Matthew 6:26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
While reading some old diary entries from several years ago, I was reminded of the various ways in which God has provided for me and my family. You see, at that time my husband had lost his job, and we were still in the early recovery of our marriage from the affair he had with another woman. There was so much emotional stress as I learned to trust him again that I had no idea how to cope with the loss of trust and the loss of a major source of our income too. Just to add a few more violins playing in the background, I had lost one of my jobs as well. I had been babysitting a boy who was now old enough to attend school all day and the family would no longer need my day care services.
How would we survive? How far was unemployment really going to stretch? Would I have to grocery shop far from my home so that my friends and neighbors would not see me using the food stamps debit card? Why did this happen to me at this time?
Well, if we look at the book of Deuteronomy, it is evident how God provided for Moses and the people of Israel. In 2:7 we are reminded that of the 40-year journey they were on, they were blessed in the work of their hands and not lacking in anything.
Who can forget the story of Jesus feeding 5 thousand in the book of Matthew? Matthew 14:20 “They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over.”
Another favorite story of mine and how God provides is in 1Kings (19:1-9) where Elijah was running for his life and just broken in the desert. He had given up and while resting under a tree he prayed to die. Instead, an angel told him to get up and eat. Provided for him was baked bread and water! That angel came back a second time and instructed him to eat again, for the journey was going to be a long one.
So if this patch of unemployment and emotional stress was going to be like Elijah’s long journey, I was ready. I put my big girl panties on and began creating ways where we could stretch our dollar. We hung our clothes on a clothesline to save on electricity. I grew very creative with recipes that used the foods I had been growing in my backyard garden. Weren’t we lucky that our time of unemployment was primarily during the summer months when the garden was in full bloom? God provides. We knew that going out to eat was no longer an option, but also reminded ourselves that it would only be temporary. Our teenagers were already working summer jobs, so they knew better than to ask for any extravagant items. My son is still happy to shop at WalMart for most of his clothing.
The pastor who was helping us through the issues relating to the affair said that we still needed a date night outside of the home and away from the kids. We were learning to relate to each other again and communicate better. My husband found out that if we went to our favorite dive before 9:00 PM, we could avoid the $5.00 cover charge. If we wanted to see our favorite local band, we would eat and have a drink at home, then arrive before the bouncer started charging. We knew the band would not play until 10:00, but that quiet hour of waiting was a wonderful opportunity for us to just talk and gaze into each other’s eyes before the loud music began playing.
I won’t lie and tell you how easy those 6 months were, because they were not, but I can assure you that we made it through and have nothing more than a few financial scars from the episode. We are not worried, as we know God is providing for us still. I leave you with this: Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”