Friday, September 03, 2004

God's Extravagant Provision

I had a revelation last night after an early evening swim. The house we are renting has an in-ground pool in the backyard. I don’t know how common it is to be able to rent a house with a pool, but I don’t believe I ever thought it would really happen that we would rent one. It’s been a blessing in our lives, and I’ve even seen the hand of God in it because our daughter’s chiropractor recommended swimming for her muscle-related scoliosis after we moved in. When we came to North Alabama back in November 2003 to look for a house to rent, the pickings were pretty slim. We looked around for one day in the Huntsville area first, but we all agreed we didn’t want to live there so we came back to our first goal—the Shoals area. We looked at a few other houses besides this one, but really none of them were adequate—too small, too junky, questionable neighbors. There really wasn’t a whole bunch available in our price range and in our time frame. Even this one was more than we wanted to pay, but it being the only real option, we took it. It was just icing on the cake that it has a pool, which is something our family has always desired and dreamed of. My revelation last night was this—if there had been a cheaper place that was an option to us without a pool, guess what we would have chosen? That’s right, the cheaper place without the pool. God is SO good! We would have missed out on an awesome blessing from Him if there had been other options for us. Not only has the pool been a blessing, but the park practically next door, our elderly neighbors who just happen to know all the homemaking skills we want to learn, being five minutes from anything we could need (even a mall!); the list goes on and on.

I am glad that God arranged circumstances so that we ended up here, but it’s sad to me that we have to be “forced” to receive His blessings sometimes. It is disappointing to me that so many of our decisions are based on financial concerns and not necessarily what the Spirit would lead us to.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about all the times through the years of married life that we have needed to purchase something that we felt that we just could not afford. It used to be basic things—like shoes for our daughter, clothing, etc. But it has also been things that aren’t really necessities (the Bible says those are only food and clothing). I can feel so guilty, so un-frugal when I buy something--anything--it’s really ridiculous. My daughters and I recently went to the mall and shopped the sales racks. There was a cute pants suit for $25, and I thought that was too much. It had embroidery on it and was made of linen. Always in my mind is the thought, “We can’t afford that.” But as I’ve pondered this lately, I’ve realized that all those things we have needed (or wanted) that we thought we couldn’t afford and have gone ahead and purchased anyway—well, not one of those things has made us go broke, left us without money to buy food, brought down the fiery wrath from heaven, etc. We’ve always been provided for, we’ve always had what we needed for each day.

3 comments:

Michele Hastings said...

Hey Shelly Jo, Nice to meet you. I noticed you like Vineyard music. We go to a Vineyard church! I also wrote a homeschooling book. Check it out on my web site if you're interested!

Michele Hastings said...

Hi again. I noticed you have a list of LINKS on your site and your site is set up like mine. How did you put them there? I want to list yours and otthers' blogging sites.

Paula said...

Hi Shelley,

I loved this post. I struggle with this, too. A while back our refrigerator went out. We scoured the ads for a used one and looked in a used shop that smelled so bad all I could think of was how fast I could graciously LEAVE. We finally got an amazing refrigerator at a scratch and dent sale, the only weekend when it HAPPENED to be having a half-price sale. Now, isn't it interesting that my fridge went out on a week when the paper was devoid of good used options and my dream refrigerator was half price? I know God stacked the deck so He could bless me. :o) This area of money is hard to deal with.

Thanks for writing this. It touched a chord with me.