To some extent, we all put up a wall in our minds and hide a thought process behind it. Hopefully you don’t have many of these walls keeping your thoughts from those around you, but don’t lie — you know what I’m talking about.
I don’t want to get into the issues of shame and fear of man, though they’re common walls. What I’ve been meditating on is a big, ugly wall so many of us are hiding behind: worrying about money.
I’ve heard a lot of stories lately about how financial big wigs and missionaries alike are getting hit with the effects of the economy. Two IMs at my HOP had their phones shut off recently. It’s that bad.
So last night I was asking the Lord about His promise in Malachi:
“‘Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it.'”
I started to cry as I told the Lord I hadn’t seen the fulfillment of that promise (I have seen blessing, but not to the point of “not enough room to receive it”). He actually said to bachan (test) Him in His faithfulness.
So maybe this is an encouragement to all of you that God promised He would provide, maybe it’s a shout out to Him that I want to see it in my own life — or recognize it if I just haven’t noticed — I don’t really know. All I know is that God keeps His promises and this is no exception. It’s just hard to see sometimes.
Just a couple days after I began to focus on praying for faith, I received anonymous cash in the mail. I laughed at how sneaky God is. Then a week after that, I received a generous support check from some old friends of mine who don’t even get my support letters! But the most playful thing was yet to come: I posted on my Facebook that I have been wanting a bicycle; Josiah has one and it wasn’t a need, I just wanted to be able to go riding with him. Well, the next day, we were at a party and the host came up to me and said, “So you want a bike? I have an old Schwinn that’s sitting outside; you can have it if you want it.” At the time, I didn’t even remember that I had told anyone I wanted a bike!
As we put the bike in my car I kept saying, “Oh my goodness! I can’t believe God!” It just reminds me of how much God loves to give good gifts to His children, even when it’s a want and not a need. One of my favorite sermons is Allen Hood’s Playfulness of God. I listen to that message once a year just to remind me that God has a sense of humor.
My problems or need for money didn’t decrease during that time, but my faith undoubtedly increased. I could tell you story after story of recent things that have happened to other IMs at my prayer room but instead I’ll just leave it at this: I have a God who is faithful and I have a little more faith in my own heart to believe that He’s gonna be there for me when I need Him.
A couple weeks ago, my boyfriend decided to quit working at a coffee shop and be full-time staff at my prayer room. It’s cool because we will “work” at the same place and be on the same schedule (9pm-4am), but there are a lot of other factors too. When I told one of our friends that we were going to be the poorest people he knew, he responded, “You two are already the poorest people I know!”
The two of us are doing something that makes no physical sense. Relying on God for – literally – my next meal seems so irresponsible. I am in a financial position right now which looks like this: if something drastic doesn’t happen in the next month, I am either on the street or out of the prayer room. But despite that, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am in God’s will.
So what am I asking the Lord? Not for some kind of way to make a lot of money quickly, but rather for a different kind of faith. I need a level of faith that’s never been required of me before because this frightens me to death.
Last night I questioned why God makes Himself seem so distant when it comes to simple, physical things like this. Today, I’m just asking that I have the faith to rest in the fact that He is near and He wants to take care of me; for now, this is my journey into the knowledge of God.