I think I can speak for most of us when I say that trusting God to provide is hard. It seems to be one thing that unites just about everyone. Questions about how we will put food on the table for our kids, clothes on their backs, and a roof over their heads seem to bounce off the walls of every neighborhood in this world. This is my story of how God is using a pile of children’s books to teach me to trust Him. Before I get to that though, I want to share a little bit of my history.
How I am learning to trust Him.
I’ve mentioned before in my posts about how my family travels a lot, but I don’t think I’ve ever explained why. We have been in missions since before we became a family. (That’s 10+ years, if you want to know!) Though most of our time has been spent here, at “home”, supporting other missionaries who go out, we have felt a love and desire to serve Him in Latin America for some time. So this past summer, we finally had the opportunity to step out and follow His calling.
Being a missionary has its own special brand of ups and downs.
Ups like seeing the most beautiful places and tasting all kinds of delicious food. Meeting people with beautiful spirits from all over the world, and sharing the love of Christ with people who have never heard of Him.
Downs like sleeping on hard floors and crazy bus drivers and no running water. But the biggest challenge we have ever faced is learning to trust God to provide for our needs.
We’ve worked in missions, and we’ve worked jobs that provided a steady paycheck. And we have learned the hard way that a steady paycheck might not be there a week from now. I can’t count the number of times I prayed for God to provide for our needs. And I can’t count the number of days it seemed like He would never answer.
When my husband broke his leg and his job was gone overnight. Or when we didn’t know where we would live in a week. Or the time we had no money to put food on the table.
And when I didn’t know how I would get through the sleepless nights and endless days of being a new mom.
There have been so many times I ached to find the answers to our problems, but His answer was “wait” because what I didn’t know was that He wanted to give me so much more than I was asking for. If I would only trust Him.
He has bigger plans for us.
I look back now and wonder how many times my doubt and anxiety prevented me from experiencing the fullness of His provision for me. How many times have I doubted that He has my best interests in mind? Or how many times have I acted on my own impulses, my small and limited wisdom? How many times have I under estimated how much He loves me? And how many times did I settle for less, instead of trusting for His more?
We have gone years in the past where it seemed like we would wait forever for Him to notice our needs. But when I look back at the times where I couldn’t see enough of anything, I see the places in my life where He was sewing abundance. It was in our challenges that our relationship was strengthened and we made the sweetest memories. And it was the generosity of our neighbors that was the beginning of beautiful relationships. And the sleepless nights, where I learned that His strength would carry me through each and every exhausting day.
He cares for us.
So, back to this past summer. If there was a single word to describe this past summer, it would be “Yes”. Yes, to everything we asked of Him. “Yes, I will provide for you. Yes, I see your needs, especially the ones you can’t see yet. Yes, I care about you”.
“Cast all your anxieties on Him, because he cares for you.”
He provided the funds to get there and back. He provided so much that we were able to bless others who have greater needs than us. Why? Because cares for us!
He provided the space and time to enjoy one another that we don’t get at home. Because He cares for us.
I knew that for me, the hardest part of this summer would be building relationships, as having social anxiety makes it hard for me to get to know people. I was afraid of being so far away from everyone I knew and not speaking the language very well, But I found family 800 miles from home. Because, guess what? He cares for me.
And as I began to make plans for our homeschool once we got home, and I wondered how I could ever afford the living books I wanted to get, I was shown an entire library full of books that I could borrow. 800 miles from home.
Because He CARES for me!
The creator of the universe, who lets us call Him Father. The one who gave all of Himself for us, just as we are. Even though He has to remind us a thousand times to obey Him. To trust Him. HE cares, for US!
And even though this pile of books is small compared to the many things I ask Him for, every time I pick one of these books up to read to my kids it will be another reminder of how REAL His love is. For ME.
This tired, forgetful, imapteint, doubting, anxious mom that loves to read, and wants her kids to love learning, love reading, and love Him,
Don’t let your fears or doubts or anxiety stop you from experiencing all that our Father has for you. He may be waiting to answer you, because His abundance looks different than anything you can ask for. But I know that if you continue to trust and obey Him, He will provide everything you need, and so much more.
Because he cares for every little thing about you.