12) I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. 13) I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:12-13)
22) The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; 23) they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24)“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” (Lamentations 3:22-24)
I was walking Poppins last week, and reflecting on my current level of under-employment. A seminary colleague of mine was announcing her new job, the third one since her graduation, and if I am honest, I got mad with God and started expressing my frustration. I started talking out loud to the wind.
“God,” I said, “I did what you called me to do. I followed your call into the wilderness and I am worse off than I was before I went to seminary. I have creditors calling me, and I can’t pay them. I can’t pay these student loans that I took out to do the work you called me to do. I can’t even take Bob out to dinner and worry about whether I can pay the bill. I need yet another car repair, and I cannot afford to have it done. God, I make too much to get government assistance, so what am I supposed to do? This is not right. I just cannot take much more. I need a job. Any job you arrange for me to get, I will do it with joy. But for real God, I need a job.”
And then I stopped, because I ‘d started crying out of frustration. And then the wind started talking back. It simply said, “I am everything you need.”
And I said, “But you don’t get it!”
And the voice said, as clear as day, “You have the man of dreams, with the dog of your dreams, in the house of your dreams. You get to go and do things you never thought you would be able to do. You have friends you never thought you would have. You are walking in your calling, and you have two, TWO congregations to serve. No, you don’t have the money you think you need, But I am everything you need.”
And I let it go, because I had to write a eulogy for one of my members.
A little later, I remembered a story about Darlene Love: “Unable to secure gigs of her own, since promoters wouldn't often believe her ("They said, 'Well, you're not a Crystal, you're not a Ronette and nobody knows you did these songs'"), Love crashed. She stored her belongings in her Mercedes, moved from one relative's home to another and took a job cleaning houses for $100 a day in ritzy L.A. neighborhoods. Darlene Love, one of the greatest background singers of all time, cleaned houses to make ends meet.
And the voice spoke again – “Are you willing to clean houses if you have to?”
And I said the following: “God, any job you send to me, I’ll do it.” And I let it go.
I start working this morning, in a job that dropped into my lap. It’s a long-term temporary assignment, which gives me the flexibility to do my calling while still working full time. And I am grateful.
So, let me encourage you this morning – God is faithful, and will provide all of your needs. All.
Be blessed, but more importantly, be a blessing.