April 15 is already staring me in the face, and its stare is menacing.
My husband’s construction company had a banner year in 2016, but that translates into a much higher tax bill this April. As in, four times what we normally pay. Four times the amount I’ve saved up. A crazy-big check equal to my entire income last year.
I don’t know how we will pay this bill. But I am trusting God to provide, as He has so many times before when our finances faltered.
In 2011 my job contract expired. I had worked as an event planner for nine years, and over those years, my working relationship had deteriorated. Worn out from legal issues, hard feelings, and mistrust, I faced the transition with a measure of relief.
Yet my relief was quickly overshadowed by our loss of income. My earnings covered our periodic expenses and extras like auto insurance, taxes, Christmas presents, and travel. How we’d make up for it, I didn’t know.
No matter how much I trimmed from the budget, no matter how many coupons I cut and 50% off sales I shopped, I always seemed to come up about $1,000 per month short. Each month I transferred more and more out of our savings account. Rainy day expenses didn’t stop–the van broke down, the washing machine was ruined in a power surge, and medical bills hit hard.
“God, where are you in this?” I cried out. “Do you want me to be a stay-at-home mom, or should I look for a job?” I looked in my three-year-old daughter’s eyes and couldn’t imagine leaving her in someone else’s care. My previous job had allowed me to work from home, and I hadn’t missed a single moment of my children’s precious early years.
I interviewed for several jobs but none of them panned out. I pushed down the panic when I looked at the dwindling balances in our bank accounts. Desperate for answers, I prayed God would provide.
God reminded me then of Jeremiah 29:11. God wants me to prosper, not simply for my own peace of mind, but so others will be blessed. He wants to give me a future and a hope. He isn’t working against me…he is not out to harm me. He is on my side.
I recounted God’s faithfulness to us as two broke college students, living in a buddy’s basement, unable to pay the $150 rent for a few months until graduation.
I remembered God’s provision as my husband changed jobs and took lower pay to pursue his dream of self-employment.
I reviewed the past, counting the numerous times God orchestrated sales of spec houses at the perfect moment, right before our savings ran dry.
I put my faith in God to provide for us, to help us prosper, and He always delivered.
God helped my husband build a thriving construction business in the middle of the Great Recession. That really doesn’t make sense in such a hard-hit industry, but in God’s economy, nothing is impossible.
God allowed me to stay home with my daughter until I found a job in 2013, and then He provided the most loving babysitter I could have found until she started kindergarten. Nothing was impossible for God then, and nothing is impossible now.
In our financial trials, God calls us to trust him for daily manna, even when we wish whole loaves of bread would fall from the sky.
My husband and I are both planners. We like predictability, certainty, and clarity. We are both fiercely independent. Neither of us are “good” at blind faith.
Yet I believe in this early part of 2017, God is calling us to trust Him. To place our faith in His plans for us. To believe He is for us, not against us. To take hope that He has a better future for us.
Today’s reflection questions:
How has God been faithful to you in past financial trials?
How does this verse apply to your personal struggle today?
In what area is God calling you to greater faith?
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No matter what season you are in, God is teaching you valuable lessons to grow your faith and trust in Him. We will discover what God is saying through the different times and activities we traverse.
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