Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.
Because of the LORD’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness! I say: The LORD is my portion, therefore I will put my hope in Him.
If our lives are the measuring stick by which our faith is judged, if you look at the big stuff, it would appear that I have this faith thing down to a science.
- Packing up our whole life and moving to Nashville to pursue a dream that could ONLY have come from God
- Leaving behind everything and everyone that was comfortable
- Making connections in a new city, having gigs semi-frequently, sharing the music He has given
- Surviving in the confidence that He will take care of us, every step of the way, even when there was too much month at the end of the money (to quote my pastor)
If you look at all of those things, then you would imagine that I would let nothing stop me from making progress on the dreams and goals.
My faith looks really great from a distance, or in bullet points.
When I dig a little deeper, and move in a little bit closer, I see the wasted moments (because of facebook). I see the opportunities that I missed (becaue of fear). I see the continual strain and worry that has kept me from the joy that I know is available to me.
Here is the beginning of the story. When we set out on our adventure, I left behind a wonderful job as a middle and high school band director, in a small community in the state that has always been my home. We were comfortable. We couldn’t live extravagantly, but we always had enough food for groceries, and gas and the necessities. When I was not able to find a teaching job, only a teaching assistant position, we learned what it truly meant to live from paycheck to paycheck. Doctors appointments had to wait until after payday so we could afford the copay. Because the copays depleted our already stretched too thin budget, we then had to eat ramen and other cheap staples. And prayed fervently that the gas in our tanks would last through the 45 minute each way commute for the rest of the week.
We needed the generosity of our church family, of my friends at school, and other people that didn’t realize how much they were helping us. We were relying completely on God, though it wasn’t always as cheerful a process as I wish it had been. And to be honest, it was exhausting.
I was near tears frequently, and my joy in the Lord was put in tidy little boxes labeled Wednesday evening small group, and Sunday morning church.
Fast forward to now. My husband and I are both in new jobs. Mine is teaching music to middle and high school students at a Christian school near us, where because of the wonderful and caring administration being lenient about my job description, our boys can attend and get an amazing education. I am near tears frequently again, but this time it is because of His goodness and His mercy, and the extravagant love that He has shown us.
Although our working environments have changed drastically, our financially picture still remains uncomfortable. But I can more easily see His provision and more readily believe that He will in fact take care of us. But it is still a journey. And every step, every decision is a choice to remain faithful and constant in my belief of His attributes, and the promises He has given to me.
I don’t want my faith to be a mirage– something that fades away and disappears under scrutiny, or close observation.
I want my life to radiate the peace of my redemption, and the joy of my salvation. I am resolving to trust Him, even in the difficult, because He has proven Himself faithful. Over and over again. And if I have to live dependent on His grace and goodness for all the days of my life — then thanks be to God, the giver of all good gifts, and the provider of exactly what I need.
As one of my favorite hymns states: “All I have needed thy hand hath provided, great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.”