Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Trusting God with my Stuff

Matthew 6:28-34
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
I've (Lindsey) been thinking about this verse SO much recently. It's amazing how, even in the times in life when you can see God's provision so clearly right in the times you need it, that you can look forward to the things you still want/need as more important than looking back at how far God has brought you. I love that verse 32 says your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Father God is a great father. He knows that we need shelter and food and the physical things that nourish and protect us and keep us healthy. He is not ignorant to the fact that we can't survive without them. He also knows that we have wants and dreams beyond just what we need to survive.
But I also love knowing how perfect His motives are and His plan is in that true fatherly sense. I can imagine it in a small sense with Kenna- sometimes she wants certain things that I know she does not need and won't be good for her in the long run. It's hard to tell her no (especially when she's learning to ask nicely!) but as her parent I know she will come to trust me because of the love that I have for her as her parent. How much more immense is my father God's love for me, and yet still I rebel from it. Still I ask for things I do not need, and whine sometimes if I do not get them.
It's scary sometimes when you wonder if you can make one paycheck stretch until the next one. When the car breaks down, or there's a leak that skyrockets your water bill, or an accidental injury (thankfully nothing major) that still causes a trip to the doctor and a prescription. I would by no means call these things suffering, but our daily stresses that can so easily distract us from the goodness of God's mercy. I'm always relieved to know that God himself walked this earth and knows exactly what it's like to have stress take a toll on you. So I take verse 30 to heart that God says He loves me enough to take care of me, and my faith in Him should reflect that I trust Him to provide. He's not worried about my 401K or my retirement fund or even my child's college fund. My goal is supposed to be "seeking His righteousness," by trying to change every thought and action from selfishness to something that will glorify Him by serving others with a cheerful and grateful heart- easier said than done, especially when I am focused on myself and my perceived needs. Tomorrow and everything it holds belongs to Him, not me.
The bottom line is that we have what we need. We own a car that can get us to and from jobs that pay our bills. That alone makes us "wealthier" than 93% of the world. I think about that often. How much would your life fall apart without your car to get you to and from all the places you go? I panic when the battery dies in my car, yet I know we can run out to Wal-mart and get another one, and probably have the car back up and running within the hour. And for some reason, God still chooses to allow us to have much more beyond that... a comfortable home, plenty of clothing, (too much) good food to eat, computers to use, and fun things to do. (That percentage, by the way, is from a really great book called The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision).
God has really been challenging me recently on my attitude towards my "stuff." I realized that since I started couponing, I've given more "feedback" to companies complaining about bad service or an incorrect advertisement, etc than I ever would have in the past. And while I can rationalize it all I want as being a good steward of our money/spending wisely/making the most of what we have- in my heart it is self-righteousness, trying to take matters into my own hands to provide for myself instead of trusting God.
I want to travel light while passing through this place that is not my eternal home. I want what I can give to others to be more important to me than what I have. And very most of all, I never want to value my possessions or my ability to accumulate possessions more than I value my loving Father who has provided them for me in the first place.

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