Many times, most of us ask God for something that if we were honest with ourselves we’d admit we don’t really need. Alot of times that’s for money. Sometimes it’s for a new car. Sometimes it might even be to finally meet that dream date, or have the courage to talk to them. Whatever it may be, we’ve asked for it. What makes us think that we’re worthy of all of this stuff? That may seem like a rough or stupid question, but it’s an honest one. Who are we that God should give us our hearts desire? I’ve been thinking about that question alot lately.
I started off my college “career” at ONU (Olivet Nazarene University) and had planned everything out. I knew what I was going to do, how I was going to do it, and where I was going to end up when I was finished. I was a Youth Ministry major and a Communications minor. I was going to graduate in four years and then try to get a job in the heart of the great city of Chicago. When I graduated High School i had graduated with a superiority complex. I didn’t exactly think that I was better than everyone else, just more spiritual (which resulted in thinking I was better). For some reason, i felt like I was more in tune with God than anyone else I knew. There were several reasons why I believed this, but none of that matters in this discussion. The point is I “knew” where God was leading me and how I was going to get there. At this point if I could buzz I would, because I was totally wrong.
After my Freshman year of college I found out that my parents hadn’t been paying my bill as I had been lead to believe. I couldn’t register for classes until I paid off my $4,600 bill. So I worked in an iron foundry over the summer and then attended class at Ivy Tech State College in Anderson Indiana for the next school year. I had finally paid off the debt, but still didn’t have enough money or financial aid to go to Olivet or any other school that would teach me how to be a minister (sarcasim). So I joined the Air Force Reserves.
I figured I could go into the Air Force Reserves and get more money for school. I was right about that, but wrong about a few other items. I wanted to be a CA (Chaplains Assistant), but that was out of the question. The waiting list for that was too long. I had to pick a job that had a short Tech School after Basic Training so that I could get back to school on time after summer. I ended up going with fuels. I singed up, got my physicals and was waiting for the official date i was going to get shipped off. I heard back from my recruiter a few days after. He told me that I had ben given the Army color vision test and had to come in and retake it. I did that and failed, so I went with the only job left that had a bonus… Medic.
The problem with this job is that it had a 14.5 week Tech Scool, then a 6.5 week clinical phase, then a 90 day OJT (On the job training). After it was all done with I had been in traingin for almost 11 months. Needless to say, I didn’t get back to school in the fall, or in the spring. I finally had to get back to school the following year. Now I’ve told you that history to get to a very simple point. Don’t shoot me if you don’t think it’s worth your time, you’re the one who chose to read this far.
I finally got back to school. While I was in trainging and the following summer God blessed me with stuff. I had enough money to get a new car, a new laptop, a new desktop, a new cell phone, etc. I had alot of gizmos and gadgets. If you don’t know me, I’m a really big geek so all of this made me really happy. I got used to this lifestyle of having money and believe me, it was nice. Before I go any further you must understand something. I didn’t totally blow everything I had. I told a friend at one point in time, that I was never letting my checking account go below $1,000 but I had more than that when I told him. I was keeping plenty in the bank. I was giving my tithe, plus I was giving to extra things like missionary needs. I was helping friends out here and there if they needed it. I wasn’t using the money to forget about God, the church, or other people. You have to understand this before I continue.
Right before school started I had alot of my big bills hit all at once, when I started school in the fall I only had $1,500 in the bank. that wasn’t as much as I was used to. I knew that GOd would provide, and I didn’t have to have much faith to know that this would hold me over untill I could find a job. Then everything got turned upside down. I found out that the state had made an error and i wasn’t elligable for $4,000 that they thought I would be. So my bill for school grew by $4,000 overnight, by the end of that week I had to pay $1,400 just to make my first monthly payment. My dad had retired and couldn’t help me out, and my mother constatly thinks she’s on the brink of bankruptcy, although she’s far from it, and made it know that she couldn’t possibly help me out.
I soon found out why Marion, Indiana is not considerd a good town to live in. The unempoyment rate is huge. There were no jobes available for me on or off campus. by the begining of the next month I was already in debt and had no idea of how I was going to cover my bills. Slowly but surely God started providing. After about another month I got a low paying job, but a job none the less. I was getting enough money to cover things. I wasn’t paying everthing on time or in full, but I was getting them enough money that they weren’t sending me nastly leters and things of that nature. Every month I was getting deeper in debt, but I was not in danger of suffering immediate consequences (other than a bad credit report). Countless times I have asked God for other jobs to open up, or for my parents to be able to help, or for an old relative I never knew to misteriously leave me a million dollars. Nothing ever happens, other than me getting just enough to get by.
This may seem sad, or bad, but if you think about it, this is utterly amazing. I asked who are we that we should ask for outlandish things that we don’t need. The answer is that we are the beloved. We can ask God for things like that as long as our faith in him doesn’t spend on it. God will give us exactly what we need, when we need it. He never gives more and He never gives less. It may seem like it sometimes, but that’s not the case. If God hadn’t given me all that money, I wouldn’t have been able to write a $700 check to a missionary who needed it. I wouldn’t have been able to help ou talot of people. I also wouldn’t have ever thought about getting a new car, but my other car died for good shortly after. God knew what I needed and what others needed and He did what He did to fulfill His plan.
Now I don’t have as much money, but i’m still getting by and can help other people in other ways with the talents God has given me. The point of me writing this is simple. Sometimes we want God to be giving, and give us thigs abundantly, but if He did that for everone, we could never know that He cares for us. God could never pay attention to our needs and just shower us with gifts, but that’s not how He works. He loves us as indaviduals, and he takes care of our indavidual needs. I would much rather have a sufficient God, because He knows me intamatley and I can see that in how He blesses me.