I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Philippians 4:12-13 NIV
Trusting God When It Feels Unfair
The only way we were able to buy our first house is because my grandmother had left me an investment fund that made it possible to put a down payment on a small duplex, our first home.
My husband was working in maintenance type work and I was a stay-at-home mom with a baby on my hip and another one on the way. We had no extra money. I remember having to leave my groceries in a cart at the local grocery store because my card was declined. We didn’t have enough for cable, to order pizza or even go out for a cup of coffee. We lived tight, but we were happy most of the time.
We were happy, until my sister invited us to her California wedding.
We were in Pennsylvania and we couldn’t afford the airfare or the bridesmaid dress. We couldn’t afford to go, and my husband didn’t believe in using credit cards except for an emergency.
I was so angry and so sad and I felt like I hated my husband. I prayed and cried out to the Lord for help, to change his heart, to make a way. I didn’t want to hate him or resent him, but I was so confused. We asked an older couple to counsel us in making a decision — because my husband didn’t want me to resent him, so he said I could go, but then he would end up resenting me. The couple, in their wisdom, didn’t give their opinion; they said they would, and we should pray that our hearts would align.
So we prayed.
And I prayed and I begged God to help me to love my husband and not resent him and to trust no matter what.
I decided in my bed, as I cried into my tear-stained pillow, that I would trust God no matter the outcome. I also decided to defer to my husband and not go the wedding. And I had peace about it. It was hard, and I was sad, but there was peace.
God was telling me to trust Him, that He wanted me to trust my husband. He was doing a good work.
My husband is a good man who was trying to take care of and provide for our family, and even though missing my sister’s wedding felt gut-wrenching, I don’t regret the decision. I don’t regret it because the Lord taught me to trust Him in it. He blessed me in taking away all resentment towards my husband and believe that God was working good even in this. And I can tell you, God protected me in ways I didn’t know I needed, that I couldn’t see before but was able to see later.
My husband and I have been talking lately about the gift of lack (I first read it put this way here in relation to infertility, singleness, and the “long wait”). When you lack money or resources, often you are forced to face issues in your life, your marriage, and in the deep places of your heart that you otherwise would miss.
We are learning to be grateful for the lack. We are seeing the value in needing to trust God day to day for our needs: monetarily, emotionally, and spiritually. I think if I had more than I needed I could cover my problems, buy stuff to make things better, and have what I want, but maybe I wouldn’t have what I need most: a deep, intimate, and abiding trust that God has my back and works all things for my good, no matter the circumstance.
What difficult thing are you struggling with today
that God is asking you to trust Him in?