Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Not Enough Money to Go Around

(Disappointment Part Two)

"I can't seem to get a break."
"When it rains, it pours."
"Where's my blessing?"
"I've done everything I know I'm supposed to do, so why can't I catch a break?"

Have you ever uttered one of these quips about the drudgery of everyday life and financial hardship? I know I have.

But I've also learned some things about God in the midst of these disappointments, as well.

It seems many are facing financial hardship lately. Whether it's the gas prices, the grocery prices, the lack of income, or the quality (or lack thereof) of our vehicles, our economy doesn't seem to balance. And it's usually in the red.

I've been known to break into the piggy bank when this occurs. But I shouldn't have to, right? Because, after all, God promises...

"Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things." ~ Matthew 6:25,32

My husband worked as a union carpenter for the first ten years of our marriage. Work was on-again, off-again. He'd work overtime during the summer and be laid off most of the winter. Eventually, the economy started to spiral downhill, and work became even more scarce. What was God's plan?

The word says that God's children will not beg bread. Yet we found ourselves constantly struggling to stay afloat financially. When he had work, we dug out of the hole we'd gotten into during his layoff season. Just as we'd crest the top of the hole, he'd get laid off again.

And since 1998, we'd heard prophecy after prophecy of him becoming a company man with a steady income. We'd heard that we would lack for nothing. Which lines up with God's word, but we weren't seeing it.

So where was this blessing God had been promising?

Ten years into our marriage, the economy would tank. But God...

God had another plan. One we'd anticipated for ten years with no sign of it in sight.

2008. Memorial Day weekend. Vic had been laid off from his last union job over the winter. He'd gone out searching for work and had landed two gigs working nuclear power plant shutdowns. It was the first time I'd ever let him work a job away from home. Each of them lasted about a month. But the security clearance he'd gotten in order to work them would prove to be part of God's plan.

Vic had been out of work for around five weeks and tired of waiting for another union call. He asked me to pull out the box he'd brought back from his last job. The same box I'd packed a brand new cell phone in to ship him a month before. Nothing else went into that box. Just a cell phone. Now it held slips of paper and receipts that he'd obtained while at the job. He wanted the phone numbers he'd taken down so he could call the guys for job leads.

Their numbers were nowhere to be found. But in that box was a slip of paper from a company he'd worked for five years prior to that particular weekend. A paper that had been in a file folder in the filing cabinet for the past five years. One I never put in that box. One he never took with him. He looked at me funny and decided to call it.

"You're like an angel!" The un-churched man on the other end of the phone proclaimed to my husband. "I need more men. Can you be in Alabama on Tuesday?"

My husband looked at me, and I shrugged. Why not? We needed the income. Maybe God is in this.

We took my husband's $400 unemployment check, which had just come in, and packed him up and sent him off to Alabama. Mobile, Alabama. On Memorial Day weekend. The kids and I stayed in NY, and I kept working at the bank.

Until a month later, when the company hired him full-time, on salary, with benefits. God's plan unfolded.

My husband went from carpenter to field engineer. He no longer worked with his brawn. Now he worked with his brain. This blessed him, as the carpentry work had begun taking its toll on his body. He'd had surgery on both his knees, which had blown out at work.

Within two months, Vic had been promoted to Lead Engineer. There were guys he worked with who'd been waiting years for that position. God had a plan.

The kids and I packed up and moved to Alabama July 4th weekend. We'd made the decision it was important to keep our family together as God moves Vic around.

Since then, we've been able to pay off a few debts, as well as make our payments on time. Do we still struggle? From time-to-time. But not as often as we used to. 

If there's anything I've learned, it's that God does provide, and He does keep His word. It's up to us to believe He'll do what He says He'll do. It's up to us to have faith in Him. It's up to us to put our feet to our faith. We can't expect the blessing to fall from the sky or to grow on a tree. We need to trust God at His word and do the work it takes to see it come to pass. 

My husband could have sat back and waited all those years, expecting God to do His part. But my husband understood that he had to do his part, too. He looked for the open door, rather than waited on it.

People tend to ask me why we do what we do. It's because we put God first. When we put God first in all things, including our finances and our careers, He is faithful to provide our needs and our desires. The word says, "Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you." Matthew 6:33 We step out in faith, because we know God is faithful.

Look for your open door today. Don't sit there waiting for it. Find it. God already placed it before you. It's up to you to take action to see it come to pass. And if it doesn't happen today, well, God's timing is perfect. You'll see.

Photo Courtesy of Michael Connors



  1. I love this! After my husband lost his job this year, we too questioned God's plan for us. But we have seen His faithfulness. It hasn't always been easy, but when we do our part, God does His!
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  2. Hi, I'm new to your site and although I am in another part of the world (Philippines), I truly can relate and I just want you to know that this post made me cry and has blessed me. Thank you.

    Keep shining for God!


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