Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Our Limitations, God's Opportunity

There’s somethin I learned when I was homeless: Our limitation is God’s opportunity. When you get all the way to the end of your rope and there ain’t nothin you can do, that’s when God takes over.”

Denver Moore
Same Kind of Different As Me
(co-written with Ron Hall, with Lynn Vincent)

In twenty-three years of wedded bliss, my husband and I BOTH worked full-time for only one year. Considering we married before we finished college and then bore four children a few years later, you can imagine we've never been "rolling in the dough."

Our first ten to fifteen years we never filled the gas tank in our car, only put in enough to get through the week. There were no line items in our budget for savings, entertainment or even clothing. We rarely ate out. The car breaking down or someone getting really sick caused a major crisis. Figuring out how to pay for Christmas brought added stress instead of joyful celebration.

I prayed a lot.

Lord, you know what we need. You promise to meet our needs. Help me trust You.

And you know what? We've never been hungry, never slept in our car. God supplied our needs in extraordinary ways--unexpected job offers for part-time work, gifts of clothes, enough meat to fill our freezer, cash, even cars! Our parents lived close enough to provide free babysitting often.

Not only did God meet our needs, but He threw in a little flair besides (Who says God has no style?!). We were able to purchase a huge house for nearly half its original selling price and fix it up cheaply with the help of my amazing father-in-law who knows how to do everything. God gave Kevin the opportunity to get a Master's degree. A part-time job he held provided free trips for him to Austria and England and my generous mother gave us the necessary funds for me to join him when he went to Italy. Grazie, Mamma!

You see? Our limitations are God's opportunity! Yet the real bonus is not the gifts we received, but the traits He developed in us along the journey. Kevin and I grew closer (there are definite advantages to having little money TOGETHER), taught our kids the value of a dollar without us lecturing, honed in us a spirit of humility (it's not easy to be on the receiving end of gifts, knowing you can never repay the gifter) and trained us to be grateful for all things, big or small.

Truly God is faithful. Why do we ever fear?

What are you facing this day, friend? What brings you to the end of your rope? Put your hope in God. Like a little child, expect the impossible, wait to see Him work.

. . .Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:5

God is faithful. He can be trusted.




Be sure to visit this week's host, a blogger I hope to meet IRL someday, MiPa, at Miriam Paulines' Monologue.

6 comments:

Thou Art Jules said...

Wonderful post! So true! I do my best to remember this and remind others in trying times.

Debbie said...

Tami, such valuable lessons you've learned. I love how you wrote, "Yet the real bonus is not the gifts we received, but the traits He developed in us along the journey."

God is in the character building business. Our trials are opportunities for us to attempt to fix things ourselves or to turn to the One who can provide abundantly for us.

Great post!

Blessings,
Debbie

MiPa said...

Don't you love it when God provides with flair! He truly does love to bless us.

The entire post is great, but this sentence strikes me:
Yet the real bonus is not the gifts we received, but the traits He developed in us along the journey. It is so true that when God moves in our lives, in big or small ways, the end purpose is always developing us to be more like him. When we recognize that and are grateful for that, even the difficult times feel like times of blessing.

Thank you my friend. I, too, pray we will meet someday this side of heaven.

janet said...

"Help me trust You." Isn't that so much easier said than done? I remember as a very immature and young, fresh believer I couldn't fathom the concept of trust. Now I can't imagine putting my trust elsewhere!

Your testimonies to God's provisions and grace is powerful! He truly provided in ways unimagineable!!!! :)

Karen said...

Boy that was good. I like what you said about "Yet the real bonus is not the gifts we received, but the traits He developed in us along the journey." Those traits are very important and they make the journey worth traveling if we do it correctly, with God instead of fighting against Him. Thanks

Denise Hughes said...

I see that Karen liked the same sentence that I did too! "Yet the real bonus is not the gifts we received, but the traits He developed in us along the journey." This is truth - lovingly spoken.

I can totally relate to never filling up the tank too! Now, whenever I do fill up the tank, I feel "rich" just because I consider it a luxury.

Thank you, friend, for the loving words you shared here.