It was in a unique and remarkable way how the Lord called my husband and me to live a life of faith.
But I didn’t want to ‘live by faith!’
I was brought up in a very giving and generous family. My life was one of seeing my Dad giving to ministers and missionaries alike, and to anyone doing God’s work.
My Dad built his own church brick by brick, paying for every bit himself. Although my Dad was a Pastor, he built up a business just for the sole purpose of being able to give more and more to the Lord’s work.
When I met my husband-to-be, and my Dad knew that my Father-in-law-to-be was a poorly paid Pastor and unable to pay his national health stamps for many years, my Dad paid them right up to date for him. Then even bought him a car! My Dad also paid for my future husbands Bible College fees at the Bible College of Wales, Swansea.
So coming from such a giving family, I cringed at the thought of this new ‘living by faith’ – being on the ‘other end’ so to speak, a reliance on others! And it couldn’t be a reliance on my Dad as his business was long gone by then.
On the non-ending 7 day journey, in a rickety, ancient, donated 2 berth caravan with our two young children, to begin this new ‘life of faith’ – whatever ‘living by faith’ really meant to me – the thought kept haunting me that people would think that ‘living by faith’ was just an excuse for an easy life, living like a beggar, or a scrounger.
I knew my attitude had to change as it was making me miserable and embarrassed thinking that we now had to be ‘looked after’ – and by who?
Through His word, the Lord graciously started to bring to my attention that ‘living by faith’ may well be a reliance on others, but that it was still not being a beggar or a scrounger or some of His servants would have been! Elijah asked a widow to make him a cake first from her last bit of food, and he had to quench his thirst from a brook, and was fed by birds – ravens of all things!
Jesus wasn’t against accepting help from others either – and from women, which would have been seen as degrading back then, but He still allowed them to bless Him. And two sisters had an open house to provide for the Lord’s needs.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus humbly permitted people to support Him financially which made me wonder if my problem was pride! After all – it was US who’d been the ‘givers’ in our house!
I then realised that our need to ‘live by faith’ wasn’t because of a choosing to do so. It was because of a calling to leave everything we loved and would miss, to sow the Gospel.
Then something Jesus said, settled it for me once and for all, “It is better to give than to receive’ .
It jolted me how I’d only been thinking of the receivers, when it seemed that it was the ‘givers’ the most important ones! A giver may need the blessing more than a ‘receiver!’
Living by faith also meant obedience. What was more important? Worrying about being seen as a scrounger – or obeying the Lord.
Living by faith simply meant, having to learn to trust God for every need, by whoever, whatever or however it came, even if from the sky via ravens or brooks! And many times it has been so!!
To this day we still live ‘by faith’ and I admit that I still have to fight off nostalgic thoughts of those days when I knew exactly how to financially plan a week!
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