It’s been a little while since I posted, I know… life’s been busy. We’ve had our house on the market, dropped our asking price twice, finally got a buyer, encountered problems, worked out problems, encountered more problems, heard they got worked out, had the whole sale fall through, found out there might be a possibility of resurrecting the sale, had those hopes dashed… *sigh* You get the picture.
I find myself struggling between “taking it easy” trusting that God will work things out… and wondering why it sometimes seems that God isn’t content with merely exercising our faith and trust and patience… He always seems to want to stretch it! But no sooner had I thought that last sentence out, then a lightbulb went off in my head. Of course! God’s never content with letting us remain where we’re at… He wants us to grow! Haven’t I said as much on this blog? It’s amazing how fast we forget things sometimes… you know?
For us, this whole moving thing is stretching us in so many ways, because we’re almost starting over in so many ways. (…whenever it happens, of course.) When we first made these plans… well over a year ago… the real estate market here was booming. Our home was worth roughly three times what we paid for it, 5 years ago. We anticipated selling it and having a fantastic nest egg to use for our new start. But it didn’t happen. The real estate market was starting its drop off as we were making those plans. Our house has lost so much of its recent value that we’ve lost almost 50% of that nest egg we thought we’d have. Yes, it’s still worth over twice what we paid for it… but the loss of that money has challenged us. We don’t have what we thought we needed, to follow through on the plans we had made.
So where does that leave us? Trusting God, of course, but sometimes it’s easier said than done.
I’d like to share something about my husband. He is a giver. He is one of the most generous people I’ve ever met, in fact. And sometimes it’s hard for me to accept that. There have been times when he’s given money that I thought we needed… or would need soon. There’s been times when we’ve been given a gift and he’s passed it on to someone else more needy… and I’m sitting here thinking, “Wait a minute! What if God meant that gift for us! We need it!”
But I’ve come to realize that this giving heart that he has is a gift… to ME. It is, perhaps, one of the most valuable qualities that he has… one of biggest things I would loose out on if I lost him. See… I’ve always known that when you give, you plant a seed… a seed that always bears fruit. But more recently I’ve come to have a vauge realization that I really don’t understand how many harvests I have gotten to partake of, merely because I am his wife. How many blessings would we have not gotten if the seed-planting was up to me? Really? Yes, I like to give, too, but I have to admit that I am usually only glad to give out of our abundance. I have a hard time giving some of our daily bread. The problem with that is this… the Bible says that there is a “time for planting and a time for reaping”… not “there is a time for reaping and planting, and a time for doing nothing.” Which is exactly what I would probably end up doing.
My sister sent a link to an article a former pastor of hers had written. It was about money and how it has both a bright side and a dark side… it can be both a blessing and a curse. Much of the article (here, if you’re interested) covers ground that God has already shown me in the past. But there was one sentance in there that really shook me… revealed me to myself.
“When you give, you defy the fear that you won’t have enough.”
And oh, how true that is. When we hear of someone that is needy, and I know my husband’s mind starts thinking about giving to them, what do I do? I usually start mentally calculating how much we can spare… how much we can get by without, just in case he asks for my input. But that’s not the point, is it? God’s provision isn’t for my plans… it’s for His!
Better that I learn to just ask God how much He wants me to give and leave the provision for tomorrow up to Him. Better that I remember all of the times that He’s dropped gifts on us straight from Heaven. Better that I take my trust in my Heavenly Father to a deeper level… to stop trusting that He will provide for my plans, and know that He’s already taken care of the provision for His plans.
So I’m off on this adventure… to learn the deeper secret found in giving… to remember that God never promised to provide for my plans… to once again surrender and find out how much better God’s plans are… to watch God blow my mind again with His provision and grace.
“For He spoke, and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast.
The LORD nullifies the counsel of the nations;
He frustrates the plans of the peoples.
The counsel of the LORD stands forever,
The plans of His heart from generation to generation. ” – Psalm 33:9-11
“The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
“Many plans are in a man’s heart,
But the counsel of the LORD will stand.” – Proverbs 19:21
“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. ” – Isaiah 25:1
“‘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.'” – Jeremiah 29:11