Yesterday I talked about my toilet.
What that has to do with living by faith, I’m still not sure, but it came up. So….
Here’s the rest of that story.
God lead me to go back to school during a chaotic time of my life.
It was busy and the more classes I completed, the busier it got.
After my first class, we moved from Florida to Maine where my husband pastored a little church. We were financially strapped and plain old busy.
I worked in Kohl’s four days a week. On my day off during the week, I lead a ladies’ Bible study. Then there was teaching junior church, working in the nursery, doing all kinds of other church ministries, and taking care of my kids. I’m listing things that shouldn’t really need to be in lists. They are just things I do, but at the time, I was also working on my master’s degree.
My daughter is still mad at me for not being home everyday when she got off the bus from kindergarten.
I’ve never had bigger mountains of laundry than I did at that time.
Homework and writing papers and listening to lectures wasn’t part of my plan, but sometimes God asks us to do things that don’t make sense. When we obey, He gives us the grace to get the job done.
I remember someone asking me how I did it all without going crazy.
I told them I cannot think past today. I know what I need to do today, in order, and I follow the list. I cannot allow myself to think of tomorrow or the day after, because I will have a nervous breakdown.
And then there were the finances.
School cost money. Money we did not have.
We did not even have money enough for food. My husband would drive down to New Hampshire where a retired man made it his mission to keep New England pastors fed. He would collect day old and expired goods from local grocery stores and stock them in a freezer. When a pastor came, he would fill up their car with food. No cost.
You see, almost every pastor I know in New England is bi-vocational. That means they work a full-time job and pastor full-time. Sure they are expected to be available 24/7 for their parishioners. That’s the way it works.
When I go into giant southern mega-churches, I often wonder what struggling little churches could do if only they were supported by a mega-church or two. Most churches I know struggle to keep the building heated during the long winter. Support could transform missions in our own country, but that is another story for another day.
Sometimes God asks us to do less than desirable things, like eating day-old food and being happy with whatever you got.
Once a woman came to the church begging for food. This happened often, because let’s face it, there are needs in this world. The church, the people in the church, should be providing for the needs of the poor.
This woman was unique though.
I walked back into our “house” portion of the church, opened my freezer and filled a bag. When I handed it to her, she looked inside and said, “Don’t you have anything but ground beef?”
Why, as a matter of fact, I do not. And, I’ll take it back if you don’t want it, because we’ll eat it!
Maybe this just sounds like griping to you, but I promise you, I am not complaining. Those were some of the best days ever. We love that church. Those people are like our family, and we saw God work in truly amazing ways.
I am telling you just a little snippet of a story, so you will understand.
God asked me to go to school, but I had no money for school.
We struggled to make timely payments for a long time. Then one day I got a phone call from someone at the college.
She told me that she and her husband planted a church in New England once and she knew first-hand how tough it could be. She said she brought my family before her church on Sunday and they took a special offering. It was enough to pay the balance of my school bill. All of it.
God provided once again.
When living by faith doesn’t make sense, remember God’s got it all figured out.
He knows what He is doing, even if you do not.