Lois and I recently had a financial setback, which immediately sent me into full-blown crisis mode. Unfortunately, there’s a familiar pattern to my faith crises.
I wish there was a more flattering word for it, but for about a week, I doubted that God had a plan and that he was already working for the good (Romans 8:28) to provide for us. It was up to me to keep us from living in a cardboard box! So, I frantically brainstormed ways to cut expenses and generate more income: sell my books on the street corner, pawn my guitars, and give up dark chocolate.
However, throughout the gospels, Jesus commands his followers to not worry. Yep, a “command.”
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matthew 6:31-33).
During week two, I finally got a grip. (The thought of giving up dark chocolate brought me to my senses.)
God had been faithful over 40 years of faith ministry and had always provided unexpected income, whether from jobs and projects that appeared from seemingly nowhere to surprising inheritances from family friends. I willfully, deliberately decided to trust that God would do the same this time as well. White-knuckle trust is better than yellow-streaked doubt, right?
But King David described a higher level of faith than simply trust:
Trust in the LORD and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
Take delight in the LORD,
and he will give you your heart’s desires (Psalm 37:3-4).
Week three brought a joyful anticipation. Ephesians 3:20 promises:
[God] is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.
God’s promise is “immeasurably” more than I can imagine, and I have a pretty good imagination. So I hope that my new book sells—and serves—well. I can “imagine” that, but God loves to surprise us, with things infinitely beyond our imagination.
God certainly doesn’t want us to deny his power to provide, but I think he wants us to go beyond simply deciding to trust to “delighting” in his care.
And so this week I have been making a list of all the surprising ways God has pulled a rabbit out of the hat when everything looked black and empty. I’ve actually broken into my happy dance.
I can’t wait to see what miracle—not magic trick—God is going perform!
Copyright © 2018 James N. Watkins
• I’m giving up fear for Lent
Anita Peppers from MorgueFile.com