For those of you who've been on this little journey of the last year, I'm sure some of you remember the crazier moments when frustration, anger, a bit of impatience, and just this overwhelming desire to get out of debt, get out of this hole, this money pit, and this rolling financial disaster I seem to be stuck on that ruled the day. Even more interesting to me was how much I pleaded for help from God, from others, or really just anyone that could help me out of that situation. I even remember at times negotiating with God and bargaining, even foolishly demanding to be released from this debt pit and put on a debt free footing.
And then after months, and even years of getting absolutely nowhere, I remember that moment when He reached out to me in an effort to comfort His child. I was standing in the kitchen at the time it happened, probably a month or two ago by now and talking with Him about my situation and how badly I wanted out, to which He replied very quietly and patiently, "It is needful for you to remain poor for a time." It was both one of those epiphany moments when you realize why you're going through what you are, and at the same time it was exactly the answer I DID NOT want to hear. I mean, in our human nature we kinda expect to hear God say, "Sure, let me take care of that for you."
Instead it was that realization of, "Oh, so I'm not getting out of this mess anytime soon, eh? Bummer." And even though it took some time to sink in, I now sit here and think about each bill, each debt, each dollar spent, wondering how far I'm permitted to go with paying them down. After all, the standing order from God for quit a while now has not been "pay them off", but rather simply "maintain them." IE, keep paying the monthly bill, but don't put any energy into paying them off as they are there for a purpose. I'm still trying to figure out what the full purpose of them is, aside from making me utterly despise all form of debt. Yet at the same time I may never know that answer this side of Heaven.
Even so, I feel odd sitting here with that ugly, crushing specter of debt hanging over my head, knowing at any moment that everything could be taken away in an instant (fire, debt collectors, theft, etc) and yet still being at total peace about it that, no matter what happens, God has my back, even that should, heaven forbid, include me spending time homeless in a gutter somewhere. I don't think that'll happen, but were it to, God has my back and always will. And I'm not wishing doom and gloom on myself or expecting it. I'm merely musing about what "could" happen, but also knowing that if it happens, God has a reason for it, and a very hugely important one as well.
As a positive note out of all this poverty, as mild as it may be (trust me, there's people WAY worse off than me, so this is no sob session by any stretch of the imagination, just an observation of my present situation), God has really gone a long ways towards opening my eyes to what's really important. I now don't just assume that money will be there. I trust that if I need it, then it'll be there, but not that it'll just show up willy nilly just because I want to buy something I don't need. And I take very careful time to think through everything I buy, looking it over, finding exactly what I need, when I need, where I need it, *WHY* I need it, which seems to be the most important part, and ultimately, is this merely a want or a need?
After that I put stuff I think I need onto lists and wait on God. If I need it, He'll put things together to make it possible. And if not, nothing will ever come of it and that item will eventually be removed from my list. But I'm certainly getting better at looking at my needs and then waiting to be sure they are in fact needs, and not just whims of fancy. Take my new chop saw for example. I'd wanted one for a while, but everything conspired against me to keep me from getting one. So I opted for a simple, low cost solution for doing much better saw cuts and even perhaps some simple ripping. Nope, that conspired against me too.
So I finally sat back and decided to settle on the DIY saw box I'd built figuring, "Hey, at least I have that." I think at that moment, finally sitting back and being content with what I already had, that God began to put into motion the things that were needed to get me that chop saw I wanted, and in some small ways needed. And perhaps that was done to show me that once I am truly content with where I am (the Lord does say, be content in whatever state you're in) that He will begin pulling me out of this pit. And maybe not. I'm not saying that contentment is the magic key to getting all your desires met. It's entirely possible that I may stay this way until the rapture to teach me more lessons that I still have to learn.
And if so, then Thy will be done, Lord. I know it's making me beyond abhorrent of any kind of debt. I'm even planning to pay cash for my next car, Lord willing, whatever that may end up being, and only keeping a credit card for those things of which I have no choice but to pay for it that way. And even then the card will be paid off each month without reservation. And if I can't afford to pay it off each month, then I'm spending too much and I'll just tighten the purse strings even more. One other thing too that seems to be coming out of all this as a very interesting lesson follows along with the idea of the widows mite. And I don't say this to brag, but merely as an object lesson to each of you.
Back a week or two ago there was a collection being taken up for orphans in Africa to feed them for a year. I don't remember the exact amount, but I think it was something like $15 would buy enough corn to feed one child for a year or something like that. I forget the exact amount. Anyhow, even though the moths in my wallet were getting very lonely, I resolved within myself to give for those children in Africa. I have a roof over my head, a warm bed to sleep in, plenty of food on my shelves, despite our lack of money, a car, and so much more. Yet I look at how little they have and I can't just sit here and do nothing. In fact, when I find a worthy cause to give to, it actually hurts and frustrates me when I can't give.
And I'm not saying that I go around sewing my pennies to every little whim and flutter of the wind. I've very circumspect in who and what I donate to. But when I find that worthy cause it kills me if I can't give to help them. And that's really how it should be. God said to be wise like serpents, yet gentle like doves. We should be the same way in our giving. We should be circumspect in who, where and how we give, but once we find that need it should hurt and grieve us if we are unable or unwilling to give. And that's another lesson I've taken from this. This is no longer a case of, "Awe, do I have to give?" It's now, "I WANT to give, and nothing is going to stop me, Lord willing."
Anyhow, that's my random thoughts for today. Spend them however you see fit. ^_^