The past year or so, my husband and I have had to reduce our standard of living steadily . As the economy fell, jobs were scarce. My art income though small, seemed
to increase. But, Johns income was and is our main source to live.
We have steadily went further into debt. Property tax would come due and we could not pay it, so we borrowed. The income tax on both unemployment and my meager art sales have hit us hard and at the end of the year we would owe the state and federal taxes way over anything we ever had before. We had no cash in saving to pay it so we borrowed to pay that. If tires wore out, or auto’s had problems we would have to borrow.
You get my drift. When you live on the edge, and in our case, both my husband and I do not have steady incomes. The worst income to have, (non steady) for budgeting. Borrowing is the only way to pay when bills come due that you have no way to pay.
In good times, the borrow would be paid off in the next good paying job or art sale. We have not had really good paychecks in some time.
Our house has needed a new roof job the last four years, the windows are single pane aluminum that we put plastic over to keep the cold out, insulation in the walls are almost nil . The house was built in early 1950’s. Slight remodel when I bought it apx 12 yrs ago.
We cut back on buying clothes and only buy something new maybe once or twice a yr in clothing. Or buy used. Thankfully, our kids have given us new things now and then. We cut all the unnecessary bills. John went to debt consolidation on all his credit cards.
I tell you this only to make a point spiritually. For I feel I am rich, and find great joy this morning. Why? Because God has taught me something so wonderful through this!!
When I would find ourselves in one of those months where John was again out of work, and the bills loomed ahead of us. I would almost panic. This feeling of overwhelming doom would come and strike. It was like the darkest night, and suffocation. No way out, no light at the end of the tunnel. It was at those times God taught me to control my mind with these thoughts:
I would breath in deeply, and do it again. I then focused, “This too shall pass, I Will trust in God. I will not trust in my husband or my ability to get ourself out of this, I will keep my eyes on God, I will not look at my circumstances today.” Then I would pray. I would list everything that was overwhelming me, and picture that problem being lifted up to Jesus. As I handed everything up, I would ask to leave it with Him. I prayed that when I got up from my knees, that I would see and hear all the good things of the day. The sunshine or rain, the plants that were growing, the gentle breeze. The fact I was healthy and able to walk down a trail in ferns and moss along the sea.
I would go to the library and read or check out free movies or books to read. I would thank God for every little thing all day. I would leave those things I could not control up in God’s hand. On really bad days, for a moment or two I would recite that prayer,
Yea, tho I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil........ and
God leads me through quiet moments of pondering, until I again had the peace of God covering me.
The result? I now automatically fall into the battle stage of focus on God, repeating the words till the panic leaves and peace covers me. And I say this as a witness to all, that God has sustained us every month all these years. God does not take away the trials but allows these in my life to build me up. To strengthen me for times ahead may get worse. We do not struggle like some have too. I am not beaten, or go days without food like some.
And very important to know: To fall on hard times does not say you are not in God’s love anymore. Too many people believe that having great trials means you have sinned. This is not true, for they who believe this have not read the scriptures. How can God train his called out ones, unless they go through MANY hard trials. How can the very ones God is training now, lead others later without understanding what trails and tribulation is like for all peoples?
Having great trials allowed by God when you have been doing right is a blessing!
Great trials for sinning is a burden. But even then, God is ready to hear your call. He is the only way out of trouble. He is the only light to greater living. It will not be found in yourself, nor any power but God’s. Fleeting our the efforts of man, but God’s rescue is forever.
I will be 60 years old next year. I am a living witness that surrender to God is the way to peace, and fullness not found any where else. That God always keeps His promises and He has many. That God has a Great plan for all mankind, and a purpose for us all.
That He never fails to be with those who follow and trust in Him.
btw, This week, through a blessing in disguise. (husband was hit in rear in traffic accident, He is ok btw) we were given some money which allowed us to pay off two of the credit cards. It is a small part of our debt, but will save us 100.00 month. And we were able to catch up on some past due things. Even a special blessing for me, ... A automatic Garage door opener! I have never had one before. Now I have more safety too, being able to drive into the garage without getting out of the car! who Hoo!! ;-)