Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Times of feasting, and times of fasting

We're in a financial crunch right
now.  We've had a loss of some extra income and now we're having
to reduce our spending in many ways and look for more ways to save
money.  We're also trying to think creatively of ways to earn more
money. 

Part of the problem lies in the fact that we
now have two homes.  God provided the extra work that enabled us
to purchase Steve's family homestead last year.  And now we are
trying to pay for two homes on less income.  We are confident that
God provided for the purchase of the farmhouse last year and we are
confident He's going to work this situation out, too.  He may
provide work for us out by the farmhouse so we can move, or He may
guide us in how to continue to reduce our spending, or He may provide
another means of earning extra income while still owning two
homes.  We're waiting for His direction and provision.

But in the meantime, we've had to tell our children "No" to many
things, such as ordering pizza.  They're getting tired of hearing
it.  They've asked us if we're poor now. We said no, but they have
decided we are.  They've asked us why we have to be poor
now.  They've said they don't like being poor.

The other
day I reminded them that we're right in the center of God's will. 
That He has led us into this time.  That sometimes He uses times
of fasting to grow us.  When we're feasting we get lazy.  We
become lazy about being wise stewards.  We become lazy about
saving money.  We become lazy about working with what we already
have, thinking we need something better instead.  We forget to be
thankful.  We become lazy about our faith, and lazy in our prayers.

When the fasting begins, we are stretching our muscles.  We learn
again how to wait patiently.  We learn again how to deny
ourselves.  We learn how to trust God to provide our needs. 
We learn to pray diligently.  We learn to be creative as we use
what we already have in new ways, and as we think of new ways to earn
money.  We learn what's really important.  We learn the
difference between Needs and Wants.   We learn to be thankful.

In these times, we learn to depend on God, and we have the privilege of
seeing God work in our lives.  We get to see Him answer prayers as
He provides for our needs.  And we learn what is important to Him
as we see which prayers are answered No, and which are answered
Yes. 

That had to be a God moment.  When I told
that to my daughters, it ministered to my heart so much.  It just
had to be a God moment.  He put those words into my heart, and
into my mouth.  He used me to teach my daughters something, and He
encouraged me at the same time. 

As I was thinking
about that this morning, God reminded me that they are watching
me.  If I act deprived and resentful and stressed and fearful,
they are going to pick up on that negative attitude and mirror it back
to me.  If I am thankful, patient, prayerful, creative,
resourceful, and faithful to praise God, they will learn a very
important life lesson.  The way that I react to this situation
will affect them as they go into their adult lives.

Oh,
Lord, help me to trust You during this time.  Help me to focus on
the truly important issues.  Help me to keep a positive and
resourceful attitude.  Remind me that You're stretching me and
growing my faith muscles, please. Help me to lead my children through
this time in a way that would be pleasing to you.  Give me
creativity, wisdom,  and resourcefulness, Lord.  Give me
patience, peace, and faith, Lord.  Thank You for providing for our
needs, Lord, and guide us during this time of change and
transition.  Amen.

I need to spend some time
seeking out Bible verses for us to focus on during this time. 
When I find some, I'll add them to my blog.  Does anyone have a
favorite verse for these times of fasting to share with me?

3 comments:

  1. Very good thoughts, April. I'm glad God brought them to mind at the right time. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was thinking along similar lines the other day (we are in similar circumstances!) You can read the scriptures and bible stories that blessed me at this link.

    http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/ejoyce,ink/163783/

    God bless you.

    Eleanor

    ReplyDelete
  3. What beautiful words of wisdom you shared with your daughters. Thank you for sharing them with us. They were an encouragement.


    I was thinking just this morning of a difficult time I went through several years ago and all I learned as a result. If given the option, I can say now that I would not erase that period in my life because it was such a learning/growing time. Growth can be painful (usually is), but oh so rewarding.


    Blessings,


    Angela

    ReplyDelete

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