August 31, 2012

God's Goodness... expressed in His provision

Back in June, I wrote about being challenged from scripture to not worry, but to trust God to provide my family's needs. This is a lesson God has continued to teach me all summer (and I'm betting it will continue the rest of my life).

I'm a bit thick sometimes, so I don't always recognize His provision. But this week, even I couldn't miss it.

My husband recently accepted a pastorate in Southern Indiana. However, the church is quite small, which means our housing budget is small. We visited the area a few weeks ago and did a bit of rental shopping while we were there. We shopped via Craigslist, which turned out to be a really bad idea. We checked online classifieds; this didn't take long, as they were non-existent. We drove around and looked for houses with "For Rent" signs. We drove and drove. We left messages; very few landlords returned our calls.

After we returned to Georgia, some folks in the church picked up the search. And, as it happens sometimes, some friends of an acquaintance of a friend had a house. An empty house. A job change prompted them to move out of state and buy a new home, but their old home continued to sit for sale with nary a nibble. They had not considered renting before, but would love to have someone in the home who could cover just their mortgage payment and utilities. Someone who would care for their home like it was their own. Someone like us.

* Their mortgage payment exactly matched our monthly budget goal.

* The home is more than large enough for our family, with plenty of storage space and a nice big kitchen. There's even a dining room (so we're glad our dining set never sold).

* The home will be wonderful for hospitality.

* The back yard is fenced and the owners are happy for us to bring our dog.

...because how could we leave this sweet girl behind?

* There's an amazing playground set in the backyard. (For those of you who wonder why a mom of teens would be excited about this: our new little church has a number of little families with lots of little children. Another plus for hospitality.)

My kids with new little friends.
* Location, location, location! This home is in a great neighborhood and is within 20 minutes of both our church and Southern Seminary, the two places we'll spend the most time when not at home.

God didn't have to provide for us in this way. We had prepared ourselves to live in a less comfortable home, or to find additional income to pay a higher rent (meaning my husband's second job, yet to be found, would require more hours).

But God, in His gracious wisdom and goodness, brought all the pieces together in His perfect timing. As He always does. And, thankfully, even thickheaded me could see His handiwork and marvel this time.

And I'm once again reminded of His truth at work in my life:
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Matthew 6:25-30 ESV)

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