Yes, stress. The night before ended with thoughts of how we were going to pay our next bill. I woke up with determination. I’d tried to figure out how to scrape for a few more dollars, but nothing that I tried seemed to work. I felt I was all out of resources. So, I prayed and asked God to provide.
2. believe and receive.
And of course He did! About halfway through the day He gave me an idea that I had not yet thought of. He provided the exact amount that I needed… in quite a miraculous way! What a relief! I truly appreciated God’s creativity and I had to even just laugh at how He made it all work out. (I’ll admit, it did involve penny counting! tehe!)
So I went about my day. I had planned for Zariah and I to go to our local splash pad. As far as I knew, it was free to the public. We were going to beat the hot day and make new memories together. But as I turned the corner to enter the park, I saw a booth set up at the splash pad entrance. After inquiring I discovered it was no longer free. We walked away … devastated.
4. stress some more.
While I knew God had just provided, I was back to feeling like He didn’t have the best for me and my family. We have been through a long season of financial hardship-one that has been filled with moments like these. One moment wholeheartedly believing that God is who He says He is- the Unfailing Provider, the One who is with us- and the next moment struggling to trust that He will continue to meet our needs.
5. choose to believe.
But the truth that is seeping deeper and deeper into my soul is that God DOES provide. But you know what? He doesn’t just provide. He really does provide the best. I can so easily believe that it is actually me who knows what is best for me and my family. I know what is best? Me? Ha. Check this out:
1Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD from the heavens;
Praise Him in the heights!
2Praise Him, all His angels;
Praise Him, all His hosts!
3Praise Him, sun and moon;
Praise Him, all stars of light!
4Praise Him, highest heavens,
And the waters that are above the heavens!
5Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For He commanded and they were created.
6He has also established them forever and ever;
He has made a decree which will not pass away.
7Praise the LORD from the earth,
Sea monsters and all deeps;
8Fire and hail, snow and clouds;
Stormy wind, fulfilling His word;
9Mountains and all hills;
Fruit trees and all cedars;
10Beasts and all cattle;
Creeping things and winged fowl;
11Kings of the earth and all peoples;
Princes and all judges of the earth;
12Both young men and virgins;
Old men and children.
13Let them praise the name of the LORD,
For His name alone is exalted;
His glory is above earth and heaven.
14And He has lifted up a horn for His people,
Praise for all His godly ones;
Even for the sons of Israel, a people near to Him.
Praise the LORD!
All that praise… from every living thing. That is due to God. That’s the kind of God I serve. And I think I know what is best? I have to laugh at myself.
So how did my day go from stressed to blessed?
It’s so simple… I chose to receive the greater blessing. The final step!
6. Receive the fullness of what God has for you!
God provided something so much more meaningful to my daughter and I than I could ever have thought up myself. We got home and still I was feeling defeated. But God provided another creative idea. We Smith’s made our own splash pad at home. Not only was it fun and free, but it involved my husband. We had a spontaneous fun-filled family moment that I hope we will never forget.
And really this is the lesson I’ve learned in this season as a whole. What God has is better. I have told many people that I wouldn’t trade this time of unemployment and financial hardship for anything. Why? Because what God has given my family and I has been so much greater than “stability”. He has given us the opportunity to see Him more deeply and trust Him more fully. He has molded our relationships in ways that only trials can. The joy that we have now is based on the very character of God.
What a sweet sweet blessing….
And so, God continues to turn my stressed days… into blessed days.
Praise the Lord!