I am ashamed to even write this, but I think we’ve all been where I was a time or two.
For a few weeks now, I’ve been in a financial need for one specific bill. The minimum is extremely high, and I’ve had a hard time getting the money because work is slow. That’s no one’s fault. I just haven’t been able to get any business and pay my bill. (I’m also ashamed to mention that, but for this story to be told, you have to know it.)
Back in January, I began to pray that God would send me the money I needed. I was sure that He told me, “Watch Me.” The money never came. They added a late fee on top of February’s payment. And now, even more money it due. It was due on Saturday, and I had faith that it was going to come. God is always faithful to deliver, right? It didn’t come.
By now, my faith had begun to waver. Well, it wavered on and off since January 20th when the bill was due the first time, but at this point, the pressure of not having money was bearing down on me. The phone calls hadn’t stopped of them asking me to pay the money I owed. I finally told them I’d try, but I still wasn’t able to pay it.
Dummy me, I asked God why He would say, “Watch Me,” if He wasn’t going to do anything. I didn’t get a direct answer, but God did tell me to trust Him. Easier said than done, right? I have difficulty placing my trust when I feel like I’ve been rejected. I’m not saying that I thought God had rejected me, but I felt like my prayers hadn’t been answered. What’s the point of praying when He doesn’t?
Like I said, I was a big dummy. God has a plan for everything, even when it doesn’t seem like He is even answering prayers, He likely has something bigger and better planned, something our small, human minds can’t comprehend. My mind can’t possibly comprehend anything, apparently.
Well, things happened, afterwards, and I’ve had a migraine headache for days. My emotions are at their highest, and my nieces and nephews fell ill. Three of five had strep throat after having it two or three weeks ago. One of those nephews had strep throat, developed pneumonia, and then got strep throat again. Then, three of the kids had ear infections as well. So, that makes one with strep, two with strep and ear infections, one with just an ear infection. Then, after they were diagnosed with this, they ended up with the stomach virus.
If you know me, you know that I’m a huge baby when it comes to the stomach bug. I can’t stand it. I cry every time I come down with it, and I basically beg and pled with God each day to never let that happen to me. Like I said, huge baby. Anyway, three of the kids ended up with that, and since we all live together at the time being, I’ve been put at risk of getting it. (I'm claiming victory and NO SICKNESS though.)
Remember, I’ve had a migraine for days, which makes me sick to my stomach. My head is literally sore to the touch, making me dizzy and all the other symptoms that migraines cause. (Look it up if you don’t know. It’s awful.) My sister hasn’t slept in two days. Her husband gets a touch of the bug as well, and I’m doing my best to help her with the kids who don’t have it and trying to keep things clean. I’m emotional. I can’t stand it anymore. I'm literally breaking down, crying and begging God to end the sickness.
I have prayed like I’ve never prayed before. I’ve convinced myself I’ve gotten the sick stomach, or I will get it. Then I’ll talk myself out of it. I’m a bit of hypochondriac when it comes to this sickness. Anyway, I ask God for an answer, for confirmation that this over. I feel like I get it, so I go to bed not worrying. I wake up to a nephew with it, and I lose it.
“God, You said it was over. Why aren’t you answering my prayers? God, why? Why would you lie to me? Why would you tell me that it’s over when obviously it isn’t? Why, God? Why?!”
I don’t even wait for answer. I decide that it isn’t worth it. I’m not hearing God right when He talks to me anyway. What’s the point? Why even bother? I don’t pray. I don’t feel like praying. I’m over it.
“I’ll talk to you later God, but right now, I’m done.”
Let me remind you, yet again, of how much of an idiot I am.
I call my daddy. I’m such a daddy’s girl, y’all. We have a close bond, and he’s my spiritual guide as well. So if I have a problem, he’s the first one I turn to. Anyway, I call him, and he doesn’t give me the answer I want to hear. I obviously want him to side with me, but he’s much better than I am and sides with God.
He reminded me of Daniel when I asked him why God wasn’t answering my prayers. A messenger of God, an angel, was hindered for twenty-one days, yet Daniel stood fast, waiting for his answer. I wish I could say that I was that strong. I wasn’t. I broke. My faith had been shattered.
I shut God out. I believe that He was trying to speak to me, but I wouldn’t listen. I kept thinking, “Well, if I didn’t hear Him right this time, what else did I get wrong?” So I was determined not to listen. I didn’t pray like my dad told me to or even talk to my mom and get her to pray with me like I dad asked me to (because he was at work). I just whined and cried about my situation. I was an emotional wreck all day long.
My mom and I had to run a few errands and she told me to put on Yolanda Adam’s Victory and praise God. I didn’t want to, but if Momma says do something, you listen to Momma. I felt much better by the time we got into town, and I wasn’t even worried about the things that had been weighing heavily on my mind.
As I was price matching peanut butter at the check out, the cashier said she needed to do the same thing with it because she just ran out of peanut butter, too. I gave her my paper because I was done with it, so she’d have it and remember to price match it. She thanked me three times, and then said, “You came to my line for a reason,” and then she said later on, “God will bless you for giving me your paper.” I didn’t think much of it. It was just a paper, and I was going to throw it away when I got home anyway. It was best for her to have it if she really needed it.
When we finished loading the groceries in the back of the van, Mom looked at me, seriously, and said, “Pick that money up off the ground.” I turned around, and there was a $20 lying there. It didn’t belong to anyone around because there wasn’t anyone around. We looked. There wasn't anyone near us.
It was just there, soaking wet from the rain. As soon as I got into the van, I started crying. Momma said, “God just said you weren’t broke anymore.”
It was a reminder that He loved me and was still looking out for me, even when I was an insolent child who had forgotten how much He actually loved me.
I was ashamed, but I knew that even though I was ashamed, He would tell me not to be ashamed because that was one of the many things that Jesus had hung on the cross for. As I relayed my story to Dad, laughing, he said, “Condemnation isn’t part of a Christian’s life. God doesn’t condemn you.”
He doesn’t, and He shows us mercy, grace, and favor even when we’re unmerciful in blaming Him for forgetting us and/or not answering our prayers.
It is my goal to try and be more faithful, to remember that God is watching out for me even when I don’t think He is. It’s my job to put faith where my worry is and remember that God loves me. In the end, that’s what matters. That’s what causes Him to work. My pleading and whining and crying won’t do any good if I don’t believe that He loves me. And He does love me. He loves me, you, us more than we could ever comprehend.
Whatever it is that you’re going through today, just remember that God is faithful, even when we’re not. He’s taking care of His kids, and He loves you.