Friday, November 16, 2007

rich in Him

I am not a believer in the prosperity teachings. I do, however, believe that God guides us by consequence and circumstance. When trials seem to stack up in life, I like to seek the Lord for any areas in which I might be out of alignment with His will, any areas of sin I have yet to recognize. Life has been like that... and I've been seeking.

Two weeks ago, I came under conviction regarding money we received for the sale of our company. This money had not yet come out of the corporate account, my thinking was to keep it intact until we know how much of it even ends up being ours. Our plan was to tithe on the money when it technically became ours. The wind-down phase of running a company has held some surprises so far, and I didn't figure we were out of the woods yet. It seemed prudent to keep the sum intact to cover the taxes that would be due from that sum, as well as the final bills from the CPA etc.etc.etc. At one point, my rough estimates seemed as though there would actually be very little remaining after everyone had gotten their piece.

Yet, I desired to be in the Lord's will - we are very aware that He is leading us by the hand through a mine field, and to follow His leading when the circumstances are loud, requires a connection that is not hindered by sin. As I considered the check in my spirit, the realization dawned that if I'm considering "technicalities" - once the sale of the company was closed, the money was "technically" ours - no longer the company's. On further reflection, I realized what we were actually doing was holding back from God until we knew our needs were met, then we'd tithe on what remained. That is not the spirit of tithing. Tithing, as I understand it, is to joyfully trust God to cover my need, as I eagerly offer Him what is acutally His, of what He has given me. Knowing the character of God enables me to trust Him and His purposes for my life. If financial hardship is how I will bring Him the greatest glory, I trust Him for that. If financial blessing is how I bring Him the greatest glory, I trust Him to lead me on that path as well. Either way, I trust Him enough to give Him back His portion before I know if "my" portion will be "enough" to cover my responsibilities... because I know He will provide for what He wants me to do.

So, we tithed on the money from the sale of the company at the beginning of this month. Since then I've been in a whirlwind. Jake and I were prepared for 4 months of job hunting. November began our 4th month. November's anticipated expenses wound up being nearly double what we'd budgeted, because of various unexpected "situations" (aka tests). Since tithing:

  • unexpected income came in

  • a credit with a company covered one of the bills that unexpectedly increased this month's expenses

  • an insurance company decided to pay a claim they initially said was not their responsiblity, decreasing another unexpected expense
  • an offer was made by a Christian sister (who had no idea any of this was going on) to pay for an expense we were covering for someone else in need

  • the Lord provided a stragegy to eliminate a significant portion (most...) of this unexpected expense from an upcoming transaction

  • cost saving alternatives were discovered for two significant ongoing expenses

  • Jake accepted a job offer yesterday, has orientation today, starts Monday

I just needed to celebrate God's faithfulness by sharing this with you. I have been sharing this journey - not really knowing the destination, trusting that God would bring from it something to strengthen us, encourage us, reveal Himself to us. I am encouraged by these events. And while the journey continues, I sense God's hand very clearly in this story. I am enjoying the nearness of God as He navigates us through the minefield. When times are easy, it seems He can lead from a greater distance - but when the path is treacherous, being led by the hand is necessary. You can't hold His hand from too far away... I am made rich by His nearness.

To God be the glory!


Elder's Wife said...

Dinah, you said, "Knowing the character of God enables me to trust Him and His purposes for my life."
That, I think, is the key to responding to the tests we face each day...whether financial, relational, health situations, etc.
Surely the One who is righteous and faithful knows what is best for each of us.
Thank you for the good reminder!

Yvonne's corner said...

God is good, All the time! So many times it is through our obedience to His ways that He can reveal His true nature and bless you! Dinah this is beautiful!

Dinah said...

Hi Kat and Yvonne! Yes, we are celebrating this blessing, knowing God had this prepared from before He laid it on our hearts to sell the business. But we are so awed by His ways - He never forced us to trust Him, instead, He gently teaches us we can. That is most precious to me. How blessed we are to be called His own!

Jen said...

Congratulations on the job offer! I hope it is all you both want it to be. Blessings to all.

Dinah said...

Thanks Jen! So far he LOVES it! God bless you and that beautiful family of yours!