September 7, 2012

Running the Numbers Game

It is a cloudy Friday here in Phoenix. I hear rumblings off in the distance, but no rain. Oh, how I wish it would rain! I am taking part of my morning off to get my son to the MDV. Hopefully, if we get over there at 8:30, we can be out by 9:30, and I can be down at UOPX by 10:00 a.m. Craziness just trying to get his license -- this will be our second trip to the MVD in two weeks.

As I sit here waiting to get dressed and ready, I am already feeling the panic of money worries. I have not given my notice to UOPX, but will do that soon. I got my paycheck today and it was $200 short. This was due to me taking a day off without pay during the last pay period. I have been so overworked and ill with stress that I have had to take days off just to get by. My pay has reflected that and while I was glad for the day off so I could rest, now I am worried about having enough to cover this month's needs.

I have already taken two days off this pay period -- one day last week and one day yesterday. I banked on vacation, but more than likely, my employer will deduct those hours from my final check. This means I will be short at the end of the month. I will be OK once I get paid by my new employer. I will be making more money every two weeks, and everything will be covered. However, until then, I am going to end this month with $50 in my checking account. I am stressed.

I look to the Lord, and to His Blessing and Provision. He has never failed me, and I know that He will not fail me now. He has provided for me, and I know that He will continue to do so throughout my time at UOPX and into my work at CVS Caremark. It is just a matter of me letting go of the money, and remembering that it is His Work and His Pay -- not mine! Praise be to God the Father who cares for us and provides for our every need! Yes, it is His Work and His Pay, not mine. I can rest knowing that the Father knows my needs, and that while my flesh is trembling over lack of income, the Father is not worried. He is not concerned. If He needed me to do extra work, He would provide that to me. If He needed me to take on a second job, He would provide that as well. Father God -- you are AWESOME GOD! I thank you for the comfort of knowing that there is nothing happening in my life that is outside of your control. Nothing is out of sorts nor is there anything to be concerned about this day.

What does this mean for me? I guess it comes down to this -- I can choose to worry over things I cannot control or I can let them go. I mean if God is handling my finances, then why am I worried about them? Is He not a good manager of money and resources? YES, HE IS! Is the Lord not able to provide for His children's keep? Of course He can, and He does! So then, why do I worry about money and finances?

The reason I worry over money and finances is that I have spent the past 30 years living in fear of "not having enough." I have lived without enough money, relying on others to pay the difference, and hating that feeling of not being able to provide for my family. I have literally agonized over spending $20 on food, and I have made myself sick over worry that I would be kicked to the street, homeless and unable to work, drive or live.

Has this really been the truth? Yes and no. I have lived on as little as $50 a month. I have lived without comfort, without food, and with limited resources. However, I have had a roof over my head, and I have had clothing to wear. In short, my needs, my basic needs have always been met. What I have not had was money to pay heat/cooling, water, garbage, cell phone, TV, etc. The extras we think are basic necessities. Yes, these have all be turned off, reset, and I have faced stiff charges to reconnect, restore. Moreover, my lack of faithfulness in paying for these services has diminished my credit worthiness, and has reduced my ability to get and keep credit.

The 'numbers game' has always come up short for me. Since 2010 and my employment at Macy's, the Lord has provided for me. I have not had a lot of income each month, but I have had money coming in. Little by little He has enabled me to establish services, to build credit, and to have those nice things I have always wanted. He has made it possible for me to live comfortably in my rented home, to have TV and to have a new computer. He has provided not only the basics but all those lovely extras I have longed for over the years.

Now I am worried about having to let these things go, and I worry again about being in the place where I am stuck and living "without enough." God has not said that this would be so, yet the thought looms in the back of my mind, and there is a "what if" thought that circles around reminding me of the tenuous nature of my life. I know where this thought resides, and I know who brings it to my memory. Of course, it is not true, well in part. Could I be placed back into that situation again in my life? Most certainly. However, would it be of my own doing or of the Lord's? The answer is this -- if I were to go back to those days one of two things would have to happen:  1) I would have to willfully walk away from the Lord's provision and guiding Will for my life; or 2) the Lord would have to choose for me to go there and then place me in that situation for a time (a test perhaps or some strengthening). I do not see either as plausible at this stage in my life. I am surrendered to the Lord's Will, and I am trusting Him to provide for me -- to accomplish His Will through me. So unless He chooses to move me there, back to that place for a time, there is nothing for me to worry about or stress over. God is so very GOOD to me!

Therefore, I am choosing this day to reflect upon the Goodness of God, and the completeness of His Provision for my life. He has called me to walk a certain way and to live my life solely devoted to Him. I am to do His Work, and He is to provide for my life. It is our deal, our bargain, our covenant agreement. I do the work, He pays for everything I need. He provides the job, the income, the house, the food, etc. I look to Him, I trust and rely upon Him, and I follow after Him. I do the physical work, I do the homework at graduate school; I do the daily tasks associated with my employer; I practice cello; I support my son; I pay the bills (physically sending the checks, balancing the checkbook); and I wait for His provision. I look up and I wait on Him. He provides for me, He cares for me, and I rest in His Sovereignty and His Power and His Authority over every area in my life. He is SOVEREIGN. He is GOOD. I can rest and trust and know that He is GOD.

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