Money is tight all over – for me, for my friends, my customers, my clients – everybody. It is the one thing that gives me the most anxiety. I have spent a good deal of time trying to talk to God about it. I say trying because I always get distracted by the thoughts and end up just talking to myself.
During my morning reading (which I stopped in the middle of because I felt the strongest urge to tell you this), an interesting series of events happened. Today’s reading is John 15:12-17 with a focus on v.14 – You are my friends. The reading discusses the friendship of Jesus and how we are supposed to display His love to the world by reaching out and being that kind of friend to those in need around us. In part, it read
Even with our busy lives and rushed schedules, we can make room for the people around us. And when we do, we find that we are touching not just a lonely person but Jesus himself.
“Lord, teach me how to be a friend to the people around me. Open my eyes to see you in the lonely, the burdened, and the needy.”
Well that’s all well and good, I thought. But I need provision for me, not guidance to provide for others. So, I gave very little attention to today’s reading and went searching for the reading that says God is going to take care of me! So, I wondered, what was the reading for last year on my birthday (I am using The Word Among Us for my daily readings and they are archived by date). June 30, 2009 reading is about Abraham and Lot. As you can imagine, the focus was not on how God took care of Abraham, but how Abraham interceded for Lot. In part it read
Did you ever think that, like Abraham, you may be the means by which God saves another person from danger—either physical or spiritual? It really is possible.
”Father, in mercy you have stretched out your hand to me. As I draw closer to you, share with me your concern for your other children. Show me the role you want me to play in their salvation. Embolden me to say ‘yes’ to you.”
Seriously! I am looking for provision for me and yet another example of me for others. Hmmm, I hear in my head, how very good of you to worry about your results and your situation above all others. How very Christlike of you (not!). You keep asking God to provide for you, He tells you how and you blow Him off.
The thought began to get lofty and very Mother Theresa and I heard, there you go again. This isn’t life in theory, this is life for real.
I make money when I serve other people. I become wealthy when the service I provide to others is so red carpet rock star that they always come back to me and they send their friends to me. My cash flow goes up when I complete a project, remain on task, deliver on time and do what I say I am going to do without fear or hesitation.
When my cash flow goes up, so does my expendable resources, so does my ability to be charitable. I can be charitable now, in my limited way and I will. And God is providing for me right now – in my ability to serve others.
I am reminded to stop focusing on results and keep my eye on my purpose. I am reminded that fear paralyzes and that fails everything.
Anyway, just wanted to share…