“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
Mark 9:23-24 (New Living Translation)
- A newly married couple is living 1800 miles from home. One spouse is a full-time student; the other a teacher in a small-town school totaling 32 children grades K-8. A teacher’s salary and a part-time job at a salvage yard added together still cannot break the poverty level. A diet of chicken quarters, Kool-aid, and generic mac and cheese feed these two young souls. But God provides free maintenance through the salvage yard so that this young couple could run their used car in this season of life.
- The young couple adds a baby girl. Having built up a small savings account off of two teacher salaries, the young mama steps out in faith to stay home with her baby. Sitting down with a financial planner to purchase life insurance, the couple stares in shock at their financial balance sheet. There is no explanation. The numbers have been run again and again. The bills and paid expenses total higher than the one income had brought in for the year, and yet… Not one penny of the small savings account had ever been touched. The young couple is able to use that small next egg toward buying their first home.
- To shave some expenses, the young couple downsizes to one car. A new home is purchased and a second baby is added to the family. At three months of age, the new baby experiences a series of seizures. Multiple seizures a day turn his sweet face blue and leave him fatigued and listless. With her husband taking the car to work every day, how is this mama supposed to get her baby in to the children’s hospital nearly 40 miles away? Over the course of the next month, various friends and family members have scheduled vacations. Knowing the need of this young family, the young mama is never without a car to get her baby son the care he needs.
- The housing market crashes across the country. Mortgages are underwater. Families are losing their homes. The young family fears they may be another statistic in the economic crash. Now worth less than half of what they paid and financed with an adjustable rate mortgage, the house is a prime candidate for the foreclosure line-up. Surprisingly, year after year the interest rates lower because the economy is so bad. Year after year, the young couple can easily make the smaller mortgage payments. Financial burdens are eased. Money begins to be saved again.
- Although the home is easily affordable, the two bedroom walls are stubbornly refusing to stretch to accommodate the family of six people living within them. The family has looked to buy a bigger place, but their first home has still not reached a value to pay off the remaining mortgage debt. The family is stuck. Surrendering to God is not easy; but He is faithful and provides peace, wisdom, and creative storage solutions to ease the tight living quarters. One random weekday evening, a beloved uncle and aunt offer the couple a generous offer. For a price they can afford, the family of six purchases the four-bedroom home from the uncle and aunt. There is a room for the girls, a room for the boys, and a room for homeschooling. God is so good!
- The new house is a blessing; however, the husband has added more miles to his work commute. It is time to surrender his truck for a car able to deliver better gas mileage. The savings account poured into the new house has little to offer toward the acquisition of even a used car. Another random day arrives (God seems to do his best work on random days). A father offers an exchange. He is looking to trade in his small car for an upgrade in luxury. With a simple swap, father takes ownership of the truck while son takes ownership of the small car. Father uses truck as a trade-in to take possession of the desired luxury vehicle. Son is happy with better gas mileage; father is happy with amazing new car.
Time and again the Lord has shown his provision through bags of used clothing, handed-down furniture, and dinner invitations. He has shown his kindness in well-timed product rebates, gift cards, and consignment deals. Part-time jobs have been provided at just the right times. The Lord has been faithful through every season of life so far.
“But, Jesus,” I reluctantly admit, “I am afraid of considering a new season of life. What if you can’t provide all that we need? What if our family is led into ruin?”
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’t provide’?” Jesus asks. “I can do anything. I specialize in the impossible!”
I instantly cry out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”