1 Timothy 6:17
Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.
He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.
~C. S. Lewis
Back in October of this year, the federal government shuts down. My husband, Danny, who is the Region 4 coordinator for Energy Star at EPA, is laid off. We don't know for how long. We don't know if any back-pay is in the offing. So many economic uncertainties to face!
Danny, always practical, sits down to take a hard look at our budget. After a careful assessment, he shares his ideas.
"This month, no eating out, no internet orders, no matter what, and we need to cut back on what we're spending on groceries. I think we can survive this."
"I know we can," I assure him. "Just let me do all the food shopping."
Why should I handle the groceries? It's been a long-standing joke at our house that if I let Danny loose at our local Publix, I can expect him to buy anything which catches his fancy. And, never count the cost! Because, when you endure lean times in your twenties and thirties and have to pinch every penny, once you have a stable, generous income, you tend to allow frugality to go the way of the dinosaur.
"What?" Danny sounds disappointed. "Don't you trust me to look for bargains now that we're in this fix?"
"Why, of course, I do. I know you will. Let's put our heads together and think of meals that will stretch before we head to the store this week."
And, that's precisely what we do. We even stop buying the flavored vitamin water we love. Instead, Danny buys the much, much cheaper bag of fresh lemons to make lemonade. Amazingly, our food costs plummet by nearly $70 a week! Wow!
The good news? Even though the shutdown is long over and we now know Danny will get his pay for that lost time, we have maintained, and will continue to maintain, our savings mentality when it comes to budgeting for food.
The better news? This time of uncertainty actually brought us closer to God and to one another. A day didn't go by when we didn't pray together. When I would see those furrows of worry crease Danny's brow, I'd immediately remind him that God is with us and will see us through, no matter what. The relief which would flood his face was priceless . . .
And, God, through one unselfish and loving angel, touched us even deeper during this trying time. We peruse our mail as usual one day to find an envelope addressed to us, but with no return address. The postmark is metro Atlanta. We open it to find this:
A most unexpected blessing. And, because of our careful stewardship during this month of hardship, we were able to use it to bless others.
Have you gone through a time of adversity which resulted in unforeseen blessings?
Will you pray with me?
Father, we will no place our hope in the riches of this world, but in the riches of Your heavenly glory. Remind us each day that You alone are enough to supply all our needs, the ones You know of before we ever know how to ask. May we, with thankful hearts, always share our blessings with others. Amen.