"There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day. But this ticket, there's only five of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be. Only a dummy would give this up for something as common as money. Are you a dummy?" some very wise words from an aging man in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Life sometimes gets the best of me, and can start to overwhelm me. It's in those times that I have found I need God's perspective the most. Lately it has seemed like our lives have revolved around the dollar. How much do we have? And when are we going to get more? The last two months have been a very trying time for our family and we have been stretching our money as far as we can get it to go. This time of year is always a little bit harder on us as 3 out of 5 family member's have birthdays. That's two kid birthday parties in just 1 month. Then Christmas is fastly approaching and the money in our savings starts to dwindle down.
It seems like we have just been going from one crisis to the next, and I've been praying that we can make it out on top. We've had so many unexpected "emergencies" and things requiring our time and money. Starting with my wisdom teeth needing to be pulled it has gone on from there... From a flat tire on my car and then the engine coolant light coming on, to Titus' car completely dying, to my car's air conditioning going out. We've had a garbage disposal switch go bad, a ceiling fan stop working, our tub drain started backing up, and the library tried to charge me for a book I didn't damage. On Monday we found out Titus has a wisdom tooth that has abscessed and it needs to be pulled.
Through it all I would love to say that every time one of those things happened, my first response was always, "God is going to take care of us." Unfortunately, that would be a lie if I said it. So often my first thought has been, "Come on! Why are you letting this happen to me? Don't you even care?" I am so quick to draw the conclusion that God is not there, and that's He's left me.
If it wasn't for my "3 things God has done for me" that I write down each night before bed, I think my perspective would be totally gone out the window. I have been having a harder time seeing God in everything as things haven't gone the way I've wanted. It's amazing how easy it is to see God at work when your life is going perfectly and everything just works out. It's very easy to give the credit to God and say thanks. But when life starts to get tough, we start to wonder, is God really there? Does He really care about me?
The truth is, God has been at work in all areas of my life, I have just been too stubborn to see Him. Sometimes I want to be mad and feel like it's unfair. Sometimes I just don't feel like looking for the good in everything. But I know I need to. The "God perspective" can totally change your life. We may be down to one car, but twice already God has provided a car for Titus to use, even if it's only for a few days at a time. Our bathtub drain may have backed up, but we were saved a visit from the plumber by borrowing some drain cleaner from my parents. The air conditioning in the car may have gone out, but we've had much cooler days since and haven't really needed to use it. The tires on our car did cost quite a bit of money to replace, but they ended up making a mistake and gave us really nice tires and were forced to refund us money because we asked for cheaper ones. The coolant light did come on, but after some time spent my mom and I were able to fix it by adding a cup of water. The library did charge me for that book, but after I went and explained that I did not damage it, they dropped the charges. Both Titus and I may have had to get our wisdom teeth removed, but Thank God we have good dental insurance. God always comes through for us!
Yesterday we got a letter in the mail, and I just couldn't take it anymore. After I got on my knees and cried out to God, "Help!" He answered me. My little three year old saw my tears, and said, "Mommy, I kiss you?" Then he says, "Mommy, I hug you?" They may have been the arms of a little boy but they had the power of a great big God.
I had sudden clarity that brings me back to the quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. "There's plenty of money out there. They print more every day." Money is really just a piece of paper. It has no real power. You may choose to give it all away, or someone may ask for all of it from you. You may work all of your life to get some of it. But it's not what really matters. "This ticket, there's only five of them in the whole world, and that's all there's ever going to be." The five people in my family are the ones that really matter. That's what this life is about. The people that God created. My children and my husband are irreplaceable. There never will be more exactly like them. Who care's about a little thing called money, when you have the love of a family? Someone could take away your house, someone could take away your car, your things, your clothes, but they can never take away the love you have for each other, or that God has for you.
"No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:37-39 (NLT)