Monday, August 27, 2007

God's provision

Summer came to an abrupt end for us when a friend called to ask me if I wanted to help out at a daycare center. My first thought that I did not speak aloud was, "NO!" Caring for screaming children and changing dirty diapers all day? No way. Of course I couldn't, what about the girls? My friend said I could bring them along and they could help. What about the waning days of summer? We had planned some projects and some fun for the last few days before school started. I really did not want to do this.

But we needed the money. With the real estate market the way it is, we have been struggling to pay the bills. Fred needs to buy or sell a house every couple of months to keep us afloat. We have been praying diligently for business to come his way. Fred is a hard worker; he just needs some work to do. Lord, please provide for us, we often pray.

Suddenly it came to me. (I'm slow to learn.) God was providing for us--through me! That wasn't at all what I expected (or desired, to be truthful.) But there was the answer, and just in the nick of time too because we were nearing the end of the month and things were not looking good. I changed my attitude and took this job with gratitude.

A couple of weeks ago the pastor taught on idolatry. Now most Americans don't have wooden statues in their homes to worship, but an idol can be whatever we put our trust in. Our god is whatever we serve and invest our time and our lives. For our family, do we put our trust in the real estate market--or in God? Who is our provider? So the girls and I headed off to preschool. We worked 7 longs days and I learned some lessons, plus brought home a paycheck. The first lesson is that God is our faithful but sometimes he answers prayer in ways we don't expect.

At the end of my seven day stint, another friend who manages a food service business called me. Did I want to help cater a private party? I did not feel I had the energy to do that after my week at daycare. But I said yes, and worked again, thankfully, and eagerly even, knowing an adventure and an opportunity lay ahead. I'll write more on both of these adventures later. School starts tomorrow and time is very limited.

A long time ago I marked this promise from God in my Bible. It came after a devastating financial loss. God's words were true then and they remain true. "Our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace. Our barns will be filled with every kind of provision. Our sheep will increase by thousands, by tens of thousands in our fields; our oxen will draw heavy loads. There will be no breaching of walls, no going into captivity, no cry of distress in our streets. Blessed are the people of whom this is true; blessed are the people whose God is the Lord." Psalm 144:12-15.

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