I got some good encouragement right when I needed it yesterday.
I was reading my Bible (yes, it’s one of those posts) and I’ve been going through the Psalms and read number 121, verses 1 and 2.
I will lift my eyes up to the hills–From whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth (New King James Version). And then, in a little devotional booklet I have, it said to read Matthew 6: 25-34. In summary, it’s Jesus saying, “Don’t worry about anything–food, drink, clothing, or anything else–because I have it covered. Worrying does nothing anyway.”
That was already some good stuff for me because I felt God telling me that I was trying to clutch a little too tightly to my own ability. I’ve been trying to get a summer job between school semesters, and I’ve been really relying on getting a job to pay for a few things, namely car repairs. But I felt God telling me to ease off and trust Him, not a paycheck. But then my wife texted me immediately afterwards and gave a whole new level of depth to the verses.
My wife lost one of her jobs.
My lovely wife has been working multiple jobs for a long time, especially now to put me through an 18-month ministry internship, during which it became impossible for me to work thanks to an erratic schedule, a lousy housing location (I’ve missed many good opportunities because of where we live), and the economy still being in the toilet. As far as yesterday, she was working three jobs: part time in an optometrist’s office, Fridays as a babysitter for one of the eye doctors, and any free time painting guitars. First, a quick shout-out to my wife for being so loving and supportive, for hiking up her britches and working hard for my sake. I love you baby, and I’ll never forget this sacrifice.
But yesterday, while doing her babysitting stint, the mother let her know that, basically, they couldn’t afford to have her around anymore, so yesterday was her last day of working. That sucks because it was a good $90 every Friday, which adds up to over $300 a month.
Some of you may laugh, but we are already living in a “time of miracles.” At the beginning of every month, our income is about $400 less than our planned outgo, even with her three jobs, even with downsizing tremendously. It’s just a struggle because I can’t work (or not regularly) and we have school payments, college loans, and other things that demand our greenbacks. So, losing an extra $300 a month puts us in a pretty big pickle!
But immediately after hearing the news, my wife and I both smiled.
I smiled because of what I had just learned: I look up to God for help…don’t worry about tomorrow, about what you’ll eat or drink…who, by worrying, can add one inch to his lifeline?…stop relying on a paycheck and rely more on Me. My wife smiled because the night before, she had been praying for relief from the strain of three jobs and asked God for help.
So when this job was taken from us, we both had to smile. God had graciously answered Diana’s prayer, and he had prepared me with words of encouragement for when the bottom fell out. On top of that, my wife is relieved because she don’t have to drive over an hour to this job anymore and she can spend more time painting those guitars (which pays better anyway!).
So, even though we both know this is a rough situation, for once, neither of us is panicking. In fact, neither of us is actually that concerned. For one, God gave us good warning and prepared us ahead of time, and we believe His word is true and good. Second, my wife and I have been on a roller-coaster of trust for a long time. Every time we’ve dipped down into the valley, God has brought us back out. We’ve been here before, and we know not to panic, but rather to put our hands up and scream “WHEEEEEE!” all the way down!
We are going to trust God, as we have trusted before, because He has always come through, and God does not change (Malachi 3:6). And we’re going to do what Jesus said to in that section of Matthew: “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things [needs] shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33).
So here we go, one more ride on the roller coaster, and we will not be afraid because we know God planned this for our benefit, not for our destruction.
Plus, we got a $25 gift card to Applebee’s as a parting gift. WOOT!