Struggle and pressure do not equal failure. Tight finances, budget battles and overdue bills do not equate failure, either. There are times when things just don’t work out, health fails, or the crops don’t yield, or someone else’s decisions limit your financial freedom.
There are days spent pleading with God for just one person to help you out with ten dollars worth of gas. There are moments when you press for grace in your prayers, utilizing all your energy, and hope for the kind benevolence of a stranger as you eke out all the change you own onto the counter of the gas station. There are moments of watching person after person count their money, look guiltily at you, and then clutch their wallet tighter as they walk away.
There are moments of telling people gently but honestly that you have no gas money for the week, and have no idea how your spouse will get to work, only to be dismissed with “I will pray for you”.
Faith [even if exhibited through prayer] without works is dead. James 2:26b
The beginning of that verse states, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead.”
After months of praying and telling people we needed help with gas money, this past week brought an old friend from many miles away. She asked how to pray for us, and I told her. She didn’t hesitate to give me her last twelve dollars, so we could have gas and buy lunch for the kids.
The food ran out, and I called a community organization who had been assisting us with paying some of our bills as we seek to find stability….and we wrestle through health challenges.
Before I left, I wrote out a prayer in faith, thanking God for how he would provide us with
1. A home to own
2. Financial security
4. Gas money
5. Protection for our family
6. A job for me
7. Provision for our bills
8. Money to buy the medicine we need
9. Abundant life living in full deliverance
10. Hearts that seek God first, and after loving God, that we love
The community place was amazing. They gave me seven pair of pants for the kids, they are going to help me with job hunting and placement, they are going to help us with financial counseling and credit help so we can pursue home ownership, and they gave us this:
Today, I am so thankful for their “works”, even if they are not a “faith based” organization.
A friend of mine heard this story and saw the pictures, and she gave me money to apply for the licensing required in the job I am pursuing. We put gas in the tank with it until this Friday when are paid again. James has been blessed with extra hours, so hopefully we can start to make steps closer to full freedom.
Meanwhile, I am thankful for a good, loving God who will and does provide for his children…sometimes through those we call “within faith”, and sometimes through the “works” of other agencies.
I am thankful that despite the times when my faith has had no works, He remains faithful…and He continues to work.
May you go forth today and live a life where your faith and works intertwine in a masterpiece of worship.