33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34
Just prior to the verse above, Jesus was telling His listeners not to worry. He explains that the Father knows all of their needs and will provide for such needs as He does for the rest of His creation. He has created birds for a purpose, and the bird continues to go on day to day doing just that. It is God who provides the bird with food, and if He does it for the bird, He will do it all the more for them.
This would in part be the theological principal of the passage that can and should be carried into our context. Jesus sums it up with the immortal statement above, telling us to keep going on mission and doing His will, and He will provide for us all that we need.
This verse has been a bed of comfort for me when I remind myself why I am here. I remember that God has promised to take care of all of my needs, as long as I am focused on His will and seeking His kingdom. My journey to and through seminary is that which I was certain God called me to, however, I must admit that my problems seem to speak to the contrary.
If there are two things that I would have to guess I am absolutely certain about they are that: 1) God has lead me to Seminary in New Orleans, and 2) God has placed me in my position of employment for His glory and purpose. I do not always know what that purpose is, but I try not to question because I am confident that He has placed me there. The only thing that confuses me is the current situation that my family and I find ourselves in.
I know that it is the story of most seminarians that financial hardship and struggle are the norm. Somehow, they make it through the turmoil. I wish I knew how. I find myself wondering why God called me out of Florida, with a good job, decent amount of money, benefits, a nice place to live, family and friends close by, and a promising future in the company that I was employed by. Here I am, unable to provide for my family and having filled up all of my time, I am unable to add more hours of work or a second job. Around here you get pretty put down for not providing for your family, so my inability to pay the bills makes me believe that I am being unfaithful to God. My dilemma is this; the only foreseeable answer to my problem is leaving seminary.
If the only way to provide for my family is to leave one of two things I am confident of God’s call too, but not providing for my family is unpleasing to God, what do I do? The fact that I make over $600 less a month than I need to just to break even makes me grateful for food stamps otherwise my family wouldn’t be able to eat. Talk about sad! I don’t want to sound like I am not partially to blame for this, after all I am not perfect and have in frustration spent money that I shouldn’t have, but the reality is that I still do not make enough. We have prayed for months now for a job for my wife to help out, but the amount of money she needs to make and the hours that she needs to work make it almost impossible.
So here we are living on faith and food stamps. I continue to pray and ask you to do the same. Putting my faith on the promise of Jesus that the Father will take care of my family and me as long as I am continuing to seek His will. I just wish I could not have to rely so much on the food stamps.