As I write this out, I glance at the top of my screen and see the clock. It’s going to be another late night, but how many times does I stay up late doing other unproductive things? Always. I promise you everything is a test of faith as I tell you a story.
I am not perfect. I don’t have three months of bills saved up in my savings account for a “rainy day.” I saved up enough money for a computer program instead of saving for my future. I’m 24 years young and sometimes I am naive. Should I be more proactive about saving? Yes. Am I worried about where the money is going to come from? No. I have put one of the hardest staples in my life up to God. Money. I don’t fear losing it or not having enough. I have been tested in the past to choose between buying myself lunch or giving money to a mother who was short money for a child’s birthday cake. Guess what? I felt compelled to give her half my money, but not all because I thought I needed half for lunch. No more than 15 minutes later, my boss tells me I have a check from a claim for a lost dividend from two years ago came in. I was given a check amount about three times as much as I could have given the mother! Coincidence? Hardly! Through this experience and wisdom from God, I have learned I failed this test. I failed by putting my trust in my own hands instead of his.
I was driving home from college to go to work when my car started to overheat. I pulled over and popped the trunk (to get the gallon of water I keep for reasons like this) and the hood. I could have been worried, but I felt calm. I got the water out and closed the trunk to check my radiator coolant level. It was moderate, so I added more water. I got back inside and waited for my car to cool down. Soon a Road Ranger pulled up beside me and I told the nice man what had happened. He was a sweet, older man who asked me to pop the hood so he could do what I had just done. He said there wasn’t much I could do but carefully drive it home and do what we had just done. I figured as much and carefully got back on the highway. I didn’t make it two miles and my car started to overheat again. I forced myself to go to the next exit to park in a public parking lot and call my parents. After about three hours of waiting to coordinate schedules, I was back home as my car stayed where in a public parking lot.
Was I upset? Sure. Was I worried. Honestly, not as much as I thought I would be. I realize this was a way the devil could keep me back from doing the things that make me who I am. I am not a missionary knocking on doors or traveling the world, but I am making a difference in my small world. When I am in my car, I am free to go where I am led to go. Without a car, I am stuck at home and at the mercy of fate. Fate knows I believe in something deeper, more meaningful so it can be pushed aside.
I tried arranging a car situation to get a ride to where I needed to be today and guess what? It didn’t work out. Was I upset? It goes without saying I was, but there was nothing I could do. I didn’t fret or worry myself with the weight of fear or doubt. I told who I had to about the situation and left it in God’s hands. I worked from home and got assignments done. In the middle of working from home, I felt sick. I started to feel cold chills and my feet felt started to feel heavy. I must have eaten something awful because I was starting to feel really weak. If I was at the office of where I should have been today, I would have been uncomfortable. At least I was at home in pajamas enduring the nauseated experience. After eating something solid and medicine, I started to feel a bit better.
I ended up visiting my car with my mom to diagnose the damage. I was hopeful, but sadly my motor is shot. There was a rattle noise when we tried driving it around the parking lot. Obviously, driving it to next exit was dangerous to my car’s health, but smart because we were in the parking lot long after the sun had went down. On the way home, I was given options of what I can do with Betsy the Boat: sell it to a junk yard, keep it for parts, sell it to someone looking for parts, and more. It was overwhelming, but my heart and mind were calm. Again. The rush of “it’s going to be ok” feelings filled me up with hope. Do I know where my next car is going to be? No. Am I going to have to work to produce a car fund? Yes. Does this scare me? Not really.
I know when it comes to my faith, I am a warrior who has wisdom beyond her years. I have the gift to help others through prayer and words of encouragement. Sometimes those words are something so specific, it is much appreciative by the person I am helping that I had said something. Without my faith telling me to open my mouth and allow the spirit to speak through me, I would not have brought joy into people’s lives. Living by faith is not only following God’s word, acting in obedience, sharing his love but it’s a matter of trusting in God’s plan more than your own. All this is who I am and why the devil tries to attack me when life gets me down. Do you ever feel that way? It’s a downward spiral of doubt to more doubt until it’s a weight of an ugly slump. I know if I am down and shaken, I am not standing firm in God’s will. For the first time in years, I am certain the future is bright because I passed this test and know more will be coming behind it. Am I ready? More than I will ever be with God near my side.
Do you have a test of faith you passed or failed? Maybe we can learn something from one another.