church. Our pastor was speaking on being our brother’s keeper. How as Christians we are supposed to fill needs that we see in our circles of influence. God can use our overflow to provide for others in need around us. I knew then that we were on the receiving end of that. God was going to provide, but not the way I wanted him to or expected Him to provide.
God did provide! We received money from a few people who were close to us. God provided everything on our checklist of stuff for the week. We had enough food for our family, enough gas for our son’s graduation, ice cream money, and enough for our company. I was blown away by God! He provided all our needs! Then it happened.
The day before my husband was going to get paid I was praising God for all that He had done on my way to the bus stop to pick up our oldest son. As I waited, I made small talk with the other mother at the bus stop. A few weeks ago she lost her job. She had no leads and no idea what she was going to do. That day she seemed depressed. She told me she slept all day. I was telling her about our dinner plans (and in my mind thanking God again for the food we had). She had company coming for a chicken dinner, but just before she came to the bus stop her sister called to tell her that she was bringing a friend. She told me she didn’t have enough and didn’t know what to do. We talked about how to cut the portions to create more as the kids walked off the bus. She said she would figure it out and we parted ways. I went inside, checked the backpack, woke up my husband, and started to cook the goulash. As I was standing at the stove God spoke. A thought went through my head pointing out that I had a whole bag of chicken breasts in my freezer and I needed to give it to her. I went in my freezer and there was a whole bag of unopened chicken breasts! I couldn’t believe it…we had extra!
I ran back to my husband. I quickly explained the situation. He agreed we should give her the chicken and throw in a box of potatoes if we had them in the pantry. I looked and we had one box of potatoes. Then I got nervous…what would she say…what would she think? I had never done this before. I asked my husband and he said well if she doesn’t want it then just bring it home. So I went.
I knocked on her door with all the joy in my heart fully expressed on my face.I told her we had an extra bag of chicken and we weren’t going to use it so we wanted her to have it. She was excited. She double checked and then took the chicken relieved that she would have enough for her dinner.
As I came in the door my husband was standing there. I jumped into his arms squealing that she took it!! I have never been more full of joy!!! I looked at him and told him how in awe I was at God! This was our nothing week. God not only provided all our needs, but He provided extra for another family!!!! Out of our NOTHING!!! He provided for us, our company, and another family that week……and he didn’t need Tim’s paycheck to do it! God blew my box up!
I realized that day how much we rely on ourselves and how God doesn’t need us. He can provide all by himself. He is God. I am not. He can do whatever He wants.
Thank you Lord for providing all my needs each day. Thank you that you are who you say you are. Thank you for your faithfulness to those that love you. Lord I am amazed by you. You are all that I need. Please help me to trust you daily even when I don’t understand. Help me to know you more deeply each day through your word. Thank you for showing up in our lives. Help us to see you each day. In Jesus Name, Amen.