It was midnight, my kids were asleep, and my husband was at work (third shift). I was struggling. As I looked at our finances after a severe pay decrease, I was frustrated to say the least.
Didn’t God know how important it was to pay our bills? Doesn’t He want us celebrate our five-year anniversary? Can’t our daughter enjoy ice cream or popcorn at the zoo?We have so many goals we are no where near. Finances seem to allude us no matter how much we stratagize and plan.
So I prayed in frustration that God would help us with our finances.
He told me to prepare for a fire.
That does not solve the problem, God!
In fact, it would make things far worse!
What was He thinking?
Then, I thought I misheard or misunderstood. Maybe it wasn’t God. Maybe my brain was tired and I was letting my anxiety run away with my thoughts.
So I tried to fall back asleep. And there was still the quiet nudging that kept me awake. I fought, I pretended I didn’t notice, I ignored.
“Prepare for a fire.”
Finally, I gave in at 2:00 AM and waited for a fire.
I fell asleep and awoke the next morning with no licks of fire or scent of smoke. Zero terrible accidents nearby that might have just missed our home.Why would God ask me to do this if I didn’t lose my home? Our trailer was fine, and I was exhausted with two little children to care for. Had I really heard God?
As I have been struggling with reigning in our spending from little to very little, I have been convicted. I have begun to ask “Is it worth giving up X, Y, and/or Z?”
But this has failed when I forget to ask or I don’t have a good enough reason to overcome my clearance justifications. I convince myself it’s okay because it’s such a great deal.
In the future, however, I feel the small, quiet nudge to ponder this “fire” I needed to prepare for. Scripture clearly states that all we gain on Earth will burn in the fire that will signify Jesus’s return.
If it is going to burn anyway, then why am I buying it? I propose there are only three reasons something is worth purchasing.
1.It will draw you closer to God
- Some people are fine reading scripture online or through a free app. Others find it necessary to have a hard copy, a journal, stickers, and color-coordinated writing utensils because they are visual learners who remember better when something is organized and designated to a specific color. Sometimes they need both because the light form their device helps them stay awake in the early morning.
- A secluded space to meet with God and clothing that help you feel comfortable and covered just in case somebody sees you.
- A lock on your door so your toddler has to wait until you’ve asked God to help you deal with her (Motherhood is hard on the will and spirit. Lord help us parents).
2.It restores you and brings rest
- Tea to help you pause
- Bath bubblies to calm you down
- Toiletries and cleaning products
- Healthy Food
- Comforting Food (see toddler comment above…)
- Exercise Mat
- Sleep Mask
- A vacation or short trip to breathe in God’s beauty (and breathe out the chaos of the children. Ahhh…).
3. It connects you to other people
- Extra food to feed others
- Cars and homes with guest space
- Good Smelling hand soap (that the toddler gets a hold of before you can actually set it out for guests. At least you’ll know if their hands are clean).
Once I started changing my perspective, I have found that there is freedom matched with purpose for the items we purchase. My desires meet with the truth of our disintegrating world, and it helps me to re-frame my desires or to pray over them when I feel the overwhelming inability to quench it. It bring Christ into my daily living as an active member in my finances. If He is continually involved, then I will find shame replaced with freedom. If it will burn in the fire without eternal impact, why am I investing in it?
What would you save from the fire? If you would not try to save it, then why did you buy it? Is it as necessary as we convince ourselves?
What passes your Fire test?