If we have died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.II Timothy 2:11-13
Over the past several weeks, God has shown me His faithfulness. Our family was going through some really rough things. I was so tired of asking God to just "take it all away." As our pastor, Fr. Joe said recently, "We should not ask God to take something away. And we should not try to go over, under, or around trials. We need to ask God to take us through." Hard to hear, but oh, so true.
One day, as my husband was filling the gas tank on a trip home, I thought, "I should check our bank account balance." I called the 800 number, only to discover there was far less in the account than I had listed in our account register. When we arrived home, I did some quick research. Sure enough, I had failed to record a couple of checks. Thankfully, my husband, though upset, didn't get angry with me. Later, we sat and prayed together, turning it all over to God. Within a few minutes, I went to get our
mail. I pulled out a check that we were expecting to arrive several days later. Honestly, there was NO WAY that check should have arrived that soon...and on the day when we most needed it! The humorous thing: the 2 checks I had forgotten to record were from the same place sending us a check. God does teach us lessons in funny ways sometimes!
Two weeks ago, we received the news that our "good" car needed a new transmission. The car wasn't worth as much as the transmission would cost. We knew we had to get a different mode of transportation, and quickly! I am so thankful for family who step up in times of crises. Still, we know paying back a loan is hard to fit into the budget. But you do what you have to do, right? We also needed a vehicle for the weekend, as we were traveling to Michigan for my husband's mom and dad's 50th anniversary. His boss agreed to let us borrow a company vehicle for that trip. (Answer to prayer!) On Thursday, the day before we were to leave, I again checked the mail. In that day's mail, we received an envelope with our names and address, but no return address. Inside: a cashier's check for $4,000!!!!!! Yes, that is the correct number of zeroes. We still have no idea who our anonymous donor is, but we are SO thankful.
I guess I share all this because most of my readers know the struggle I have with anxiety. I have to honestly say, the past few weeks have not been easy on that account. I have turned to God over and over, and said, "I just don't seem to have the faith to walk through this. How are we going to do this?" God didn't answer by removing my fear, or miraculously "healing" our car. But He did remind me in many ways that my fear accomplishes NOTHING--unless I'm turning it into opportunities to pray, and to learn to trust Him even more.
I'm also not saying that if we trust enough, God will always send a check in the mail. There have been many struggles over the past 24+ years of our marriage. Very rarely did God answer in such dramatic ways. But He always ANSWERED.
So often, I wish life could be without trials of any kind. The world would be at peace. My kids would
obey without any prodding. My husband and I would never fight. The bills would always be paid. There would never be any car repairs. The sun would always shine and the birds would always sing... But, then again, how boring would that be? And how would we grow? Even the smallest seed goes through many times of breaking and dying to itself before a beautiful little sprout comes out of the ground. We cannot be made into the image of Christ without the fire, the chisel, and the touch of the Master's hand.
But he knows the way that I take;when he has tested me, I shall come out like gold.My foot has held fast to his steps;I have kept his way and have not turned aside.I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;I have treasured in my bosom the words of his mouth.But he stands alone and who can dissuade him?What he desires, that he does. Job 23:10-13