There are millions effected by the economy, struggling without jobs, worrying how they will provide for their families. Why should I be any different? Why should God bother to help me?
I asked this question once before, during another financial crises. After eighteen years with one company, my late husband was laid off when the timber industry in the Northwest collapsed. His only hope of employment was to train in a new field. Nearing fifty, this was not going to be easy, and in spite of the anti-discrimination laws, an older worker faced more challenges.
I fretted and worried, much like I am doing now, and the question why should God bother with us turned in a turbulent spiral around and around in my thoughts, like buzzards waiting for their opportunity to descend and feed. I sought distraction, mainly through reading. The book of choice at that moment was Fried Green Tomatoes by Fanny Flagg. About the middle of the story, one character tells another to read Psalm 91 everyday.
I was not familiar with the Psalm and went immediately to my bible. I was stunned. The beautiful words were exactly what I needed, especially verse 7: A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand: but it shall not come nigh thee. And verse 10: There shall no evil come to thee: nor shall the scourge come near thy dwelling.
And, it didn't. When my husband could not find employment with another company, we opened our own business. Things were tight at times, but we maintained our home, raised our children and upheld our financial responsibilities - God provided.
Now, once again I am thrown into a financial fire storm, and the same questions beat against my sense of worth and peace. Again, God sends His messages of hope and encouragement. My readings at the beginning of the week included Psalm 91, with an emphasis on verse four: He will overshadow thee with his shoulders: and under his wings thou shalt trust. Streams in the Desert had this: O you of little faith, God has not failed you yet!
This morning my readings included Psalm 37: 3-4,18-19,39-40. Trust in the Lord and do good, and dwell in the land and thou will be fed with its riches. Delight in the lord, and he will give thee the requests of thy heart. The Lord knoweth the days of the undefiled; and their inheritance shall be forever. They shall not be confounded in the evil time; and in the days of famine they shall be filled. But the salvation of the just is from the Lord, and he is their protector in the time of trouble. And the Lord will help them and deliver them: and he will rescue them from the wicked, and save them, because they have hoped in him.
Isaiah 40:31 is also among my morning devotions: But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
I still I squirm and fret in spite of my best intentions, letting go only when I don't have the strength to worry. When I finally concede and stand still, God pulls me unscathed from the fire. It will be the same this time.
And yet, it is hard to ignore the fire when all you see are flames. Perhaps I should close my eyes, or look away and search for something else to focus on. I may be feeling some heat, but the fire has not consumed me, and the temperature is much cooler underneath His wings - as long as I stay in His shadow (trust) and not run in panic right into the fire.