I don’t think it’s any secret that we aren’t doing too well financially. Our faith has been tested over and over for the past couple years, culminating in the past few months when we literally have not had enough money to pay our bills, and have been pushing things off each month as hours have not materialized at work, and the paychecks keep getting smaller. There is hope on the horizon, but we’re still here in the valley for now.
I got paid last Friday. It was enough for me to pay our mortgage, pay one bill, and that left $254.26 in our account. I knew that our car insurance would be coming out (which it did today), and that would leave us no money for groceries and gasoline, so I took $240 out in cash to make sure I would be able to get to work for the two weeks, and we would be able to eat (not well, but eat). We bought some groceries, and filled up the tank once, leaving us with $115. Today our tank said it had a quarter of a tank of gas, so I knew we would need to fill up today.
Also, our van has this fancy “hey-idiot-one-of-your-tires-has-low-pressure” lights. It has been going off about once a week for the past three weeks, and we just fill the tire up, and hope it lasts until next payday when we can get it looked at. Today my father-in-law looked at the tire and said there was a nail in it. He said, “You should be able to get that fixed for $5 or $10.” I called our local Discount Tires (where we buy our tires), to ask about the price, and even before he knew I had ever set foot in the place, the guy told me that it’s free to fix the tire. Wow. And when Kim went there today to get it fixed, they said that it is free only if the tire is repairable. Then he told her that since our tire was still under warranty (we bought it there a year ago), if they had to replace the tire it would only cost us $14 for a new one. Wow.
I have read the Bible through several times in the past 30 years, and it still amazes me when God shows me something I’ve never seen before. Monday we were trying to think of how we could make the $115 last for the next week and a half (until payday). This includes being able to travel to Richmond, IN for my wife’s sister’s wedding, which is a once-in-a-lifetime event and we can’t miss it. We have been praying for a check to come in the mail, but the only one that has was a $0.04 check from eBay. It made me laugh that they paid 30 cents or so to send me a check for four cents. Ha.
Anyway, I have been reading through the Bible again, and yesterday I read Isaiah 25:1, and God hit me between the eyes. I know there are those that say the King James is the best version, and I would agree that it sounds the best, but it’s just a fact that we don’t talk like that today, so I think we miss some of the meaning. Sometimes the Greek and Hebrew gets lost in the “King’s English.” So this time I’m reading through in the New American Standard Bible. Isaiah 25:1 says,
“O LORD, You are my God;
I will exalt You, I will give thanks to Your name;
For You have worked wonders,
Plans formed long ago, with perfect faithfulness.”
Did you get that? God has a plan, and God is faithful. He is never surprised. He made these plans a long time ago, and His faithfulness is perfect, so we can be assured that He will carry out His plan. When I combined this verse with His promise in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope,” I understand that God has not abandoned me. No matter how tough the times get, God has not and will not abandon me. Can you count on God? Does the sun rise every morning? Can you trust God? Has He ever given you reason not to trust Him?
We are not going hungry. We are not destitute. Things are worse than they have ever been, and that in and of itself is a testament to God’s goodness and faithfulness. We are truly blessed, and He is firmly in control. Today I am thankful to God for everything that He is doing for me. One day I will look back on this time and thank God for all He has done for me, as I see the effects of our trials ripple through history. I don’t know how God is using our problems to glorify Himself, but I do know that He has a plan, and that He loves me. And that’s more than enough.