Friday, April 17, 2015
When God does bigger things
Today is the perfect day to begin my own account of this journey. Some days it's so abundantly clear that the One who made the Universe hears our prayers and knows our hearts, and opens the windows of heaven to show us His blessings.
Months ago now, Morgan and I asked God to help us get out of credit card debt by the time our 3rd baby is born. The number was rather staggering to me because I couldn't see a way to get it paid off. But our money is His, our lives are His, and we knew it was time to bring ourselves back into honoring Him with how we use them. This whole year I've studied the life of Moses, and how the hearts of the people of Israel constantly strayed to other gods. Throughout the year, the Lord convicted me of my love of stuff. He kept reminding me that I cannot love both God and money! But yet, like the Israelites, I constantly turn to stuff - shopping for comfort, shopping for pleasure, shopping simply to have something new to be happy about. Why did I do that when HE is my comfort, HE is the greatest treasure, and HE is the only true joy that can last beyond the moment? I kept telling Morgan about it, trying to figure out what my limits need to be to combat this idolatry in my life. But it never really got to my heart.
Then Morgan proposed the shopping fast. I knew immediately this was the answer, and still my heart clung to the last bits of my idols... I could hold off buying stuff until my birthday, and then shop online, find what I wanted, and let others buy it for me! Plus I still had leftover Christmas money, so I could still buy those shoes I've been 'needing' for a couple summers... But Jesus wasn't content to continue letting my idol sit next to Him in my heart, even though it took a couple of weeks to show me. Just as the Israelites were supposed to physically destroy, cut down and demolish the idols of the pagan nations, I needed not to simply move my idols to a back closet, but cut them down, remove them, be DRASTIC! I knew I had to simply say no - nothing for myself throughout this fast. Nothing but needs, and for things like birthday and Christmas gifts, ask for the practical (and boring) things I never want to waste gift money on, and give the rest to people who really need it!
Who would have thought that telling myself no would give me joy? But as we go into a season of uncertainty, a season I have dreaded for months with more anxiety than I've ever had during our marriage, HE wants to be enough for me. Morgan will be gone so much this coming year, we will have 3 kids, and I will be so much more 'on my own'. He doesn't want me trying to worship other things this season. He wants to be the only God and King in my heart. And as I say no, I am truly free! I don't even know how to describe it. I'm so thankful to know He is going to show Himself in little ways, day by day, week by week, month by month, until we're here next year. He will be faithful. We will lack nothing.
And that brings us back to today... We asked God to provide ways for us to pay off the credit card debt, and then Morgan got hit with the minimalism bug. We started purging, wave by wave (so far I've gone through my wardrobe 3 times, and each time it gets better!), and boxes upon boxes of stuff stacked up. Why not take the 'stuff' clouding our lives and turn it into money to pay off our debts? So we planned a garage sale. I thought maybe a $100 or $200 would be good...
In the midst of planning, my friend (never go through garage sale-ing alone!) and I forgot to go to the bank for small change until it closed, so I started digging through our desk (a dangerous job I avoid at all costs) for small bills. I found $520 stashed away in there!! And day 1 of the garage sale? $430!!! Not to mention an absolutely perfect day, when originally it was forecasted to rain. My hopeful $200 turned into almost $1000, which has already been applied to the debt! Not to mention we have a full day of the sale tomorrow!!
Now, looking back at this day, I am so blessed, so content and full of joy. In seeking to remove our stuff and choose less for ourselves, He is showing Himself to be more. As our stuff becomes smaller, He does bigger things. What is an idol compared to the One who holds the universe together and breathes life into creation? It just took saying no to myself to see it. :)