I’ve been debating since yesterday whether to share this story with our followers so I have decided to after writing and prayer…I pray this encourages those who are in a similar situation.
As a single woman on my own since the age of 18, working since the age of 15, I am not that person who has much fall into her lap. You know, like the people who can give a testimony that they were just given something for free or blessed with an overflow of money on a random day, that isn’t my typical story. I’m used to working for everything I have and when there is no money left, there is no money left. I don’t have parents that can lend me money or a fall back plan. This weekend I returned home and found myself in a sticky situation- an empty account with no paycheck coming until this Friday. A few expenses that were more than I expected and a few bills that are scheduled to come out this week before payday, no groceries, and less than a half tank of gas that I need to last until Friday. Oh, and our first event coming up this week. What a mess right?
Since my house started construction, I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a second job to purchase the necessities I need when I move in. A tough pill to swallow considering the lack of free time I have. A full time job that I work nine hours a day, four services a week at church plus my responsibilities there, leading vision for the blog, currently planning two events for close friends, and starting school in a couple weeks to work on my third degree. Oh yeah, and then there’s sleep and most importantly, the necessity of personal time with God…does anyone have some hours I can borrow? My flesh says I need a second job, but my schedule says I don’t have time and my spirit doesn’t desire to drop anything I’m doing for God just for some extra money. Nonetheless, as I shuffle in my brain each week when I can possibly work this other job and not drop any of my responsibilities, I kind of started doing something crazy…I increased my giving. Each week for almost two months now, I have committed myself to sowing into one or more people each week. Sometimes I actually give them money, sometimes a gift, sometimes an invitation to dinner, or a contribution to church activities, but no matter how I’m led to do it; I do it. It’s been great putting smiles on people’s faces and I don’t regret a moment of it, and I don’t plan to stop, the satisfaction I have gotten from it has been liberating. So this weekend as I looked at my bank account, I also stopped and thanked God that before my account was tapped out, I was able to sow into two of my friends. Their satisfaction with their gifts made me feel wonderful and took my mind off of what my account says.
Yesterday though, I felt discouraged because I desired to do more. I really wanted to sow into those at our church who didn’t have an offering but I was staring at an empty account and only $3 in my purse. I put my $3 in the offering envelope during our second service and apologized to God that I didn’t have more to give. The offering portion of our service was as amazing as the sermon- I watched members and other leaders go up and sow into the people at the altar who needed a seed and I cried tears of joy for them and was so happy to see their needs being met in the natural, and also that they were receiving a seed to sow into the Kingdom. I was encouraged because their faith and boldness in walking to the altar spoke to my situation as well. Before we ever advertised our first event, before the paydays at my job were scheduled, before my bills came out of my account over the last two weeks, God knew I would be in this situation. And I see so much of Him in what I am experiencing. A few weeks ago I was mapping out every detail of our event and the money it would take to accomplish it all. At the time I thought I had a plan figured out to pay for it all, a plan that obviously failed…MY PLAN. If MY PLAN had worked, I may not have been as moved by service yesterday because I would have had money to spare. If MY PLAN had worked I wouldn’t be writing this article because I’d have no testimony to give. If MY PLAN had worked I wouldn’t need to rely on God as much this week as I do now. The lesson I’m learning? If MY PLAN doesn’t give God the glory- even if MY PLAN is going towards things He’s led me to do- then He has to intervene. Every piece of me, every piece of what I do, must be with a GOD goal in mind, not just a GOOD goal in mind because I told the Lord I was committing all of me to Him, and now I have to walk it out. As my Pastor stated yesterday, God is not the author of our trouble but He is the publisher and He will allow trouble so that we can prove if we really rely on Him or what’s in His hand. Well friends, my immediate conclusion this weekend was that God is my only option- not just because of my money situation today, but because of my life situation always. God has done amazing things for me and now the same mind that mulls over his greatness now worries about money this week? No way. And yesterday I got just a taste of what I believe God will do this week as I received a monetary donation from a friend for our community service project this Saturday at the soup kitchen.
I wanted to share my “right now” situation with you because I know there are others out there like me not just this week, but most weeks. Our first thought is usually to figure out what we can do with our own hands to solve our problems but having more money or whatever you are in need of isn’t a guarantee. Many times are second thought is to give up, but what does that do? Should I stop coming to work, not attend my church’s midweek services, cancel the event, or stress over the bill I can’t cover? Quitting doesn’t stop my situation from occurring; it paralyzes me in the temporary. If I only hope in the paycheck that’s coming on Friday, I’ve also put my hope in the temporary because just like the previous paycheck, that one is going to run out too. But God has no limits. He’s never drained, He’s never empty, and He doesn’t just come around every two weeks. I’m more interested in the SUPPLIER than the SUPPLIES. If I trust in what I receive, I’ll always need more. But if I trust in God, He will give me what I need now, the more that I don’t even know I need yet, and He will even supply some of my wants. So my strategy this week is this…I’m not missing church, I’m not cancelling anything we have planned for our event and community service project, and I’m not slacking on my prayer and study time to worry nor will I use that time to complain to God about what I don’t have. As for my thoughts about the second job, over the course of writing this article this morning I realized I already have one…sowing.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Matthew 6:33 (NLT)