Please welcome my friend and fellow member of the Redbud Writers Guild, Meadow Rue Merrill. I’m delighted to be a part of Meadow’s blog tour this summer. She writes devotionals and encouragements for Christian living.
Trusting God, Act IV: Looking around, receiving God’s love through others
I was seven months pregnant when my husband, Dana, walked through the door and wearily announced that he’d been laid off—again. It was the second time in three years, a result of the huge downturn in the housing market that accompanied the Great Recession.
At the time we had four children, ages sixteen to four. At the sound of Dana’s words, all my hope for our future and theirs was crushed under the heavy weight of despair. Without speaking, I turned and walked out the back door, up the wooded hill behind our house, and fell to my knees under the towering pines. “Have you brought us here to die?” I cried out to God in anguish.
For years our finances had been a struggle. Dana and I both work hard, often holding more than one job, but we’ve also chosen to live generously, trusting that as we share what God has given us, he will generously provide for us.
“If you help the poor you are lending to God,” Scripture says in Proverbs 19:17, “and he will repay you.”
All these years—through seasons when we’ve had plenty and seasons when we were barely scraping by—we had found God’s words to be true. We trusted him. But how were we to trust him now?
I’d like to say that I began to praise God and thank him in advance for his provision as I headed home. Instead I gloomily stumbled down the hill, imagining every dark outcome for our future.
Yet, God used that hard time to reveal his presence and his faithfulness to us, this time through friends. There was the neighbor who regularly tromped up our porch steps with home-cooked meals and groceries and the college friend who packed our van with boxes of gently-used baby clothes and equipment, as I’d given all ours away. There was the couple who mailed a four-figure check to help us get by, the friend who brought nearly-new clothes just for me, the friend who hosted a beautiful baby shower, and the friends who passed on a second-hand vehicle they no longer needed.
Still, after weeks of looking and praying, Dana couldn’t find a job that needed his drafting skills. A Christian man who owned an engineering company wished he could hire Dana but didn’t have an opening. With our baby due in a few weeks, Dana resigned himself to working at a local company in another field with lower wages. Then, the very week Dana was to begin, the engineer called to say he had a sudden opening. Dana got the job!
We are all connected. Sometimes you’re the one giving; sometimes you’re the one receiving. One key in trusting God in hard times is to get your eyes off your circumstances and look around at the people God has put in your life to support you. Honestly share your needs. Then, be humble enough to receive God’s love through them.
By the time our youngest son Ezra was born, we had everything we needed—including a deeper trust in God.
Meadow Rue Merrill is a Christian columnist who writes books for children and adults from her home in Mid-coast Maine. This summer she is writing a blog series on “Trusting God When Life Hurts.” Follow along by subscribing to “Faith Notes” at www.meadowrue.com or find her on Facebook.