"But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
Philippians 4:19 (KJV)
"Prayer should be our first resource, not our last resort."
I sat at the desk calculating, re-figuring, and becoming more frustrated by the minute. We had an unexpected need, a problem that required immediate attention, and we had to act fast. It was an expense that wasn't planned for in our budget, and was beyond our current capability to handle.
Of course, my first temptation was to just go get the credit card and charge it. That would make the most sense, and it wouldn't create a problem for us at all. But, something held me back. Something the Lord had been talking to me about.....stewardship and being careful with what He entrusts into our hands and not living beyond our means.
I sat there and went back and forth in my mind...it would be easy just to charge the expense, and let it go at that. There would be no need to fret over it any longer, and all would be resolved. Then my conscience would give me a gentle nudge, and I would think maybe that wasn't the best line of approach. Kevin was at work, at the time, and he had already told me to do what I thought was best.
As I felt this inward tug-of-war, all at once, the Lord spoke to me and said, "Why don't you go get Zachary, and why don't the two of you go pray?" Wouldn't you have thought I would have done that in the first place? Why did I struggle so long and try to figure it out on my own? When He was standing there watching me the whole time? Probably shaking His head and wondering when in the world I will learn to trust Him and go to Him....first.
I went and found Zach, and I told him what we needed to do. I got my Bible, we got down on our knees, and I opened it to Philippians 4. I read today's passage to Zachary, and then we began to pray....in earnest. I reminded God that we intended to be good stewards, to follow His leadership regarding our finances just like we try to do in every other area, and I reminded Him of His promises. I claimed them for us on a personal level. When we finished praying, I told Zachary that I was leaving it with God, and I didn't know how, but He was going to take care of it.
The next day, things got worse....and more desperate. The situation looked like it couldn't wait much longer, and I'll admit...I was tempted. I almost caved. I just about whipped out the old credit card and did what needed to be done. The enemy came along and began to whisper in my ear....telling me God was taking too long, that my prayer hadn't been heard, that I should take matters into my own hands, that God would understand.
I stood firm. I kept reminding myself of the Scripture in Psalm 27:14 (KJV), "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." And the one in Psalm 37:34 (KJV) that says, "Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land..." And so many others.
I decided to wait....on the Lord....and His means of deliverance.
Then, it happened. I got a phone call. From a source that I hadn't even considered and never even dreamed of....telling me they were going to cover everything except $100 of the cost we needed to pay!!! Later, in the day another phone call, with another $50...completely unexpected and out of nowhere! By the end of the day, the other $50 was arranged, and everything was supplied and paid for. ALL of it by the providential care of God, through channels unbeknownst to and not in any way arranged by us. None of it on credit. No disobedience required.
What if I had gotten in a big hurry, felt the pressure closing in, and crumbled?
What if we would have missed this blessing?
What if Zachary would have seen me go to God in prayer, then get impatient in waiting for His timing, and take matters into my own hands?
He would have missed the blessing, too.
Do you know that God has resources you and I have never tapped into?
I thought of my earthly Dad. He was the best father I could have ever asked for. He would have done anything in the world within his power to help me out, make me happy, or lighten my load. He was a very hard-working man, without much of this world's goods. He died pretty much penniless. And although he would have given anyone the shirt off his back, and although he had a heart of gold and wished he could do more, he was very limited, due to circumstances beyond his control.
But, our Heavenly Father owns everything. His storehouse is full to overflowing. He has all we need. We can go to Him with our needs, and we can tell Him all about it.
He already knows, anyway.
I stand amazed at how He answered our prayers that day. I feel so indebted to Him. He showed His love to us, in a very personal way, and He came through for us, as He has so many, many times before.
I wish I would have gone to Him first...before I struggled so much and tried to figure things out on my own. Maybe, one day I'll learn....to make prayer my first resource....not my last resort.