I was lying in bed last night worrying about our family finances. God and I have been having an ongoing conversation about money ever since we've become two-house homeowners. Even after selling one on land contract, I continue to fret while we dig out of the hole that dual ownership has left us in. Our chat went something like this:
Frank: "I know I need to trust you God."
"I've already seen several ways that you're taking care of me this week. Unexpected income. A not-too-disastrous tax return."
"Not too disastrous? I thought you'd appreciate it a bit more."
"Oh, I do, I do. It's just that . . ."
"Just that what?"
"Just that, well, I never seem to have enough."
"That is because you keeping looking at your need instead of looking at your provision."
"You're right. I know that these circumstances are more about teaching me - teaching me humility. Teaching me responsibility. Teaching me discipline."
"And to trust."
Still I continued to fret and stew. Then, and I'm not exactly sure why, I determined to set aside "my needs" and begin praying about other people and their needs. I prayed for my sons, that they would do well in school today. I prayed that God would make them better men than their old man. I prayed that He would make them into giants in the Kingdom, used for His glory and purposes.
I prayed for Tracy and Abby and the work that they're doing in Haiti. I prayed that they would be safe and protected from the evil one. I prayed that the lessons they're learning will stick with them and change their lives. I prayed for South Lansing Christian Church. I prayed for marriages that are hurting. Kids that are struggling. People who need healing.
I'm not really sure when I stopped praying, to be honest, because I drifted off to sleep. It was the best night of sleep that I've had in a long time.
When I awoke this morning, my financial woes are still there. I have to make a couple hard choices today. I think my credit rating will take a beating either way. Nevertheless, there is a sense of assurance that was lacking yesterday. A sense of hope. I don't know where all the answers are going to come from, and maybe that is the point. If I had all the answers, I wouldn't have to rely on the Father so much.
Self-reliance is a hard habit to break. Eventually, though, there is freedom in abandoning it.
Or so I am told.