A minister friend of ours gave a wonderful illustration that has been brought to my memory recently.
Something of his had broken, (I don’t recall what), and he went to the hardware store in search of what he wanted to repair it. He browsed around and had difficulty deciding what would do the job. He snagged a man who worked there, told him what he needed repaired, and showed him what he was looking at. The salesclerk told him what he wanted was no good.
“You can buy it if you want but that isn’t what you need.” The clerk then proceeded to give our friend what he needed and it worked.
“The part was what I wanted,” he told the congregation, “but it’s not what I needed.”
A relative of ours is going to be laid off in the near-future. As the couple is used to two incomes, and hers is the main one, I felt for them. I went to bed with tears in my eyes and prayers on my lips for them that night. Then I got to thinking about the many people that are in their situation, or who have been in their situation for a while now, mostly due to the very destructive covid. My desire is to encourage our relatives and you during this time.
As I mentioned before, we have been a one income family pretty much our entire married life. Bob and I agreed that when the children came I would stay home with them. No one was raising our children except for us. When I lived at home, Mum was our anchor. She “kept the home fires burning”, so to speak, which gave Dad the freedom to provide for us financially. That brought a great deal of stability to our family. Bob had pretty much the same as far as that goes so we wanted that for our children. Mum did get a part time job when we were older but she was nearly always home to greet us when we returned from school.
Homeschooling spoiled that for us. I wasn’t gifted enough to balance being a housewife, homeschooling, and working outside of the home so we’ve never had the benefit of another income. I’ve mentioned in other posts that it was hard. We went without “things” that other families had to fulfill the mission of my being home to raise and educate our children. The thing is, we never really suffered for our choice. On the contrary, it has been an exceedingly wonderful blessing. I wouldn’t trade all of the wealth of the world for what we have gained in character as a family.
Yes, there were tough times. When we were very first married, I bounced some checks. Bob used the bank card for gas and forgot to tell me. Next thing we know, a financial ball of deficit began rolling. I never really understood banks punishing people like that. I mean, if I had the money, checks wouldn’t be bouncing, right? So take more money. Yeah, that helps. Anyway, the lesson of communication involving finances was quickly learned.
There was the time our auto insurance was due and I couldn’t pay it. There simply wasn’t enough. We were blessed if we carried a $100 balance from one paycheck to the next. There was no savings account for me to raid. I remember taking the bill and saying, “LORD, this is required by law. There’s nothing I can do about it. You said You’d provide all of our needs according to Your riches in glory. We need this so here You go. I don’t know how, but thanks in advance for taking care of it.”
Bob hit a deer on his way to work. After making the necessary repairs to the car, we took what remained and paid our bill. I still find it ironic that we used what was left of the insurance check to pay the insurance bill. Don’t tell me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor.
Do you remember me telling you when the girls wanted iPods that Bob told them if they wanted them they’d have to pray them in because he couldn’t afford them? Well, they prayed and all of them had iPods given to them plus one.
That’s the way it’s been with us. We haven’t always gotten what we wanted and we certainly haven’t gotten what we wanted in our timetable. Some wants have been tucked away in the closets of our minds for years. But we have never failed to have what we needed--and often times we have been blessed with what we wanted. The camper that we purchased four years ago wasn’t necessarily what we wanted, but when I walked inside it felt like home. I knew it was meant for us. God knew it was what our family needed.
Same with our “new” truck. Bob’s prior truck was taken from him through a wreck over ten years ago. Ten years we have limped by with different trucks that were never equal to what satan had stolen from him. I kept quoting the scripture that when the thief is found he must restore sevenfold (Proverbs 6:31). The truck we just purchased isn’t exactly what we wanted, but for what we’re going to use it for it’s what we need. You know what? It’s the nicest truck Bob has had in years. I look at him sitting in it and I think: It’s like he sat down and they built the truck around him. It was meant for him. Not what I would have went out of my way to buy, but it’s the one.
God always provides. Always. It may not be what we want when we want but it’s always what we need. And, I might add, no matter how frustrated we are in the waiting, He provides on time. People may not be obedient to God to supply a need when He directs, but He always provides on time.
Are you willing to join me in laying down what you think you want for what God says you need? I testify to you today that His desires for us are so closely related to what we want that in many cases we aren’t going to notice a difference. As a matter of fact, we will most likely find praise escaping our lips for what He has provided. It may not be exactly what we thought we wanted, but we will find that it is exactly what we needed. In time, we will find it to be the better thing. Let’s give Him a chance to give us His best for Father God is faithful and good.