Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21.
Not so long ago, I heard a sermon from Deuteronomy about God telling the people “remember and do not forget”. The Israelites’ calendar was structured around celebrations, which were times for them to remember God’s goodness and faithfulness in their lives. This was a necessity, as the Israelites didn’t have the best memory. God brought plagues on Egypt that brought them out of slavery, he parted the Red Sea so that they could cross, and he provided manna from heaven for them to eat each day. Still, when Moses was up on the mountain, they decided to make a golden calf to worship. This used to baffle me. God had provided for them, repeatedly and abundantly. Why would they not trust him? Why would they be so quick to seek another god?
Recently, though, I’ve stopped giving the Israelites such a hard time – because I am just like them. God has also done great things for me. His touch and hand on my life is unmistakeable, and yet, sometimes, I forget. I forget his faithfulness, his goodness and his power. I need the same reminder as the Israelites: remember and don’t forget.
I’m reminded of this because I recently failed in this area. Again. I chose fear instead of faith.
A little over a year ago, I became convicted that, whenever my husband and I had children, I was supposed to stay at home with them. This was not an easy decision for me, as I had always planned on having a highly successful career and working outside the home. However, as I sought God’s plan for my life (and as I realized that I could hardly keep up with everything on my plate even without having children), I realized I was supposed to be at home, focusing on God and my own family first.
With no plans for kids anytime in the near future, I was at peace with this decision. My husband and I decided that once he finished graduate school, we would try to get things in order for me to be a stay at home mom. We had a plan.
And then we had a positive pregnancy test.
Although I was so excited about our little one coming, I was also confused. I felt like God had clearly guided my decision to stay home, and I was convinced that was his will for my life. But then, it seemed my circumstances wouldn’t allow it. We owned a home that was appraised for less that we purchased it for just three years ago, and my husband had to go to graduate school, leaving me to provide for our growing family. I was crushed, defeated and fearful.
However, like he always does, God has provided. He has been so faithful to my little family. My husband was granted a full scholarship for graduate school, and a position that pays a small stipend (which is pretty much unheard of in the architecture field). I was so excited by this news, until we did the math and realized that I would still need to work unless the house sold, which seemed an unlikely prospect given the economy. But, we put the house on the market anyhow, and it sold – in just two weeks and three days. I jumped up and down sharing the news with a friend, and I cried in amazement at God’s goodness and provision. But, when I think about it, that’s really not the proper response. Yes, I should be grateful, but I shouldn’t be surprised. 1 John 5: 14-15 says, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us – whatever we ask – we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Why did I doubt? Why didn’t I have faith and confidence that God would provide as he has so many times before? When he puts a desire in our heart that is in accordance with his will, he will also make the way for it to happen. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 “The one who called you is faithful and he will do it.)
I am so thankful for his provision in my life. I am also determined to choose faith next time, instead of fear. I want to model that for my son, so that he becomes a child of faith, one who trusts in his great God to keep his promises and to care for him.
An old hymn has been in my head this past week “Great is thy faithfulness, Lord unto me.” Indeed.
By Mary M.