I have not written a faith for your finances column in a while since settling in the New England region. I tell you, it’s been a tough journey – I’m not as young as I used to be (but I am young at heart and the Lord is renewing my strength as the eagle). The toughest journey has been dealing with the costs of moving, saving up enough to take care of future financial obligations, and spending wisely. I am learning that at every stage of life, we cannot put our trust in the “green stuff” called “money”. Our trust must be in the Lord who “provides all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus”. In these trying times of “financial cliffs”, we must “trust in the Lord with all of our hearts and lean not to our own understanding. In all our ways we must acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths (Proverbs 3:5-6). Verse 7 of the same book of the Bible and chapter goes on to say, “be not wise in your own eyes…”
One of the major trials of faith with finances I have experienced have been with my car and the expected and unexpected car repairs. Right when I was rolling in the dough with my savings account and thought, “yeah, I am making progress for this or that…”, I was hit with a massive car repair need. It happened one weekday morning on the way to work, while I was listening to a sermon and drinking my coffee that I saw car smoke in front of me. I have to tell you that I was so into listening to my sermon, I really thought it was the car driving in front of me that was smoking…until…the smoke got so heavy and I realized, “it’s my car that’s letting out smoke.”
Mind you, I was on the highway, morning rush hour and so I was panicking a bit when I pulled over to the breakdown lane. Honey, you should have saw me running away from my car thinking it was going to blow up on the side of the road. I went numb. This was surely a major car situation and I was not happy about it at all – I had just a few months ago spent a few hundred of dollars on tires and minor maintenance for the car. The police were called; a friendly woman stopped her car (not one man on the way to work stopped t help me or ask me if I was okay standing on the side of the highway). I called my insurance company and thank God, I was safely towed to the nearest auto shop.
After calling my job to say I would be late, I waited for the repairman’s report. With coupons added, I would not be able to put the car back on the road at the cost of $658.00, he said. I was shocked. “There goes my saving account”. My pride in what I had saved was deflated; and I realized that this situation was of my control – God would have to help me to bear this setback. Thankfully, The Lord had provided the finances to pay the bill, but I was so disappointed that my savings was depleted and that now I would have to build it back up for another major financial expense for the future. I had to trust God – not the savings account.
God gave me a word from His word when I finished my bellow aching and unbelief – you know that’s what happens when bad things happen and we are not trusting the Lord to be our provider? We start walking in unbelief toward Him – which is sin, and not walking in faith for His provision. “Lord, forgive me”. The Holy Spirit of God told me, “though your riches increase, do not set your heart on them” (Psalm 62:10b, NIV). God was telling me, stop looking at your savings account and trusting in it and being glad you have this and that saved. Money, the Bible says, has a way “of having wings” (Proverbs 23:5). I had to sober up as a dear Pastor stated. Jesus said, “you can’t serve God and money”.
I know there has been a lot of talk about the fiscal cliff, tax rates going up and the rise of other financial issues in our world. Don’t pay too much attention to it: God can still meet every need if you know Him through Jesus Christ, His Son and trust in Him to provide for your needs. I am reminded from day to day, that “In God we trust” has to become a reality in our hearts, not just in our wallets. We must put our trust in Him who delights in meeting our needs – we cannot trust in the money we have saved or the money we earn.
“Lord, help us to put our trust in You fully and to ask you for every need and provision, for your glory and your namesake, Amen.”