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Sunday, July 17, 2016

A Vision of Provision

As most of you know, this summer, I got a seasonal job that pays well and gives great consistent hours.  I am very very thankful for the job’s provision, I like its responsibilities and most of all, I enjoy the co-workers I get to work with weekly.  The reason I went after a job this summer in the first place was financially minded.  I’d like to think of myself as a financially responsible person and prompted by a question from a friend, I sat down with a legal pad yesterday and worked out some money math. 

First, I calculated approximately how much take home money I will make this summer.
On the flip side, I also number crunched for some future expenses.  You see, since I moved up here to NH, I have had no debt and Lord willing, I’d like to keep it that way.  I try to save what I can and think ahead and budget for future known cost.  Within this next year, I have what I approximate to be at least $4,000 in dental expenses/procedures to look forward to.  Besides that, next summer, my passport (any opinions on card vs. booklet?), driver’s license and NH teacher certification expire and will require renewal.  These are infrequent or one-time cost that aren’t accounted in my normal budgeting for groceries, rent, gas, insurance, car inspection/registration….you know, normal adulting expenses. 
So just like that, on a single sheet of paper, I saw every single dollar I make this summer get allocated.

Kind of depressing, ain’t it?  With visions of having extra cash to splurge a little, I was brought back to the real world and tightening my belt up again.

Faith is complicated, you know?  At the exact same time as feeling a little bitter for working so hard with “nothing” to show for it in the end, I also felt so incredibly thankful for God’s provision.  What a contrast of feelings to cohabitate within me, eh?    I can look ahead and know I’ve got a lot of bills coming my way here soon, but those bills have “already been paid”.  God has granted provision ahead of time so that I don’t have to worry in the midst on how I will make ends meet.

Philippians 4:19 And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

I am so thankful for God’s faithful provision and how He always provides at the right time, and to my hearts relief, often ahead of time.  I am not always at this place of sincere gratitude though….actually, honestly, I’m often not.  I’m often bound up in anxiety and enslaved to the idol of financial security.  Instead of seeing His faithful and full hands in providing, I am looking at my empty hands in longing….not necessarily for more things, but for more funds to feel more secure. 

But for now, I stand in awe and am incredibly grateful for how He so perfectly has provided ahead and behind me.  It truly leads me to the cross where His provision ahead of us is perfectly on display, as He paid of our sins and provided atonement for a debt we could never pay no matter how many righteous deeds we do or penance we paid. 

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”
Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”

So much to be thankful for and yet always a reminder to continue trusting and growing in faith that He knows, cares and provides for it all. 

“Fear is the glue that keeps you stuck. Faith is the solvent that sets you free.”  ― Shannon L. Alder

We must cease striving and trust God to provide what He thinks is best and in whatever time He chooses to make it available. But this kind of trusting doesn't come naturally. It's a spiritual crisis of the will in which we must choose to exercise faith.” ― Charles R. Swindoll

Here’s to continually striving to choose faith over fear.  Who’s with me?

Until next time,
In Christ,
Joy Lynn

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