It seems like no matter how much God proves His faithfulness to me I still want to doubt Him.
Thinking about this reminds something I wrote and put on the other blog right before I left for PNG:
It turns out that traveling to the opposite side of the world (swapping both hemispheres) is a little bit more pricey than I counted on. As I began to get my ducks in a row to leave, I kept running into little costs and expenses that were quickly adding up. This culminated when I dropped off some prescriptions to be filled at Walgreens with no money, or plans to be able to pick them up.
After stressing about it for almost a day I finally asked God to give me peace which he promptly did. I said. “God, this is it. I have no money to pick up those medications and they’re kinda something I need to travel. Not only that but I’ve got visas, mandatory travel insurance and some other things I need money for. If you want me to go still, now’s the time to come through.” And He did.
My mom volunteered to pick up the medications for me, a couple of checks came in a pastor handed me $100 and at the end of all that grace I had almost $900. I was expecting it to cost me $2000 for the two months I’m planning on being in PNG. So no worries.
Then two things happened; I talked to my contact there and he told me (by the way) it would only cost me $500 a month for living expenses and my phone company returned me $200. Now I’m definitely in the black. But I guess God’s like Billy Mays because that’s not all.
I didn’t ask anyone for money, aside from God (and Him only haphazardly); but word got out and just before I got those two phone calls my brother-in-law offered to pay the thousand dollars I was still missing. I guess God’s got that money set for something else because now I don’t need it.
I rode around with Noah yesterday and told him all this. I’m still blessed by his reply. “I was gonna offer to pay whatever you still needed but I was waiting to see what God would do.” And this is what God did.
One more little thing. The last thing I need to do before I go is pick up some local currency (kinas) that I ordered. With exactly $1205 to my name I didn’t want to break a hundred just to buy $20 worth of kinas. I asked God and a little bit later my boss hands me $100 in twenties as “a bonus” Now I’m set for living expenses there and travel costs on the way.
All that to say, that God provides. It’s weird how I continually find it hard to trust Him despite how often He comes through for me. In every little thing I ask of Him He provides.
I generally don’t like sharing things like this but part of the reason why I asked God instead of people to provide was to prove how faithful He is. And now you know.
And yet after all that, when I need something I immediately start to stress about it. Wondering how I’ll be able to get it, to make things happen the way I think they need to be done. Like God doesn’t consistently come through.
It seems like those words will always ring true for me, “I believe, help my unbelief.”1
I’m traveling again. A few days before I left I realized that I didn’t have any cash and no time to get some from the bank. I asked my family to spot me some because cash is security. It doesn’t feel safe to travel without at least a little bit of cash. But then I thought, if I really need it won’t God give it to me? After all “…[He] richly provides us with every good thing to enjoy.”2 So I let Him know what I needed and he promptly gave me almost $200 in cash. Within probably 20 minutes.
Yet He’s still always my last recourse. Well, I’ve tried everything else, might as well pray. Oh to have faith like a child. I talked with Noah about it the night before I left. We were both wondering if we’ll ever learn to trust completely without doubting.
Whenever I have thoughts like this I think of the Ragamuffin Gospel3. Brennon Manning posits that it means more to God for us to say “I trust you” than “I love you.” And yet even that is almost an oxymoron. Jars of Clay wrote a song4 that I think paints this concept very well. If we had faith enough then we wouldn’t need faith anymore. We have to trust because we can’t see, and we don’t know yet we still act.
It leaves me wondering along with Van Morrison:
“When will I ever learn to live in God?
When will I ever learn?
He gives me everything I need and more
When will I ever learn?”5
1. [Mark 9:24]1
2. [1 Timothy 6:17]2
4. [Jars of Clay: Faith Enough, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ZAa3JOmRg4]4
5. [Van Morrison: When Will I Ever Learn to Live in God, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCLyFGgVdZM]5