So that I don’t trick you guys like I did before, because that wouldn’t be very nice :), I will state that the “F” word I am writing about is Faith. Yep, Faith. I think most Christians including myself, would say they have Faith. I mean, how can you be a Christian without it…right?. Well, I think some Christians don’t have Faith as much as a belief that there is a Heaven and Hell and they want to go to Heaven so, they have chosen to be Christian. Then there are the Christians that have real, hard as oak Faith.
I thought I fell somewhere closer to the Oak group than the other, but today I started to question my faith. Both as a general Christian and as a Christian woman specifically.
Jesus said “Have faith in God,” replied Jesus to them. “I tell you that if anyone should say to this hill, ‘Get up and throw yourself into the sea’, and without any doubt in his heart believe that what he says will happen, then it will happen! That is why I tell you, whatever you pray about and ask for, believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, you must forgive anything that you are holding against anyone else, and your Heavenly Father will forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:21-26
Today, I was out for a drive with my husband and brother. No real destination or goal, just a trip for all of us to get out of the house, and enjoy the beautiful weather. Its 23 degrees Celsius which is 73.4 F for those of you that are from a country that uses the Imperial system (I had to look up the equivalent because I have no clue). It is not humid and there is a wonderful breeze. Really a very gorgeous day. So we went for breakfast and decided to start to drive.
We saw a couple garage sales and decided to stop. We all like to just look through the various things people want to get rid of. Sometimes its great…sometimes not so much. Well, as we started looking, my husband reminded me he had been looking to get a cheap push mower to give to a single mother he knew, who couldn’t afford one herself. Bless her heart she is doing her best, but she is struggling. My hubby had helping this mother placed on his heart a few weeks ago.Since he and I are trying to follow God’s promptings he took her a bunch of clothes I had and it turned out her daughter, her friend and herself were able to use the clothes. But, when he dropped them off he noted she had no way to cut her lawn. So we started to pray about this weeks ago.
So, it was that we started to look for a mower this morning. The first garage sale was about 2 blocks from the restaurant we had breakfast, and guess what was sitting in the driveway. A well kept push mower. Here in Canada they can be very expensive. New they are around $300 for a decent one. This was a decent one, but we are far from wealthy, and since I have been off work its been very tight financially. So we were using part of our tithe money to buy one (we prayed about using it first, and felt God would honour us using it to help someone in need. So my hubby talked to the man and he got it for $60.00. What a great deal. We went to her home and she was there , and she was very happy and excited that we had gotten it for her.
Before heading there though, he remembered my father wanted a stereo amplifier for his turntable. Again, my parents are not wealthy, so we were looking to find one around $50. My husband was a stereo installer for vehicles when he was young and know a lot about radios of all types and amplifiers, so he was looking for a brand that wasn’t crazy expensive but was still good (like Sony). So we drove a bit more (on route to the mothers home) and we saw a garage sale of someone we new. Well, there was a Sony amplifier sitting there. He asked how much and the gentleman sold it for $20.
After giving her the mower we went home, and gave my father his amplifier and during a later conversation my husband stated he needed to get a new tire for a utility trailer. My father said he would pay half as he wanted to use it as well (they live beside us). So my brother, husband and myself decided to go out again yard sale shopping. We started out and my brother said he wanted a “Tim Hortons” brand travel mug. If you know Canada, you will know that “Timmies” (as we call it) is HUGE here. I was looking for a couple things. One thing was a set of replacement chandelier covers for my dining room light. (I had broke one while changing the light bulbs and was stuck with 4/5 lights covered.)
I don’t know about where you are, but here buying them individually or even as a set is difficult. Of course I am not in a big city so maybe it would be different if it was let say Vancouver. Anyway, back to the point. So we went to another sale and as soon as we walked up I saw a travel mug from Timmies. In fact there was a TON of stuff from there. It turned out that the lady had worked there for years and had a bunch of stuff. So he got his desire. Then we went on to another one and I saw this light with 5 covers. I thought “they are going to want a lot I bet”. Well, my husband got the light, a radio antennae (we had been looking for awhile) and another item for $20.
On the way home my husband said “its pretty amazing that we found a mower, and on the way to give it away we find an amplifier”. I thought, yeah and then found a Timmies travel mug and my light covers (oh and they fit better than the previous ones, and are nicer). My hubby said ” it could only be God that would set things up that way, its too perfect”. I agreed.
It was then that I started to think of Mark 11:21-26 and thought ” How much faith do I have?” Did I really believe that God would provide these things? We had prayed about it before but, they are very small things. I mean really, does God care that my brother found a Timmies travel mug? or my father got an amplifier? or I got light covers?…the answer I think is yes and no. He doesn’t necessarily care that we found those specific things, but he does care that we found the things we had been praying for/ wanting/needing. I don’t believe God gives us everything we want, because what we want is not always good for us. I do believe he provides what we need always, and is willing to give us what we want as long as its not going to be a hindrance to our faith in someway or bad for us in someway.
My Faith or lack there of has been a recurring topic in my life as of late. Since I have been sick, and then resigned my job, I have been on a roller coaster of emotions. Mostly they have been positive, such as relief, joy, hope, peace, but I have also had worry,fear,guilt, anxiety, concern, and doubt. As time marches on without me seeing clearly whet God’s plan is, my emotions and thoughts have been residing in the more negative side of things.
As a woman, I believe I am to act certain ways biblically, and I am to try to be what God has decided I am to be as a woman and that doesn’t always look like what the world thinks it should, in fact it shouldn’t and doesn’t. My husband noted my discord yesterday and asked me what was wrong and I could not articulate it. He got it though, he said: “You feel you didn’t do enough, well I can tell you that you did lots….?” He stated all I had done and said he appreciated it all. I said I felt I wasn’t contributing. He said “Babe (he calls me that all the time and I love it) your working at getting healthy, losing the extra weight, you do all the stuff around here, you make fantastic meals, and to be honest, I don’t really notice a difference financially, I was broke with you working and without. I do notice my meals, and your moods, and that we have gotten along better lately, and I like you be home”.
I needed that. But it got me thinking, where is my faith on this?. I mean our bills miraculously have been getting paid (honestly I have no idea how), we have had food and even were able to go out for dinner on our anniversary. Are thing tight financially? oh ya! but God keeps meeting the need. Not the wants but the needs. For example I went over my grocery budget by $33.00 , when I came home to re-work the budget, somehow the $33 was there.
So I need to pray without ceasing, and believe I have received whatever it is. That’s easier said than done, but I have to work at it because if I don’t, then anxiety, fear and doubt creep in and steal my joy and peace. I plan to write about my experiences with these emotions in future posts. Until then, I will keep praying for the Lord to guide my next step, step out in faith when I think he is prompting me to do so, and look for the ways he keeps meeting my needs and my families.