…… Oh Lord, you know I’ve been here before, but is there not a cause? I will trust you Lord, no matter what, and if no man comes to our rescue, I know you will. Amen.” The prayer ended.
Still very sick, still confused as to the reason why, bank account and bills plunging rapidly into the red, old vehicles barely still functioning, Don pressed on in faith. “Will you wake the Lord?” The question kept coming.
“Sleep on Lord, I wait.” was his answer, but even in his answering, there was the unknowing. The storm continued raging and the boat tossing, but was Jesus sleeping? Did he not see what was going on? Will you wake him in fear, or wait?
The worse part was feeling like he was not caring properly for his wife. It was one thing for him to endure hardness, but having to watch his wife? She was still very sick too, and her 2000 Dodge minivan had no heat. The heater blower motor had gone out and it was dead of winter in Indiana. She had no business in a freezing van as sick as she was, but the only other option was an old truck with bad tires she did not trust. “Why Lord? I know this is a test, but I still don’t understand why. Why now?”
Making matters worse was the weight of God’s vision upon him. After a year with God, he knew he had been given a great vision to reach people in neighborhoods, and was ready to run with this! However, sickness and poverty had him at a complete standstill. Even so, every decision made was made with the knowledge of this great mission upon him. He was not free to meet his needs in a worldly way, or he would abort this baby in his womb. If he went back to working sixty hours a week at some job not of God, the vision would die. The vision was at stake. This was the devil’s attack and he had to be faithful come what may! A calling from God can involve great sacrifices at times. Don understood the weight of this very well, even though most others might not. He knew there would be few who would understand. How many times he had been in this position before, and God always came through. Would he wake the Lord?
Funny thing poverty, how it can twist things. It seems people just don’t understand. The early morning prayer meeting he had been so faithful to. The guys liked to eat breakfast out afterwards. Not cheap places either. Waffle House was popular. They wanted him to join them. Don wanted to join them. Important things were talked about over those meals and connections were made. Sometimes he would go because he felt it was so very important to be in that conversation and in that group. Now here is where it gets complicated and you might not understand. I pray you try to understand. I mean no harm here
The group knew he was still without a job, and he had dropped as many “hints” as to his welfare as he dared, but nobody was “getting it”. However, when he would occasionally decide to join them and purchase the cheapest meal he could find on the menu, someone always picked up his ticket so he would not have to pay. For this he was grateful, but bad as this sounds, it was not breakfast out that he “needed”.
Perhaps if he were someone who spent his life looking for “hand-outs”, perhaps he could have enjoyed those free meals, but in actuality… he dreaded them. He could not enjoy the meal while he thought about his sick wife driving a cold van, or how the electric bill was going to get paid, or the hospital bill. As bad as it sounds, his friends thought they were helping him out by being so generous to buy his meal, but in actuality it was no help at all. He didn’t mind living poor. He’d been there before. The food he fixed at home was fine, but there were needs on his mind, and no one saw or heard.
Earlier that summer, God had led him to help a man who was fighting cancer. For weeks he had done a yard sale in his yard for this man. Don was still doing okay at that time, but had no spare income, so he did a yard sale which eventually made a total of $1,600.00 after all the weekends were added up. The money was given each week as it was earned, and it was all simply handed over, cash, no questions asked. He knew what it was like to be on both sides of this fence. But where were the rich guys for him? The guys gifted in making money just so they can help others in need? Maybe they were busy living their best life now?
Funny thing what Jesus said when he was observing the “widow and her two mites”. He said the rich people had all given out of their “abundance”. In other words, there had been no “sacrifice” in their giving. Where were the rich guys? He didn’t know. Perhaps checking out their next new car? Trimming their yard? Paying their $120.00/month cell phone bill? Eating out everyday? Who knew? But they were not there at this time, for these needs. It’s not about 10%, it’s about level of sacrifice. A poor persons 2% can be a greater sacrifice than a rich man’s ten percent, or twenty, or whatever.
Don knew he was an “opportunity” for someone, just like the man with cancer had been an opportunity of blessing for him. He also knew that in due time, if no “Prosperity Person” met his need, God eventually would. And God did. This story continues.
Ever feel redlined?
12 Apostles on a ship. Lost their stomachs every dip.
Lightning flashed and thunder roared!
Will you wake the Lord?
Easy faith in good times, not so easy when bad.
Bills plunging redline! Raging like a sea!
Waves crashing red! Seek to swallow me.
He said to cross the sea.
Should they have let him sleep?
Was that not the test, a faith that lets him rest?
Faith plunging redline.
T’is a strange thing indeed, to be in need, a raging sea…
while the Lord sleeps.
Perhaps he is inviting us, to a place of powerful rest.
Faith in the red.
My yoke is easy, my burden light.