Have You Ever Asked for This?
I remember a point in my life, several years ago, when we weren't tithing regularly. We were making quite a bit of money every year...and spending quite a bit as well. I half-prayed and half-thought, 'God, I wish we didn't have so many obligations. I'm sorry that we can't give right now. Honestly, if we made less, it would probably be much easier to give.'
When we moved to Idaho a little over three years ago, it took a major toll on our finances. My wife made nearly six figures as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District. Here in Idaho, she lost nearly two-thirds of her salary working for a local district (they don't pay as well here).
The job offer extended to me fell through once we arrived in town.
We found ourselves in a new situation - one we wouldn't have intentionally or rationally chosen. At the same time, I remembered my half-prayer. For the first time in our marriage, we began to faithfully tithe (to give ten percent of our income) and give (additional gifts above our tithe). We have not ever been without food or shelter. Our boys always have clothes and the supplies they need. We have been released from the financial chains that once kept us from giving freely.
Is there a parallel with our current situation?
How many of us have told God that we don't have time to pray? Do any of these thoughts sound familiar? I don't have time to pray for my own needs; to offer a thankful heart for everything I have been given; to pray for the needs of others. God if only I had more time, I would definitely spend some time in prayer.
Well, here we find ourselves with time. So. Much. Time. One of the most common things I heard, not too long ago, were these words, 'I don't have enough time.' That's all we have now. Time.
Although the virus and chaos are not gifts in and of themselves, perhaps the circumstances can be. This isn't the kind of situation any of us would intentionally or rationally choose. At the same time, I remember telling God that I would pray if I had more time.
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV)