My tuition has not yet been paid and I’ve been attending classes for the last 3 1/2 weeks. My children’s instrument rental fees are still overdue and I’ve received postcards, emails, letters, and phone calls to that effect. My vehicle finance company has been calling and leaving messages and sending emails and letters. My cardiologist is sending bills to cover what my insurance (which should have covered everything) did not pay for. My water bill is a little more than $400. The temperature in my home fluctuates between 80-93 degrees on a daily basis. The smell of what I believe to be a rotting corpse is getting louder and louder outside and has begun to drift into my home through the air conditioning vent. My mother needs a kidney transplant. My brother is struggling with addiction. My father has not been seen (by me) in over a year nor heard from since my brother died 5 months ago. My rent is 3 months late. My cell phone, cable, and internet service have all been shut off. My kids are starting to worry a little more and pray a little harder and the stress of not having certain things is starting to show on their faces and through their attitudes. I tell them to keep all their valuable items with them at all times because it could happen at any moment.
A T . . . A N Y . . . M O M E N T . . .
At any moment a repo truck could come pick up the van that we have had for less than a year. At any moment a sheriff’s deputy could come serve me with eviction papers or my electricity could be shut off. At any moment, I could lose all the things that I count as necessities and begin to believe that God has not heard my prayers or that I misunderstood His instructions. At any moment I could begin to question whether or not those were His instructions at all. At any moment my faith could waiver, at any moment I could run back to the job I left to pursue the life I believe God called me to. At any moment anything bad could happen. But, I am determined to continue holding on to the promises He whispered in my heart through His word.
I left my job a few months ago to pursue entrepreneurship (again). This time, I would put my all into it. This time, I had to because this time the “bright idea” was Holy Spirit Inspired it was HIS idea. At least that is what I believe. I would never have thought to start my own cleaning service. Mostly because under normal circumstances I dread cleaning my own home. All my hard work becomes invisible after about a week or so. Stains return to doors, light fixtures, and walls. I still find food that I was unaware we had in my home on the floor from time to time. The chore chart I worked so hard to create is often overlooked. So I asked God, “How can I clean for other people and I don’t even like cleaning my house?” His answer -a flood of vivid memories accompanied by a sense of happiness. As the images of smiling and grateful faces of my family members, boyfriends, and friends came to my mind, I remembered how much I loved cleaning for other people. I loved giving someone a break. I would often find myself in the homes of people who worked hard. They worked hard and their home was a mess, so without an invitation, I served them in the best way I could. I cleaned.
Okay God, that’s pretty clever. I asked for a way to make money to take care of my children and you showed me writing and entrepreneurship. I told you I didn’t really have time for either because I needed to work the part-time job I had so I could at lease have a dependable source of income. I asked you to teach me how to manage my finances and to increase them. Now, all I have after I stepped out on faith is stress and heartache. Was my vision of success a vision for someone else? Did I fabricate it? Did you really mean to take away everything that I had after I asked you to teach me how to manage and increase the small amount that I had? It doesn’t feel fair, or right. Did I do something wrong? Is there unrepented sin in my life that I need to confess? Have I ever really heard from you or has it all been a figment of my imagination? Can’t you just use your power to cancel all my debts and give me some money? Please?
I wallowed in the muck of self-pity and did not like how it looked on me, so I cried about that. I cried and I prayed. I cried and I listened. I learned new ways of praying because perhaps this mess was just too huge for God to acknowledge through just a simple petition. Now that I’m crying and praying and fasting and crying and praying and writing and crying and praying and sobbing and laying prostrate and turning my face to the wall and begging and pleading and anointing things with oil, surely He will deliver me from this mess. Surely He will speak the answer into my spirit. Silence.
Anger, frustration, sadness, doubt, and shame have all risen up inside of me. How could the God who has answered my prayers in the past leave me now? Why do I keep ending up in situations like this when I’m trying so hard? I’m starting to feel like I never do anything right. I’m failing in front of my children. Do I really believe? Did God really answer my prayers in the past or was it all coincidence? How can I go back to the same people and ask for help again? They’ll think I’m on drugs or something! So many emotions, so many fears, so much disappointment and so much stress! The only thing I can be certain of is that it could all happen AT ANY MOMENT. What will I do then?
The 32nd chapter of Genesis tells the story of a man named Jacob. Jacob had done some pretty deceitful things to his brother and he was afraid that he would pay for his deeds with his life. He had a serious need. He needed a blessing from God, a blessing he had asked for previously but because he had not seen the blessing he became desperate. So desperate that Jacob clung to the closest thing he could get to God -an angel. In verse 26, Jacob is said to have told that angel he would not let go until the angel blessed him. That is what I have decided to do.
I will cling desperately to the God I believe still sits on the throne of grace. I will cling to my belief in Immanuel -God with us. I will cling to Jehovah-Jireh -my provider. I will refuse to let go of Jehovah-Shalom because He is my only peace in this season. I will wrap my mind tightly around Jehovah-Shammah knowing that He is present with me in this very situation though in spite of the fact that I can’t hear Him. I will, I must, I’m determined to cling to God in every way. All of His attributes, all of His promises, and all of His truth. I have to because it could happen at any moment.
AT… ANY… MOMENT…
At any moment my Heavenly Father could pour me out a blessing that I don’t have room enough to receive. At any moment, He could manifest His promises. At any moment I could praise my way through to my blessing. At any moment I could realize that God shows His strength in my weakness. At any moment I could just fully and completely trust in Him and all my worries will fade away. Something good could happen in the midst of the bad AT ANY MOMENT…
…this is my moment