Ok….so I have to do a follow up to my blog earlier this week – with several suggestions on ways to cut back to survive the looming economic crisis. (which by the way if you haven’t been following the comments – there are some great additional suggestions posted – read them here)
While all these cost cutting measures may be effective – you could still find yourself stressed out by financial concerns and worries as well as having those months, seasons or even years where the ends simply don’t meet. Despite our “bare bones” living, we still have many times where the money runs out before the month does. We have also experienced things seemingly outside our control like – unemployment, loss of income, business going bust, unexpected medical expenses, housing depreciation (we bought at the top of the market in 1990 and our home lost value for seven years!) and other financial hardships that no amount of cutting back would solve. I mean really, when you go from two incomes to none…you have nothing to work with.
So how do you survive an economic crisis at that point?
You trust God…
….not yourself, any man or woman, your employer, your company or the government!
Many Christians are quick to say, out of their mouths, that they trust God…but then continue on with their “laundry list” of fears, worries and concerns about how they are not going to make it. I try to bite my tongue and just listen sympathetically but sometimes I just can’t help myself and I have to point out that they are really not trusting God. (ok, so sometimes I can be a bit forthright)
If we truly trust God with our finances then we should have complete peace, assurance and confidence not anxiety, fear and insecurity. Now don’t start thinking that I have it all together or am judging you in any way if you voice your financial fears. I struggle with trust as much as anyone….it is just that I have personally seen the Lord provide for my family over & over & over again when we have been in desperate and unimaginable circumstances and each time my faith is strengthened and I am stronger and more faithful with each hardship that comes my way. When friends say to me – “I wish I had your faith or I wish I had that peace”, I am quick to point out that the faith and peace are a result of the life I have lived, they are not just a personality trait, gift, talent or the “way God made me”. Actually I am no different than anyone else. Faith and peace have been cultivated and grown through our Biblical responses to the hardships in our lives. I guess you can say – “practice makes perfect”. (Ie: If you want strong faith and a life of peace – ask God to bring on the hardships! LOL)
God has “proved” Himself faithful to us time and again. (not that He needs to prove anything – but nonetheless He has) Over the years the Lord has provided in so many different ways –
- being surprised with an incredibly low gas & electric bill
- getting an unexpected end of the year car insurance rebate
- a parent at the high school blessing us with a gas and grocery store gift card just in the nick of time and for no apparent reason other than to say, thank you
- a surprise Christmas bonus
- the neighbors who run a catering business asking us to “please” take their extras off their hands
- bags of groceries left on the front porch during very hard times
- dear friends who have seen a practical need in our home and decided to provide it for us (we were just recently blessed with new windows in our entire home, extra insulation & ceiling fans by someone who saw our problem and decided that they wanted to solve it)
- an opportunity for a “side job” like coaching, supervising Saturday School, doing handyman work or someone coming by and makes a large purchase from my CM business right when it is most needed
- someone giving us their used car when they no longer need it – apologizing that it probably will last just a couple more years (and then on faith & fumes it continues to drive for seven years – amazing!)
I could go on and on sharing both the little and big ways that God has met our needs (and even many of our wants) – but I really just want to encourage you that yes, He does provide. It may not always be in the way you expect or look the way you think it should look – but He does come through every time. And He always will.
He is worthy of our trust! You can count on Him. Here is His promises to us from the His word (Matthew 6:25-34) .
“For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink ; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?
And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing ? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you?
You of little faith! (Ok so the Lord is a bit forthright too!)
Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ “For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Amen! We could all use a little dose of this advice, heh?)
Coming soon – part 3, part 4 and perhaps even a part 5 to surviving the economic crisis….but for today let’s all simply….