I woke up early this morning like I do most mornings, long before the alarm and usually I find myself praying without even thinking about it. Just asking God to provide for us, to take care of us, I pray for Gus and Eythan and the kids. This morning as I was praying I asked God to please provide what we need and then a thought jumped into my head that wont let me go…
“I provided for you because I want to, because I love you not because you have twisted my arm with tithing.”
See over the past month we have visited a lot of church services and one Sunday in particular we heard 3 sermons on tithing. By the end of the day I was feed up with hearing about tithing. Not because I don’t tithe but because I do. See we have tithed and giving offerings our entire adult life. I believe in tithing. But I was frustrated because between hearing about how your bills will never be late, you will have all this stuff like, boats and rv’s, and etc, Gus and I were feeling like God had forsaken us. Our bills were late. We barely have 2 cars that are running and no way to fix the one that is on its last leg. We had no jobs at the time and were down to the end of our provisions. How does this make sense with what they were saying, especially when we followed what we believe was God’s call to us to go. We felt judged and condemned because of the situation we are in. We took the step of faith into the unknown like Abraham, but God wasn’t providing. Or was He?
Last Sunday we heard yet another sermon on tithing and I could feel Gus bristle next to me. Much of what the minister said made sense but again we come to the disclaimer at the end of the sermon about never being late on bills, etc. How do we reconcile this in our hearts? Have we sinned? Have we made a mistake in hearing God? Did we do something wrong we are being punished for?
And then this morning, hearing what I believe was God speaking to me that He wants to provide for us but not because we are twisting His arm with tithing but because He loves us.
Last night I was having a discussion with Gus while I was soaking in my beautiful garden tub. I was telling him that I believe that some of these preachers don’t understand that we all have a different journey to walk. I’m not sure that God is as concerned about late bills as He is about how we handle the late bills. Do we run away and avoid paying them when we can or do we show we have integrity and work out arrangements and are upfront. I do want to say that we aren’t in debt with the exception of our late utility bills. Debt I think is a choice we make that isn’t necessarily about trusting God to provide and I have walked that road as well. But for today, we don’t have debt of our own creation, it is just keeping up with the utilities that is proving a challenge.
I remember when I was a kid, much of the time we didn’t have running water or electricity. My dad sometimes would have to take my horse to work because the car was broken and we only had one car. We didn’t have debt we were just poor and my mom tithed.
So what was that about…Just like we all have our own life journey to walk I am starting to believe that we all have our own faith journey to walk when God will allow us to experience different things to teach us about trust, to teach us about empathy with others, to teach us to watch our attitude when things aren’t all roses and singing birds. I am learning so much right now about who God is.
And to be honest, He is providing. Maybe not how I want Him to, but we have food in our cupboards, we have a roof over our head, our lights are still on and water is running in our sink. Our old cars are still getting us there and we havent run out of gas. I have a job, while it isn’t enough to pay for everything, it is helping. He is providing, because He loves me. I tithe because I love him. Not because I am twisting His arm to provide but because I want him to know that I trust Him with my life and with my family. Whatever His provision looks like today. I will trust Him. I will choose to have a thankful heart. I will not mourn what I don’t have but will celebrate what I do have. Health, children that love God, a husband who loves me and has a heart to follow God, a home to live in, and a community to reach. Not many can say that even if they have all the money they need so much else is missing.
What about you? What are you trusting God for? Are you grateful? Do you see His provision in your life? Are you being obedient to Him? Do you truly love and trust Him?
Today I will choose to say in spite of my circumstances
God is Good to me, all the time.