Last night The Hubs was working. I had just received some nice news via email, and I realized I needed to get the mail still from outside. The box had tons of envelopes, but it was not good news. It was depressing. And off and on all evening I struggled with thinking how unfair things were. Unfair that we make good choices for our finances and for our family, and yet we still can't get ahead. Unfair that the only debt we have is medical, mortgage, and a small student loan, and yet we still can't get ahead. Unfair that we know that we are being obedient and good stewards, and we are not seeing the rewards. We see so many others who have made different choices than us - unwise choices or choices we do not understand - and they seem to be doing great. And I went back and forth between complaining about these things and being thankful that we at least know we have made good decisions, even if we are not seeing the result of them at the moment.
As I could not sleep last night for a variety of reasons, different thoughts pounded my head over and over again.
"You are doing the right thing staying home even if it would seem to others (and even yourself at times like this) that you are not."
"God has never not provided for your needs."
"This is what being a living sacrifice is all about. Trusting even when it is easier to give up."
Romans 12:1-2 (The Message) So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
James 1:2-6 (The Message) Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought.