When I got married nearly five years ago, I thought I had a bit of an idea of how life was going to play out. If you know me, if you know our story, you know that it certainly didn’t go as I had “planned”, but that’s not such a bad thing. I’ve spent a lot of my time in the past trying to box up expectations and realizations, lots of time writing on how life is and how I wish it was, and finding myself missing the Reason. The Fuel. The Foundation I claim.
I think the past year and half has been weird and difficult.
It is inconsistent being small business owners. One month could be great. The next could be incredibly difficult. Depleting. A few weeks ago, I was depleted. All the energy and faith sucked out of me. More frustration and anger than I was willing to admit. It was because we were waiting for Evan to get paid, and we didn’t have any money. And the day the check came, I felt ease. Relief. Comfort.
I didn’t think that this would be our life when I said yes to Evan over five years ago. I didn’t want to think that hardships would arrive in the form of businesses and money and taking care of my boys at the same time. I didn’t want to believe that it was okay for difficulty to be prevalent. It doesn’t mean God isn’t omnipotent. It just means we must draw even tighter and closer to His presence. His power. His peace.
And yet that day, when the check arrived and deposited into our embarrassingly empty checking account, I was happy. I was relieved. My joy was dependent on our possessions. It feels embarrassing when we don’t have much, if anything, and admitting that is me trying to shed my sin. I long for riches. I long for wealth. I long for stuff, and I want to get it off my chest.
I told my husband that this moment was critical.
It is critical for me to see the teachable moment God has for me here.
Being young, married, with three boys has taught me a lot. It feels as though I have a lot of time to get things right in this life, but the reality is, there isn’t. I don’t have days to waste on my worries, my money, or time itself.
I read yesterday in Mark about when Jesus arrived in Jerusalem to chants of “Hosanna!”, how he saw the fig tree that bore no fruit and condemned it to never bear fruit again, how he flipped the tables in the temple and told the people it was not a den for robbers.
I noticed that right when he arrived in Jerusalem, he stopped at the temple, but left. He must’ve seen the people buying and selling. But he left. The next day he went to the fig tree to get something to eat, but found there was no fruit. He condemned the tree to never bear fruit again. He then went to the temple and flipped the tables, driving the people out who were buying and selling. The fig tree was seen later, shriveled and dead.
I started to cry when I was going over these verses.
I don’t know what Jesus was thinking, but I imagine that he could’ve been, maybe even was, so disappointed in the people. Those people who welcomed him as a king, dishonored the holiness of the temple, only to kill him eventually. And he cursed the fig tree, killed it. What an example of his power. Yet he let them ruin him. He allowed them to kill him. And part of me mourns that humanity was and is so cruel to our God, yet he loves us. Oh he loves us.
On that day when Evan got paid, I knew that my prayer needed to stop being consumed with “Oh Father, provide. Bring us the money.” He has proven that he will. He has proven that even when I don’t pray, He will provide. He gives me everything I need and refrains everything I don’t.
I found myself praying that instead, I would pray for peace. For ease. For comfort. Not because we have money, and especially in the moments when we don’t. That comfort and joy and relief would be in Christ alone. In him who had every power and opportunity to withdraw his love and sacrifice from me. In him who saw the people, who sees me, and could be so utterly disappointed in my sin, in my shortcomings. But he died anyway. He died knowing I would fail him. And he isn’t disappointed. He loves me.
It seems foolish, God having every power known and unknown, wanting to love me despite my lack of discipline. Yet he does. I know he does. Like I said, I don’t have time to waste my days on worries, money, or time.
I only have time to spend on the importance of the King who came and died for me. I only have time to worship my King, to love the people who find themselves in my life & those who don’t, and to make sure every bit of my earthly possessions find root in the glory of God. All things for the King. All hope for the King. All thoughts on the King.
A tough lesson to learn. A critical moment.
Teach me Jesus. Keep teaching me.