I’ve been struggling to share a story about how God provided for my family. Seems easy enough, what’s the problem? Honestly, I haven’t experienced this magnitude of God’s provision before. I tried to analyze what my hang up is. Something is blocking me from glorifying God with my story.
I don’t want to hurt others who may be dealing with the same issue by shouting, “Hey look what my Heavenly Father did for me!” While they are still praying & waiting for a breakthrough. My next thought is, ‘I don’t want anyone to be upset with God for giving something to me and not them.’ I’ve learned enough through the years to realize this thought is a lie and has no biblical standing. God is all powerful, all knowing and is the supreme authority over everything. He doesn’t need me intervening by protecting Him. Perhaps, because I wasn’t raised to talk about things like this. This is my voice in all my flesh, examining my ways about why I do or don’t do the things I should.
Proverbs 21:2 People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their hearts.
Lamentations 3:40 Instead, let us test and examine our ways. Let us turn back to the Lord.
I am not equipped to judge and test my ways. It’s time to pray and ask God what he thinks about why I am withholding my story.
Psalm 139:23-24 says, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.”
I was in my car listening to a local Christian radio station. The DJ was talking about the parable of the Vineyard Workers in Matthew 20:1-16. The story is about a landowner who starts in the morning hiring people to work in his fields. The landowner does this throughout the day at noon, three o’clock and five o’clock. At six o’clock the landowner pays his workers all the same amount regardless of how many hours they worked. The people who worked all day in the scorching heat protested. The landowner tells his protesting workers that they agreed to work all day for the usual wage. Why should they be jealous because he is kind to others?
Right now in my present circumstances I’m the worker who started working at five o’clock and got paid for a full days wage. The convicting part of this story is that the majority of my life I’ve been the worker who worked all day, then protested at the landowner’s generosity to others. It’s my own sin of coveting & jealousy- THAT is why I can’t express the blessings that God has provided for me, THAT is why I have been ashamed to share my story.
When I evaluate my motives, I look pretty good being so considerate of others. When God examines me, I’m only out for myself. The truth is, if I were to hear this story from someone else I would be jealous if I was struggling in a similar circumstance. My head looks downcastin disappointment as Satan comes in to assault my identity and tries to fill me with shame for my behavior. He reminds me of how I was, enforces the lie that I am nothing, I can’t do anything right so don’t bother trying.
I gave my life over to Christ for this very reason. I’m not sinless, no matter how hard I try in my own strength the self-centered sins are still there. I cry out to God asking for his mercy and forgiveness for jealousy and coveting that are in my heart. Jesus comes washing the stain of sin away, gently wipes the tears of dismay away, discards the shame then replenishes me with graciousness of his forgiveness.
Romans 3:23 For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
Galatians 2:16 Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law.”
My head is no longer looking down in shame, but it’s looking up rejoicing that my Heavenly Father loves me and wants to continue a relationship with me even though I have sinned.
Philippians 1:6 And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
So what’s my story you ask?
On November 21, 2013 I was diagnosed with a brain tumor.
I underwent a sinus surgery and serious brain surgery.
I had two anesthesiologists, three CT scans, two MRIs, a vascular ultrasound, medications, appointments with oncology and radiation. I lost track of how many appointments I had with the brain surgeon.
My family accumulated $100,000 in medical expenses in three months.
Yes, I have insurance but it doesn’t pay 100%. We’re your average middle class family who doesn’t openly discuss finances.
Due to my illness and surgery, I was off work from December 2013 through January 2014. I started back to work part-time in February and March, 2014. Shortly thereafter my husband’s company went bankrupt and he lost his job. So, he has been unemployed since Mid-February, 2014.
On March 17, 2014 we wrote the final check for our medical expenses! God has graciously provided by covering our medical bills for my family as only He can.
I tried to do the math to figure out how this could be. It makes no sense, the calculations don’t add up. $100,000.00 has been paid in full within a few months of my surgery. Not by me. Not by my husband. Only God can quickly pay off a debt of that size. IT’S ALL HIM! ALL HIM!
Do you analyze your behavior? Do you ask God to test your ways & motives? Is your faith a relationship with a foundation of grace, mercy and forgiveness or performance based? How have you coveted? Do you have a story that you have been withholding ? I’d love to hear it, would you share it with me?