“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. …”
- John 14:1
“Don’t plan with a rainy day in mind. You cannot hoard things for a rainy day if you are truly trusting Christ. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:1). God will not keep your heart from being troubled. It is a command— “Let not….” To do it, continually pick yourself up, even if you fall a hundred and one times a day, until you get into the habit of putting God first and planning with Him in mind.”
- Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (July 5)
Do not save for a rainy day? Tell that to someone who has been poor. Tell that to someone who has gone to bed hungry.
In this last installment of planning without God, we need to peel the onion on why some people hoard their money and others are too lavish in their generosity.
My wife was told in her youth that there would not be a Christmas for the older children because there was not enough money for nine children. My wife has gone to bed hungry in her youth. She has remained sick, developing an almost superhuman ability to tolerate pain, because her parents did not have the money for a doctor visit.
Giving to needy people becomes second nature to my wife. She has been there, but she also saves for a rainy day. She refused to pay off the credit card bills until we had our rainy-day money saved up. I explained that the lack of rainy-day money was due to the interest charges on the credit cards. We have those all paid off now, but each time our overall bank balance goes down from one month to the next, she goes into a panic.
She has faith in God for most things, but she wants to feel the security of a little cash, and ours is very little cash.
But can I share something from someone who has very little? You can do it with faith in God. If you focus on God instead of worrying about that next credit card statement, because your son really needed a new pair of shoes… We balance our budget most months. We do not go over too much on the other months. And the important thing is that we see God’s hand in our finances. We are getting our daily bread. We have learned how to live with little, and in living with little, we see how God makes things happen. When you have a seven-digit balance in the bank, you see the money. It is the same when you have six-digits. or five-digits. But with a low five-digit or any kind of four-digit bank balance? You know that a miracle is needed to stay afloat and you turn to the One who does miracles. One bit of “bad luck” and you are sunk at four digits in the bank. But when you keep plugging along, and even having a few extra dollars at the end of the month – you know how that happened, another gift from God.
Jesus told the rich young ruler to give away everything to the poor, and only then follow Jesus. I do not think giving away everything is necessary, but to fully understand what following Jesus means, it might just be necessary. We all rely on our rainy-day money, our family nearby, or some other earthly blessing. And if that reliance on earthly things takes our eyes off God, we might not see God as clearly as we should.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.