I get my pay stub in the mail and reluctantly open the envelope; I can guess the amount but looking at the numbers I unconsciously grimace while the furrows in my brow permanently deepen a little more and I wonder again if it will be enough. But looking up from the dismal paper and out into the bright autumn sunlight, I also wonder where all my time has gone when there have been so few work days in my week?
Have I squandered both my money and my time?
I return home from shopping and look at the contents of the grocery bags littered across the kitchen floor and think, “Could this really have cost that much? I look at my account balance, tally the bills and necessities, and in amazement ask, “How can I possibly spend this much on ‘extras’?
And while I know there has been housework, laundry, cooking, cleaning, countless trips to school, football games, barn chores, shopping and errands; I ask myself, “Have all these tasks – these good things but maybe not always best things – crowded out other better things I should do? Have I been a good steward of my time?
But when I look at the meager balance of my pay stub again, I am reminded that despite the numbers there has always been enough… more than enough. My children and I have never gone hungry and for many years I have always been able to pay my bills. I am reminded that this job… and the one before it, both just landed in my lap even before I went searching for them. And there have been unexpected extra provisions every time my children and I had a need. Even today – this month with very little work – there is extra that seems to just come out of nowhere at the most opportune time – like the text I received last week asking about a goat I intended to sell but haven’t yet advertised.
Yes… there is more than enough.
True, there have been times in the midst of a crisis that it seemed there wasn’t enough –when there wasn’t enough income to make that payment and I’ve suffered and wondered, “Where is the provision I’ve prayed for so hard?
There were times I made bad mistakes when I thought I should find my own provisions or when the answer to my prayers was really no or wait and I wanted now. But all those difficulties – those moments that landed me on my knees and turned my eyes upward to the only true source – they seemed to always turn my wayward, self-sufficient heart back to the one who loved me enough to say no or wait.
And when I look back, I see a God who was always there even in the midst of crisis and who always provided what I really needed – even when the provision wasn’t what I envisioned or hoped and when it looked like he didn’t come through and when I suffered.
So why do I worry?
And my worries do not stop at money. I never feel there are enough hours in my day and I often do without the sleep my body really needs. And while there have been times I could not make a deadline or procrastinated and missed an opportunity, and there were times when my meticulous efforts produced too little too late and I cried out in frustration and disappointment, an honest look at my life and I see how I’ve been blessed with time in every season. There was time to stay home and enjoy my babies even though they grew so fast. I had eighteen years to homeschool my children and build relationships with them as we spent long days together learning, laughing, sometimes crying, but always living life together. And then there was that blessed time between life changes…that short but productive season that gave me time to actually write my book.
So why do I cry and fret over fleeting days?
Even when I squander and waste the valuable time and resources I’ve been given, he is gracious and merciful and still there is enough. I may never know what could have been with the time I’ve wasted or what I could have done with the resources that have slipped through my hands and I am saddened by my own sin and weaknesses, but oh what mercy I’ve received!
And if He’s the same yesterday today and tomorrow then why, when my past is rich with his provision, would I worry about tomorrow? I look up and deliberately try to smooth the wrinkles from my forehead. He is the God of provision; He is the God of this new season that has unfolded before me; and He has already provided for today so why should I worry about tomorrow.
Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.