Today started off with a kick in the gut. A big fat ball of disappointment came flying through the air and landed right smack dab in the middle of my belly. Knocked the wind right out of me. It was a rough blow.
Ever since I became disabled, we have struggled financially. My poor husband is working himself to an early grave because the whole burden rests on him. A couple of months ago we were presented with an exciting business opportunity that we believed could have turned our lives around. But it required an investment. A relatively small investment as far as businesses go, but not small to us. We did everything in our power to try to come up with the money, but everywhere we turned was a closed door. Today was the day we needed the money, but we didn’t have it. The opportunity slipped away.
I cried a half a bucket or so of tears (could have been worse, I’ve been known to cry several buckets full at once), threw myself onto my bed in despair and had myself a little pity party while I was there. “Life just isn’t fair”, I told myself. “We’ve worked hard our whole lives and have nothing to show for it!! We should be living comfortably by now!! Why do people half my age have houses, cars, and a fat savings account — and I have a big fat nothing? It’s just not fair!” Aren’t you glad you weren’t inside my head attending that party with me? I was getting pretty whiny in there.
After my pity party I took a moment to analyze my feelings (one of my best tools to keep me out of the abyss — I’ll write a post about it sometime). Why exactly did this disappointing news create those feelings in me. What was I telling myself about the situation? What was I believing?
I was feeling hopeless because I had put all my hope in this opportunity and now it was gone.But God says:
“For I know the plans I have for you. declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
“And now, O Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in you.” – Psalm 39:7
I believed it was the only answer to our financial problems and now we were doomed. But God says:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you,even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” – Matthew 6:25-34
I was feeling frustrated because I truly believed that this was an opportunity that God put in our lives and that he would make the way for it to happen. But God says:
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9
I felt abandoned because he didn’t make a way. But God says:
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8
I felt foolish because I believed it in the first place. But God says:
Because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. – James 1:3-4
I was feeling sad because this is something I really wanted to do, and now I wouldn’t be able to do it. But God says:
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. – Psalm 30:5
I was creating fantasies in my head of how I thought my life should be. What I thought I needed and what I thought I should have. But God says (well, actually Paul said this but you know what I mean):
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:12-13
I was comparing my life to others and feeling like I have been cheated. But God says:
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” – Exodus 20:17
So, all this analyzing led me to here. Pouring my heart out to all of you. Am I still disappointed? Yes. Sad? Yes. But I am not forlorn. I know where my hope comes from and it is NOT some business opportunity. God knows what I need and he will provide it. I don’t feel foolish for stepping out in faith and believing this opportunity may be for us. That is what God wants us to do. He knows what he’s doing. I’m sure he had another agenda– some other lesson he wanted me to learn or some other quality he wanted to hone in me through this experience. I will persevere. I will be content. I will practice gratitude. I will trust.
Oh — and I know it’s not Monday, but I will also play you this song. Well, I can’t actually play it but I will put it up here and encourage you to play it. I needed to hear it today. Maybe you do too.