For as long as I can remember I have been crippled by a fear that we will not have enough to provide for our kids. Part of that fear is from the pressures we have from our culture to “live the American Dream” and have it ALL. Whatever that means. Another part comes from my parents, and I don’t mean to sound that I am playing the blame game, but I do believe you can learn things like this from your upbringing.
My husband and I made the decision 14 years ago after the birth of our first son that I would fulfill my heart’s desire and stay home to care for our children and our home. Little did I know that God’s plan in those 14 years would be to move us from a secure secular job, to full time ministry, add 4 more children and move us into 4 different places of ministry. Those are all big life changes that generally cost a lot of money and we have never had a huge savings account, yet God has faithfully provided in ways that only He can, and simply do not make sense to the world.
Our most recent move began about 1 year ago as we felt God calling us to plant a church. Now all of the other ministry jobs have been with solid ministries who have provided a faithful salary and benefits. This is a whole new journey as we handed in our resignation to a church that not only paid us more than we’ve ever been paid, but really cared for and provided for our every need and wants. There have been some really dark days in this journey for me as I have allowed this fear to overcome every area of my life. John 10:10 says “the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy…” He has attempted to steal my trust in God, my husband, and the people with whom we are planting this church. He has attempted to steal my joy in parenting as my oldest 2 boys have entered the teenage years and we have faced days where I have really questioned the point of me sacrificing to stay home if they were just going to make the same mistakes and challenge us like any other teenager. I could go on and on, but I would rather talk about the second half of that verse in John 10:10 that says, “…I(Jesus) have come that they may have life and have it to the full.” What does it mean to have a “full life”? Does it mean that we have a lot of stuff and we are always financially secure and don’t have to worry about what might happen because we have it all planned out? Or does it mean that we live each day fully trusting the Lord, and being filled with the joy that only He can give amidst the tough things of life?
Jay and I were walking around our favorite retail store yesterday (yes, it is TJMAXX). We went to the home decorating part where they have the signs and there was a HUGE one that said “There is Joy in everyday, it’s all good”. I absolutely love that! You see, Satan desires to steal our joy by having us focus on all of the wrong things. We worry about clothing our kids, feeding them, making sure we have a savings account for them to get a good college education and on and on. While all of these are good and responsible things for a parent to do, it is not our job to focus so much on that,that we don’t seek the Lord and find the joy right in front of us. God’s word clearly states in Matthew 6:25, “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can anyone of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” If we would focus on seeking the Lord in all things, He will provide and we can let go of the worry and fears that cripple us from living the abundant life that Jesus died to give.
*Originally posted on November 27, 2012, by Amy. We hope that it serves to remind you of God's faithfulness and provision.
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