My thoughts (Lynnette Pullen):
I remember a time when we lived in Indianapolis where the income from my job took a severe nose dive. I aws paid a certain amount for every patient that I saw. I have a minimum quota that I was to meet, but there was no maximum. I was usually slightly over my quota. With the changes in the economy at the time, the number of patients I saw greatly decreased, causing me to lose about 25%, per week,of my usual income. This was both unexpected and financially devastating. I struggled to regain footing and cut back on some non-essentials, but still it was difficult. I tried to look for another job, but door after door seemed to shut in my face. It was becoming pretty stressful for me. On top of that, I felt like God was saying that I should not get another job but do all I can for the one I have.
You see, although I was married to a very supportive and wonderful partner, I used to be married to a very unhealthy person. At one point in our relationship, he stopped paying the bills and buying groceries. At the time, I was in college and trying to work part time and take care of our 1 year old daughter. We were ultimately evicted and abandoned, and my daughter and I ended up in a homeless shelter. It took years for me to recover and get back on my feet. But I will never forget the pain of hunger or sleeping in the cold in rodent infested churches. It was a life changing experience. There are parts of me that used to get angry with God for allowing that to happened to us. As I have grown, I realized that in that time is when I learned to grow close to and depend on God.
OK, so fast forward with me. As I have had a steady income for some years, it has become my “insurance”. I have trusted that I will receive a weekly check that will meet all of our needs. Over time, I had somehow subtly begun to trust in my company, my paycheck and my bank account instead of my God for assurance. I felt like God kept saying to me “Trust Me. Just trust Me.” I don’t know about you, but it is really difficult to trust when I can’t see how it will work out. But then, that’s the point right? Especially when I know what it feels like to be hungry, homeless and hopeless. But I’m not the same person I was back then. I have grown in Christ. I have a better relationship with God. I know God loves me and cares for me.
I decided that this time I was not going to worry, but trust, as instructed. Easier said than done! I ended up writing “I will trust you Lord” on my bathroom and bedroom mirrors with a marker as a constant reminder to break me of worrying. I did what I could at work even offering to help other local offices, but nothing much panned out. Since I had extra time on my hands, I decided to apply for an advancement program at work. The application process was time consuming, but that was something I had plenty of! Within a month I received feedback that I was accepted and it came with a raise. My regional manager also called me at home one evening to tell me that it had been decided that I should get a considerable raise on top of that based on my work ethic and contributions to the company. Also, in that time work started to pick up and my caseload was getting back to normal after several months of being very low.
As I read Psalm 4, I couldn’t help but reflect on this event. Had I not trusted God, I would have gotten another job. I would not have applied for the clinical advancement program and gotten that extra money. I can pretty much guarantee that I would be working harder for the same amount of money or maybe less than what I am getting now. When you read it, pay close attention to versus 7 and 8.
Prayer for the day: Thank You God for answering me when I call You. Thank You for reminding me that it is, and always has been, You that is my assurance. Insurance is earthly and therefore limited. Your blessed assurance is divine and comforting to my spirit. I have never known peace like this before. I am grateful that You allow me to rest in that. The world is full of worry and anxiety. Help us to separate from that and trust in You. Give us peace even as things around us seem to fall apart. Help us to rely solely on You. Amen.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the suggestions on the How to Pray page.