I must confess that the popular view of "Ask And You Shall Receive Whatever You Want" makes me hesitate a bit at sharing this testimony. It really does. However, I believe it is important to testify to others about what God has done in our lives for a couple of reasons. I want to focus on two of them.
First of all, it is a way of giving God the honor due Him. When someone does something which they do not have to do, common courtesy dictates that we need to say "thank you". Often we take it a step further and share with others what this person has done for us, in other words we are showing them honor. Secondly, when we share what God has done in our lives, it serves as an encouragement to others. When I hear about what God has done for someone else, my heart just sings! If I am laboring under a heavy burden, it often seems to vanish when I encounter the testimony of someone else. How I love to hear about what God is doing in the lives of others as well!
It is my hope that in sharing this testimony, someone reading it will be encouraged. They will remember that they are not walking alone. God is with them and He is well aware of their struggles and needs. He does not view these things indifferently. He is intimately aware of them... and He cares.
Right now, due to circumstances beyond our control, my husband and I are facing some financial challenges. This is true of many of us. Due to health reasons, I am currently on a medical leave from my job. In addition to his "normal" hours, my husband often must work after hour events making the taking on of an additional job "challenging" to say the least. Those events do bring in extra income but they are unpredictable and sometimes he must go some time without being paid for his labor if an outside party is footing the bill.
Last week, despite watching every penny which has been paid out, I discovered that we were going to be short a good bit of money... if I paid everything on time and did not let the things which had a "grace period" slide into the "grace period". It is tempting to do that, isn't it. Well, maybe not for you but it is for me! LOL!
I wrestled with what to do. We did have a bit tucked away which would cover this but was this an emergency, especially when we are facing a big cut in our finances next month? I don't know about you but at this point I generally start planning and conniving about how I can make something work. When I do that... it generally comes back at me eventually for I am doing my plan... and calling it God's plan. Sigh... it seemed like I could hear Alison Stewart (@kiwibird) from all the way down in New Zealand saying, "TT (Titanium Twin), you must let GO and let GOD!" Without even actually hearing her say it, I knew she was right. Another friend I confided in told me the same thing although not in quite the same words... and without that lovely New Zealand accent either! Hmm... maybe God was trying to get something through my thick Princess skull...
I let go and let God. I got out of the boat and made arrangements to make every payment on time. Now, I am not advocating writing checks for money you do not have and sending them off. That is against the law. If worse came to worse I could scrape enough together from my tiny emergency fund but like I said, I will not be working for the rest of the school year and may not be working again until next fall, if even then.
My husband and I prayed like this:
We thanked God for the provision He had always made for us.
We reminded God that He expects us to fulfill our obligations.
We reminded God that we had faithfully given to Him as well as others who were in need and we would continue to do so as long as we could.
We gave not out of obligation; we did not give to get... rather we gave to bless others. (This is important, you know... motives that is. God loves and honors a cheerful giver but if you are giving to "get" you are not a cheerful giver, you are a greedy giver)
We reminded God that we had tried to be careful with our money. We had been budgeting it out, taking steps to reduce unnecessary spending, were working very hard at paying of debt and that sort of thing. In other words, we had tried to demonstrate that we are trying to be good stewards of what God has given us.
We reminded God that He had promised to meet our needs (not to be confused with wants).
We would trust God, even if His way was not our way.
On Monday funds for some of the bills were withdrawn from our account. The remaining bills would post on Tuesday and Thursday. On Monday afternoon, I called my husband. I asked if he'd ever returned a call to some friends of ours about some equipment she was borrowing. Yes, he had and... they wanted to buy it. Since he wasn't using it anymore so he was open to that. Well, they'd already done some research on the internet and quoted a price which had me about fall over. They also wanted to know if he could stop by and pick up a check on Tuesday. He could and he did.
He cashed the check on Tuesday, deposited the money and the funds were available in time to cover the bills coming in on Tuesday. They are available to cover the bills on Thursday and... the remaining funds left over were enough to exactly DOUBLE our emergency fund! We not only had our needs met, we had an increase as well.
Now, how does this differ from asking God for a big, expensive house, lots of money, a Jaguar, etc.? I'll tell you what, you go back and read those seven things we prayed and you tell me what you think the difference is.
God always provides but, our expectation is not always his will. His will, if we trust him, will always provide us with more than we can imagine. I thank God for his daily provision for you. I know God blesses you because he is the same God who blesses me! It is just that...well...sometimes we have to remind each other :wink: