I read a prayer request sent to our office from one of our Indiana pastors yesterday. He asked us to pray for his church and as I read his words I could relate to each and every one of them:
“People haven’t been able to identify it, they just feel blah, worn down, basically “weary”. Weary from life struggles. Weary from busyness. Weary from trying to do good following Christ. Weary from doing bad (aka…sin). Weary from trying harder. Weary from failing… Just….weary.”
I think some of this could be a spiritual struggle, as the pastor shared with us, but I believe some of it is just life. Sometimes life makes us tired. Enduring and persevering are never a walk in the park – it’s work! God enables us and strengthens us, but He doesn’t necessarily make it easy and that’s for our good even though it doesn’t usually feel like it.
Before you read on, please know the only reason I’m sharing this story is so that God will be glorified for what He’s done! I’m not seeking pity or handouts – haha – but feel I need to share specifically enough to allow you to feel the impact of how God was there for us recently. Okay, you can keep reading now…
The biggest weariness for me and my family lately is financial pressure. It looms over us and presses down. We continue living in transition and waiting for direction. John has work but we still aren’t quite having enough. I’m pretty good at juggling the bills and weekly spending plan but you get to the point where too many balls are thrown in and you can’t handle it all. Something is going to get dropped. This weekend we reached a point of stress we hadn’t before, down to a few dollars left for the week and that was before we had bought any groceries or gas. We had a rather tense talk about John’s job, about him getting another one or a better paying one, and about our situation. I went to clean the kitchen, as I often do when I’m uptight, and John went upstairs.
Let me back up a bit: that morning when I put John’s check in the bank, I must have had a concerned look on my face when I saw the balance on the receipt because Krissy, who was with me, commented and wondered what was wrong. We try not to share details with her or her sisters because there’s no need for them to be worried or concerned, too. However, she is very perceptive. She told me “I don’t worry anymore because I know God has never failed me or my family.” I was humbled and encouraged by her faith and wished I could have it right then.
Later in the day I checked the mail and saw a note from some friends who used to attend our church. They’ve always been very affirming and positive and have stayed in touch to check on us from time to time. The note was full of praise letting us know how close they are to God, how God is working in their family’s life and in the lives of their sons, and how thankful they are that we had crossed paths. They said they keep praying for us and know God has good plans for us. As I opened the card wide, out slipped a check for a very generous amount. I was shocked and ran up the stairs to show John. He held me and the tears came (for both of us). I think we were crying out all the weariness we’ve felt the past few years from pressure and feeling so restricted and constantly on the edge of falling short. We were crying because it was so obvious that God had arranged this and the gratefulness filling up inside of us was overwhelming. Just that morning we realized how bad things were this week and then that very morning this note and check came. I cried because even though I know God provides, my faith was pretty weak that day.
What good comes from money issues? I look back, not just to Saturday’s amazing blessing, but to the last several years. Now we can relate to people in this type of situation. I know how it feels to grocery shopping with my calculator, not just to be a good steward, but because I only have a certain amount of cash to stretch. I also know how it felt to go Saturday, knowing I could spend what I needed to, getting ready for Thanksgiving and my parents coming. It was actually fun to walk the aisles and cross things off my list. You appreciate it all so much more when you often don’t have it. I even got my turkey!
I can relate to people who have had to live with someone else for a while, can’t sell their house, lose money selling a house, are in a pinch, brown bag it most days out of necessity, etc. It’s already come in handy with some of my friends who are facing this stuff. I can hug them and actually say I understand how they feel. We encourage each other. We’re walking through life together – not alone.
God is so faithful. I’m testifying loud and clear! I’ve always proclaimed it, but He showed us again in an incredible way that He takes care of his kids like He promised. He doesn’t forget us. When I opened that card, I can imagine God was smiling and watching, rubbing his hands in delight and thinking “Just wait until she sees what’s in there!” He is a loving father who loves to bless us and watch over us. When we’re weary, He reaches down at just the moment we think we’ll go under and draws us up close to Him. Just like it says in Isaiah 61, God took my spirit of heaviness and gave me a garment of praise. He did that for me and my family this weekend. He’ll do it for you.