Lilies Don’t Have to Pay the Bills

Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith!” Luke 12:27

This verse has always kinda weirded me out. Because God’s design for lilies is more impressive than Solomon’s wardrobe ever was, I’m not supposed to worry about where the rent money is gonna come from?

Yes, we are still playing the waiting game. The last round of resumes and interviews didn’t pan out. We’ve been a bit gun-shy about pursuing associate pastor positions. My husband is a strong leader, has a lot of confidence, and a well developed ministry philosophy. We’ve been afraid that getting behind someone else’s ministry vision might mean sacrificing things that are fundamental to his own. But, upon reconsideration, we decided that if we really want God to direct us, we should be as willing to do that as anything else. We’ve opened that door a crack this week.

Our financial situation gets more serious as time passes. We quite literally have no idea where  next month’s rent will come from. But, then again, we didn’t know that last month either—and it was paid. Being forced to live on faith in the area of finances really bites! It is inconvenient, stressful, and sometimes embarrassing. However, it also tends to boost my prayer life a bit. And then, a magical thing happens—I start to see what God has been doing all along…

Even though we were adults graduating in a class of four from a small Bible college and didn’t send out any kind of announcements, we received very timely cash gifts. Hubby has had an odd job or two to take the edge off a bit. A couple weeks ago, precious people in another part of the world felt prompted to wire us a substantial financial gift. Our car is in the shop, and just two days ago, we got money in the mail to help pay for repairs. We’re still falling behind a bit, but we have a place to live. We have transportation. We have water, food, and electricity.

Now, I do not believe that everything that happens is because of God’s direct intervention. Much that we experience in life is the result of a world groaning under the effects of sin and the choices of others. However, even the opportunity and ability to work are ultimately provision from God. Those I usually take for granted. And the little extras on top, I all too often chock up to handy coincidence.

Right now the opportunity to earn income has been temporarily stripped away. We have to pray daily for provision. When provision comes, I have a choice. I can protect myself from “false” hope by pulling the coincidence card or I can be honest. We pray and others pray for us and we are repeatedly sustained through very unexpected sources. Without agenda, what is the most natural conclusion?

It is not uncommon to struggle with the idea that maybe we are in the place we are because we made a wrong choice along the way. There is no work because we went down the wrong road. God would be just to let us suffer the consequences. But, the lilies don’t don such lovely attire for all their flawless efforts.

Just after we read the bit about the lilies, we read, “But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” That’s a promise and that’s the key. Our job is to make our lives be about Him. Even when we feel helpless to improve the situation and make things right, God is our provision. He has been and He will be. Unless He shows us otherwise, we need to trust that He is guiding us and He will take care of us. This walk would be a whole lot easier if I could just hang on to that truth a little better. Why is that so hard when He’s always so faithful?

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