Recently, my husband and I camped on the North Shore with some ATN friends. Our Sunday church service was held on the beach in view of the sparkling blue water and the rugged shoreline. As we spent time in silence listening for God, the sound of the waves rhythmically beating against the rocky beach caught my attention. One after another the waves rolled in………wave upon wave upon wave………….
The word “blessing” came into my mind. Like the waves, God’s blessings for us are never ending – His love, mercy and grace keep coming at us…… blessing after blessing after blessing……
As I continued waiting on God, a happy memory came to mind: As a child my family often camped by Lake Huron. In our tent in the evenings, surrounded by family, everything felt so cozy and safe EXCEPT for the daddy longlegs spiders that had snuck into the tent and were lurking in the corners. I was quite afraid of spiders, so each night at bedtime, my big, strong, fearless Daddy inspected the tent and removed all the scary spiders. Then I could lie down in safety and peace while the sound of waves lulled me to sleep. It felt so peaceful reliving that memory of my dad taking good care of me.
Isn’t that just like our Heavenly Father? taking care of us?! He’s so big and strong and able to remove the “spiders” – the scary things – from our lives while blessing us.
As I pondered the waves and the memory, I realized that God has been like that in our life. We have been “living on the edge” – the edge of financial insecurity for the past ten years. Ever since we started our own business, I’ve had huge, yet legitimate, fears of not having enough money. As each dire financial situation loomed, fear seemed to overtake my entire being. I wish I could say that I handled the fears well, but I often didn’t.
One day, God spoke clearly to me through a devotional booklet, “When a basic need is lacking – like money – consider yourself blessed. Your lack is an opportunity to latch onto me in unashamed dependence. Awareness of your inadequacy is a blessing, training you to rely totally on me.” So true; when things were out of our control, there was nothing we could do but rely on God. He was teaching us, mostly me, to rely totally on Him.
Here are some examples of His training:
- Our son enrolled in college even though we had no money to help with tuition. Late in his first semester, he told us that he was blocked from registering for the next semester’s classes, because the tuition hadn’t been paid. Uh oh! Well a few days later a business customer unexpectedly pre-paid his total bill before we began work on his project. And it was the amount needed for the tuition payment!
- I took our car in for expensive repairs, knowing that we didn’t have the cash to pay for it. The very day the work was completed, an unexpected check arrived in the mail that covered all but $16 of the bill!
- One day, after arriving home from a dental appointment, I angrily asked my husband, “How are we going to pay for my dental work without any money?! Then I stormed out to get the mail and found a letter from a customer. It was a payment for some work for which he had already paid us. When we informed him of the mistake, he told us to keep that money! I was starting to understand that God’s economic ways are very different from ours.
- Covid negatively impacted our business. Shipments from China were delayed; we lost customers. My husband didn’t pay himself salary for many months, so he could continue paying our employees, albeit late. Towards the end of Covid, one of our employees quit partly due to the late paychecks, but within 4 months we were able to hire not one, but 2 new excellent employees and are currently able to run payroll on time!
I could go on and on about how God has removed the fears and blessed us with provision in miraculous way, but the biggest blessing by far is that I’ve been changed. I’m so done with being afraid. Now, when we have challenges I’m better able release them to God, totally relying on Him, because He has proven himself faithful.
So, whatever “spiders” or scary things are troubling you, know that our big, strong, loving Heavenly Father is able to remove them for you, and give you peace through His never ending waves of blessing. Deuteronomy 33: There is none like God, O Israel, who rides through the heavens to your help through the skies in his majesty. The eternal God is your dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.