Confession time! The hardest verse in the Bible for me to obey is Proverbs 3:5&6: “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” It says nothing about a ‘time’ limit.
I clearly remember moving to South Orange County 28 years ago. Our first Christmas here, our bank account was empty. We were not certain we could pay our bills, let alone purchase any Christmas gifts for our three kids. We prayed about it and tried our best to budget responsibly; yet, our bank account was found wanting at the end of each month.
During the preceding year, our ‘loyal’ bookkeeper, turned embezzler, had caused us to lose our businesses and home. So, I’m asking, where would you have moved if you had been totally broke – South Orange County?
However, my husband definitely knew this was where God wanted us. He found us an apartment, over a store, for temporary housing.
God’s Word says to trust Him in ALL things.
I was totally stressed, and did not find it easy to trust God in all things during those first few months. And then, Christmas was coming. I am a Christmas person. You know the kind? Decorating starts before the Thanksgiving turkey is finished. Not this year.
One week before Christmas, I stopped by our church office, unannounced, to drop off a script. We had only been attending this new church a few months. No one there knew our story…we thought. The receptionist handed me an envelope and said an anonymous donor had left it for us. Inside was $300. Do you know how much $300 was worth in 1987? It felt like a thousand dollars! What an answer to prayer – and, not a minute too early!
We had less than a week to pay our overdue bills, get a tree, go Christmas shopping and stock our refrigerator. By Christmas Eve, we were still wrapping presents instead of sleeping. Our young kids had been prepped that this would be a very slim Christmas. By some standards, it certainly was; but, to our family, it was the most amazing birthday party Jesus had ever had! Gratitude took on a completely new meaning. We unwrapped our few gifts very slowly, appreciating every minute and giving the Lord all the credit.
I know many Christmases -prior to this one – that had not been the case. Lesson learned.
God was a little more precious to each of us that day- not because we had received material gifts – but, because it was obvious we mattered to Him.
We learned lessons that Christmas we still remember today. God takes care of His kids. His timing is perfect. He knows exactly when prayers need answering; but, rarely is He early.