I have a confession to make.
I’ve been out of work for almost 7 months now (with no unemployment because my previous employer misinformed the unemployment office about my situation and made me ineligible). Our savings are depleted, including a couple of small 401ks I had from previous employers. My parents have offered to help, but who really wants to take funds from their fixed-income parents? I worry about them having enough to live on!
We’ve been blessed. Our household income was doing just fine until a few years ago, when both of our health situations soured and my employment situation went south. The combination of high medical bills and reduced wages has proved difficult for even the best planners among us. Oh, sure, we are still very blessed, and very spoiled. Unlike many Americans, we usually take at least one nice vacation per year. I just got back from Australia. How bad could things be, really?
Bad enough that I just took a job making a bit more than minimum wage, for which I am very grateful. Bad enough that, unbeknownst to Connie, I floated an ad on craigslist to see what kind of response I’d get for renters for our spare bedroom & bathroom upstairs, and, well, YIKES!
If you know me or have read my postings for any length of time, you know I am not into comparative suffering. Telling myself that at least we have a roof over our heads and food does little good when I wonder how many more months we may have these things if I do not find employment, and soon. It does not help to hear that “something will come through” or “God will provide” or “He never gives you more than you can handle” when you have seen so many friends in this exact position go on to lose their homes (four that I can think of without thinking too hard).
As a Christian, isn’t this when I am supposed to have more faith, not less? Isn’t this when I am supposed to remember
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life? And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. “So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today. – Matt 6:26-34 (NRSV)
We aren’t eating Ramen every night. We haven’t sold the pups. It’s not exactly the Dust Bowl, yet. I guess I just don’t like being this far out of my comfort zone.
Maybe that’s the lesson I need to learn.
You have given us beautiful shelter, clothes, food, frisky puppies, great friends, loving family. You’ve nursed us back to health every time we’ve needed it. We do not doubt you; we doubt our capability for patience. Help us be patient. Shine a bright light on the path you would have us follow. Take away our worries and replace it with trust.