We all go through times of trial, and for my husband and me, God has a habit of getting our attention through financial difficulties. We’ve been through our share of other trials too but the lack of money seems to be the go-to trial for us. Maybe because it so quickly brings me to my knees crying out in prayer.
With a husband who works strictly on commission there are no promises that each month’s income will always be enough. If he has a couple of bad months in a row, just like that, we’re in deep trouble. It’s incredibly humbling to have enough and then to find yourself in need. At least for me it is. I prefer to be on the giving rather than receiving end of a gift. Now I realize you may think there is a pride issue hidden in there somewhere but I believe after all we’ve been through it’s no longer pride that makes me feel that way. We’ve been loved on enough by others to simply want to be the lovers, the givers, the caretakers.
I can’t imagine that trials of this kind would make a person anything less than generous.
You see, I know what it feels like to not be able to afford to buy your child’s class photos from school. I know the heartache of watching your kids go without new clothes at the start of the school year. I know the feeling of failure that comes along with the inability to provide health insurance which keeps your kids from playing sports. I know just what it feels like to have to tell your children that they won’t be getting any presents for Christmas.
Even though I realize that everything I mentioned isn’t really all that important in the grand scheme of things, I wouldn’t wish lack on anyone. Satan has used it to make me doubt my worthiness as a parent. Just like that, a trial God allowed to help conform me to His image, when looked at with the wrong perspective, makes me feel I don’t even know God. Satan is a liar and he will twist every situation and use it to his advantage. He convinces me that we not only deserve difficulties but also, that each season of trial will never end.
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1
But eventually, hopefully sooner rather than later, I begin to take every thought captive to Jesus Christ. It dawns on me that the horrible thoughts in my head did not originate with me and are not from God either. I regain an eternal perspective. I see the situation the way God sees it and it doesn’t seem nearly as heartbreaking or difficult. When my perspective changes then I can see that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Even if it means going without.