Uh oh, we may need to rename this one as part 7. Part 6 of the Matthew 6 Dare being published on October 6??????
Oh wait, I’m not superstitious. Except in hockey. Then I am 100% all about not saying “shut out” when my team’s goalie hasn’t let in a goal. And I may or may not have stopped shaving during numerous playoff runs. But as a Calgary Flame fan, I don’t go very long without shaving since they have a hard time of grasping the concept of playoff hockey. (I’m writing this entry about two weeks before it gets posted. Oh man I hope they’re back to playing hockey by the time this is published. But I doubt it.)
As is getting usual and monotonous, here are the links to the other parts if you missed any. And if you keep missing a day, feel free to subscribe using the box on the menu to the right!
September 21, 2012
I woke up this morning expecting something to happen. The first thing I did was go to the front door and open it to see if someone had left a “gift” on our door step. It’s silly in a way. I guess it is a good thing that I still expect God to do something so much that I am opening our front door to hopefully see something. In another way, it feels hugely pathetic. I am reduced to the hope that someone will have secretly put something at our door. Then I used our last $9 to put gas in the van. Later in the day I sold some DVDs for $7 at what is essentially a movie pawn shop. Our cupboards and fridge are getting pretty bare. I wish I could say I was all super-godly and was happy. No, I’m not happy. These are the times when I really don’t like talking to people about what I’m going through. The advice I hear myself getting is usually “cheer up!” and I already know that. It’s really hard to cheer up when you see an empty fridge.
Of course, it also hurts knowing that like every other time; I’m going to fail miserably in staying positive and being expectant on God to work. Then when He does come through I will be both happy and upset at myself for not remembering what He has done in the past. I’m a bit of a failure that way.
I wrote this during our morning prayer/worship time:
Society teaches me that it is shameful to ask for help. Jesus says to ask the Father for help. My experience lately would seem to be that asking people for help provides relief while asking God appears to produce nothing. I know better than that but if I am to trust God to provide, shouldn’t I see God-like provision at some point? We’ve had some little gifts that allowed us to keep going, but nothing huge. Jared’s hockey seems like a huge gift, but with the commitments it entails, in a way it seems like a curse. For example, he has his first game tomorrow at an arena 45 minutes away. We only have a quarter tank of gas and that’s only because I used the last $9 we have to get it. There is no way we can go to that game unless we have gas. I’ll be heading to a store that pays cash for used DVDs to sell off a couple that we don’t watch. Is that the provision we’ve been asking for?
Atheists proclaim that faith in God is a crutch. But from what I see, I say it would be far easier to say there is no God. Then I could just go out and make a tonne of money and pursue my own wants. I would never have to think about the tough questions of life and what to do. When there is no God, there is no accountability! It is so simple.
But I know better. I have seen too much. I know there is a God and Jesus is His son. I know that the Bible is true and I have been given the gift of life. I know that means I have the task of pursuing holiness at all costs. To deny any of this now would be to shame God and all that He has done.
I wish I didn’t fight so much. I wish I had the gift of pure blind faith with no questioning and no thinking. Instead I analyze everything. I have to try and filter out all voices to only hear God’s. And there are so many voices; many of them telling me things that could be good in a different situation. But I want only the best. And so I struggle. “What actions do I have to perform to entice God to act?” But the Bible says we can do nothing? But I also need to root out all sin from my life to allow God to come closer and to act. But He has acted in the past, am I more sinful now than then?
I should be joyful, but the stress I feel prevents joyfulness. This causes guilt because the Bible says I should be joyful. I can’t even come close to the standards set. And somehow I am a leader and a teacher?
One of my biggest fears in writing down all these thoughts during this month is that people reading them will be enticed to give finances out of guilt. And maybe that’s ok. I have been told that in the past. But why can’t people give out of a feeling other than guilt? Is it my purpose to write these things down to illuminate what many, many of my missions co-workers go through each month? Is it just a tricky way of building a more stable financial base for my family?
September 22, 2012
So no provision to be able to pay for gas. Or food. It looks like we’re using the credit card to fill the tank to get to Jared’s game, buy supper while we’re out and then most likely to get groceries as well. I honestly feel a little betrayed, although I cannot say that. I really believed that something would happen by now. This morning I was in a meeting with our church and I found myself praying that someone would come up and help us “because God told them to.” And obviously nothing happened. I could’ve stood up and told people what was going on and expected to see enough given on the spot, but this whole month was supposed to be us staying quiet and telling God alone our needs and trusting Him to direct people to give.
I am hurting right now. Confused and hurting.
September 23, 2012
Have I ever mentioned how much I dislike asking for help from people right now? I know that if we make it public how much we need things right now that many of the good people we know will jump in and help. But I hate asking for charity. And I’ve desperately wanted to “raise my experience” in what God will do when we trust and ask Him. This whole month was an attempt to go way beyond what we’ve seen so that we can know God in a much deeper way.
After using the credit card to fill the gas tank last night, we were still faced with the need to buy groceries. Today at church Michelle and I both decided we needed to be 100% open with our bible study class; so we put on the prayer sheet one simple word: groceries.
We knew good and well what would happen. And I guess that’s ok. It’s not the way we’ve wanted to have our faith stretched, but a lady emailed us tonight asking to bring over groceries tomorrow. We can never explain how much it both hurts and touches us when someone does offer to help. And again, it was someone who we know has very little as well. I don’t understand why the ones with little are typically the quickest to react when someone else needs help. I suppose I should just walk away from that conversation though. Dangerous, dangerous territory.
Is this whole month less about stretching our faith and more about eliminating our pride in asking for help? If so, I am worried that we’ll become TOO good at asking people for help. How do you balance being honest with your needs while still working hard to earn a living? How do you ensure you aren’t becoming a leach that is taking advantage of people’s generous natures?