For those married folks out there, do you remember what it was like preparing for your marriage? You and your spouse-to-be planned for everything, right? What your dream house was going to look like, what motif your kitchen would have, how many kids you two would have, when you would start having them – all that kind of stuff was planned out long before the marriage vows were even exchanged.
It was the same way with us, too. Heather and I thought of every possible scenario of life that would call for our forethought. Before we got married, we knew that the kitchen was going to be decorated with cherries, we wanted four kids, and we would wait one year (TO THE DAY!) to start enlarging our family. But there was one very important thing that we had not planned out completely: a way to make a living.
That’s right, when I promised to love, honor, and provide for Heather, I meant every word of it, but the truth was, I had no idea how to really do any of it, especially the part about providing for her needs. Don’t misunderstand, I knew how to work hard. Manual labor or desk work, it didn’t matter to me. If it paid the bills, I was up for it. But, when we got married, neither Heather nor I had any means of income. When we said “I do,” we had no idea what we would actually do. Imagine my poor father-in-law, watching his beautiful (wait, gorgeous) daughter give her life over to an unemployed schlub, knowing that she was also without gainful employment. What was he thinking, anyway?
Who does that? Who gets married without knowing how to pay for all of that stuff you’ve planned for? Seems a little irresponsible, doesn’t it? Looking back on it now, it actually seems a little crazy, foolhardy at best. But, then I remember why we did it. You see, after we got married, Heather and I moved to Knoxville, TN, so that I could finish my last two years of Bible college. I didn’t know why, but I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that it was God’s will for me to receive my bachelor’s degree at Crown College of the Bible. That life decision would require us to leave good jobs that could have easily turned into lucrative careers, had we stayed in our hometown. But, instead, we decided to follow God’s leading. So, we put in job applications in the Knoxville area, but nothing panned out, nothing.
When we moved to Knoxville, all we possessed financially was a little under $1,000 and a bucketload of faith in God. But, little did we know how many dollars that faith would add up to. Our first year of marriage was awesome! We had food, the bills stayed paid (including college), we went out on dates; I mean, we had a blast! And, oh yeah, we did eventually find work. But, in all honesty, the money we were bringing in did not add up to how much we were paying out. Simply put, we were running on a deficit. But, that’s where the blessing of faith comes in. We had faith in God that He would provide for us, as long as we followed His will. We fulfilled our end of the bargain, and God did more than keep up his end. Every need we had was supplied, sometimes in amazing ways. Just like the widow of Zarephath, the barrel of oil and bag of flour always had just enough left right at the time that we needed it. Ever since then, we have tried to live our lives in a way that captures that same kind of faith in God’s ability to provide for us, and I can sincerely say that we have never lacked in one area of financial need.
It’s funny to note, by the way, that most of those big plans that we made before we got married changed considerably. That’s right, we don’t have cherry stuff in our kitchen any more. But, I hope that we will continue to trust in God’s provision in our lives, because I know for a fact that His designs are so much greater than anything we could plan on. How about you? When is the last time that you forced God to take care of you because of your faith?
Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”