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?
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I think we all experience some area of lack….some experience it to a greater degree than others. My husband and I were discussing this the other day as I was grumbling about a long grueling convalescence from surgery. Four major surgeries in five years….God, Really? Never mind that my other areas of struggle continue right along with it. I truly believe that God has brought me to the end of myself on so many occasions so that I may learn to have utter and total reliance and dependence upon him. I can even see God’s blessings in a painful divorce that left me feeling betrayed and abandoned. I have learned that God is faithful and will never leave nor forsake me. He can be counted upon. Knowing this to the depth of my core is a “gift” that not everyone possesses. I am thankful that He continually draws me into close relationship with Him….even if it involves future trials. Everything else I can overlook or get beyond as long as I have Christ in me. Thank you for beautifully sharing the blessings and beauty found in seeming lack.
Cindy Byrd says
This is so my story right now. I’m a divorced 58-year old with a wonderful family and have just finished bankruptcy proceedings which included surrendering my vehicle. I’ve stood on God’s promises that He would supply my needs according to His riches in glory only to find out that what I thought my needs were weren’t what God knew my deepest needs were which was coming to the end of myself and trusting Him. I’ve started over in so many ways – spiritually, financially and emotionally – and God has certainly proven Himself faithful. Thanks so much for sharing your story.
My anxiety and dealing with my feelings and self esteem after my divorce
Dear God, I pray for my sister Suz. Lord, go by an visit with her, reaffirming who she is in you. Remind her that she is your daughter, your dear princess…that she is on your mind day and night…that she has been given a spirit of power, love and a sound mind. Remind her that she is above and not beneath…that she is blessed…and that you want to give her exceedingly abundantly more than she imagine or think. Give a renewed glimpse of her reflection through your eyes. Help her to have courage to make necessary changes in her new life. Give her wisdom in her choices and give her a peace that passes all understanding. Give her boldness and joy.
In the name of Jesus. Amen
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
I’ve walked that road and there is nothing like the grief of mourning a relationship that has died. In some ways I found it worse than losing someone to death because of the feelings of betrayal, abandonment, lack of self esteem, and failure. I just want to come alongside you and remind you that what one man thinks does not make who you are. You are defined by what God says and thinks you are. He delights over you with singing. You are His beloved daughter – a child of the King. No human can take that away from you. I know it doesn’t feel like that now, but try to slam the door on enemy who wants you to believe those false lies your feelings are feeding you. I, too, had a lot of anxiety because I didn’t know what the future held. I highly recommend talking with a pastor, or counselor, or Christian mentor….someone who will keep reminding you of just who you are in Christ and that God has got this situation under control and will bring beauty from the ashes. I am lifting you up in prayer right now sweet sister. May the God of all comfort draw near to you today.
Beth Williams says
Praying for you sweet sister! Know that you are a beloved daughter of the King. He rejoices over you with singing. Don’t worry about what the world says about you. They don’t know you as God does. You are fearfully & wonderfully made in His image.
I am struggling in my marriage, with trusting my husband to lead us through a difficult church circumstance. To trust his leadership means letting go of my own idea of how things should be done and when. Please pray that I would not resent my husband throughout this process.
Thank you Sarah for your words. I had to miss my only child’s wedding in another state because I did not have the money to fly there. I was so heart broken. Right before their wedding, I had gotten sick with the flu and bronchitis so if I had gotten a ticket, I would not have been able to go. It all worked out as they skyped the wedding for me. I had to,pray my way through that difficult time. God was faithful then to meet my needs and still is today. I am struggling with knee and foot issues which make walking hard without the use of crutches or a walker. Please pray with me as I am believing for healing. God bless you and your family
Such a powerful devotional today. Thank you for sharing and letting me see how I must continue on this oh so difficult path of trusting in difficult or challenging times. I’m now starting over at 57 with my 12 year old son. His dad recently married the woman he had been having an affair with.
He left me financially ruined and now he’s buying vacation homes, cars and jets.
I know this happens to so many women.
I keep praying for his heart to change as well as mine to get over the anger, envy and unfairness.
Tough struggles but I’m trusting the Lord.
I am praying for you as I have been through similar circumstances. It is a hard walk but let me tell you that it was in this time that I truly saw the Lord do such a work in my family and me. Circumstances did not change but my son and I did in the midst of heartache. Keep seeking your Heavenly Father as he will wrap his arms of love around you and he will meet every need you have. I promise you there is light at the end of the tunnel. God bless you and your 12 year old son.
Beth Williams says
Praying for you sweet sister! May God come near to your broken heart & bring you some peace. May you both see that you are beautifully created children of God. He rejoices over you both with singing. He loves you so much to never leave you. May you feel His arms of love wrapped around you both-bringing healing to your souls.
Oh my goodness can I relate! I grew up not understanding much about discipline. My husband, however, is probably one of the most disciplined people on the planet! We went through SO many “intense fellowships” (aka arguments) early-on in our marriage — and mostly about finances. I am so thankful that the Lord helped us grow together and not apart, even though in the heat of it all it felt very much like we were being ripped into pieces. What I’ve learned is that God was allowing us to be torn in the places that needed rebuilding and healing. I needed to learn to trust God, to honor my husband, and to be thankful for all we had not continually seeing all that was “lacking.” But also, God taught my husband to let go a little bit, and that life isn’t ALL about working and saving, but also enjoying within your means. And we both learned how to better communicate our needs. My husband is such an amazing BLESSING to our family and I am SO thankful for him. What’s more, is I’m thankful that God gave me a husband who would better my life and not one who would allow harmful tendencies to grow. What a good and faithful God! Thank you for this wonderful post, Sarah!
Thank-you for sharing this with us this morning…..
Have a blessed day all,
Barbara Elliott says
Such a timely message for me. I resent my husband and I have been sick for about a year. I have been praying God will restore my love for my husband and take away the resentment I have for him. Also now my health has prohibited me from even going to church and other activities. The message of lack has helped me know God is still with me. Thank you.
God has been telling me now for so long to trust Him for my salvation and that He has saved me and will never leave me nor forsake me. I continue to doubt and worry. Please pray that I trust in Him no mater what. Thank you!
My son is having trouble finding a good job in his field. I am struggling with anxiety but the only thing I can do is pray. I can’t fix it. I have been crying out to God for help and direction. Feeling abandoned as God seems silent
Rebecca L Jones says
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. From Psalm 23, He wasnts to bless us but we do have to learn to trust. I know it may not be easy, but we learn and eventually experience a blessing.
My singleness and painful wish to have kids.
Mine too. It’s hard. I feel you.
Lazondral Nelson says
The gift of lack – Ha! Thank you for the fresh perspective and transparency. I’ve been looking at things all wrong. This is definitely being shared.
Oh the gift of lack. I’ve never thought of it that way – so much God is teaching me in this area as well!
Nancy Ruegg says
Your miracle, Sarah Mae, was even more amazing than a fairy-tale ending of an airline ticket and bridesmaid dress miraculously provided for you. Instead, “the peace of God that transcends all understanding” overpowered your resentment and anger. How glorious is that?! Thank you, Sarah Mae, for sharing your story that proves: A deep, intimate, and abiding trust in God, in all circumstances, is much more valuable than fairy-tale endings.
Beth Williams says
What a touching story of trusting God. I didn’t grow up in a family that “trusted” God. I went to church & participated in youth activities. That was it. I have learned to trust God in everything-the big stuff as well as the little. God was there when my aging dad’s dementia got bad & he was hospitalized. I saw a miracle. God has always provided my husband with a job. He has never been unemployed. We are blessed. Trust God & see what He will do!
I am reminded of Malachi 3:10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.