Without starting a political debate, I thought that this example was fitting for this post…
When Josh and I lived in Florida, we were at the very bottom of the financial food chain. Many people seem to think that military members live the high life. And while some do, they are usually the ones with fancier collar devices (i.e. high rank = higher pay). When we first got married and were stationed in the Tampa area, I wasn’t working. We had just found out that I was pregnant with Noah and therefore, being 6 months pregnant at the time of our move, we opted for me to stay at home and raise our son. But as any stay-at-home mom knows, that came with sacrifices; namely financial ones.
There were months where we had to beg the phone company to give us just a few more days to pay our bill before they would shut the phones off. We lived off of things like easy mac and Ramen while getting most of our “basic” things like peanut butter, milk and cheese (plus Noah’s high dollar baby formula) with the help of WIC.
Times were tough to say the least and looking back now I am always able to see how God provided for us even when we began to doubt and didn’t think that we could make it to the next paycheck.
But, as broke as we were, we never expected a handout. And we never once considered just “letting the government take care of us” by the means of welfare and food stamps. We accepted WIC because, well, baby formula is expensive. But, we never abused that and always used it in the way that it was meant to be used (meaning, we didn’t go buy baby formula and then sell it for cash to use to purchase something else).
I will never forget the day that I stood in the office of our tiny apartment complex with itty bitty Noah in my arms, sweltering from the insane Florida summer heat and overheard a conversation behind the partially closed doors between our landlord and another tenant. They were bickering because the tenant hadn’t paid her rent and it was now three weeks past due. I don’t remember the exact words that were exchanged, but I do remember the tenant yelling as she stormed out the door, “I don’t have to pay my rent anyway. Obama is going to take care of us now that he’s President.”
(Again, this isn’t a political post, so please don’t blow my comment section or my news feed up because of that.) I remember shaking my head and laughing because I’d seen similar statements being made on the news in the previous weeks. Everyone thought that the “change” Obama was going to make would include handouts for all of the people. And everyone was all on board with the idea of the “easy life.” A life that required no work for them at all. Just sit back and coast. Just do whatever you please and he would take care of the rest.
It was just the other day that I realized that [pullquote]Christianity is often misconstrued into some some of government handout.[/pullquote] We’re saved now so let’s sit Back…cruise through life…let Him do all the work and we’ll just sit here and reap the benefits.
The Proverbs are full of Solomon’s quips about how important working is; as well as the abounding blessings that not only come with work but the turmoil that comes when we are lazy. Solomon has even said (in not so many words) that whoever doesn’t work lacks any kind of sense. Paul himself says in his second letter to the Corinthians that,
The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.
I have big lofty goals in life. I’d love to finish my degree in Counseling and work to counsel children and families through difficult periods in their lives. I’d love to write multiple books and have them published worldwide. I’d love nothing more than to film a Bible Study series similar to those of Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer or Angie Smith. I’d love to someday speak at conferences and conventions sharing the message of the God who has brought me back from the edge when I was starting to wonder if there was any point in being here anymore.
I can’t expect to do any of those things if I just sit around and binge watch Netflix for the rest of my life. [pullquote]We don’t accomplish anything in life by sitting on the sidelines of life wishing to make our dreams come true. [/pullquote] Sure, Orange is the New Black may be a great show (right now I’m binge watching Revenge during my workdays…can someone please tell me that Emily and Jack end up together at some point this century?!)
Expecting things to just fall into our laps without ever lifting a finger is the stuff fairytales are made of. Clicking the heels of my flip-flops a few times won’t transport me to a time and place in which all is right in the world. There are no magic beans of mercy to build us a stairway to heaven and no fairy godmother is going to come swish a wand and write NYT Best Selling novels for me.
Sitting on our rear-ends, failing to take action in achieving our dreams, is a recipe for an unhappy life filled with purposelessness and void of passion.
God isn’t going to do it for us. He does promise to walk alongside of us; blessing our dreams so long as they align with His plan. And I can assure you that when we are following HIS path, and chasing the dreams He’s divinely placed on our hearts, we’ll reap the benefits of the handwork that we put into getting there.
And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
– Colossians 3:17 –
Day Six Prayer of Release
Lord, I know that it is much easier to sit around and just wait for you to take action. And at times, that is absolutely necessary. But, sitting idly while I expect you to make my dreams come true is laziness and a sin in which you’ve warned us against. Make my hands idle only when you deem them to be idle. Make my heart beat for the chasing down of the dreams that you’ve laid on my heart so that I may do all things to the best of my abilities and with my whole heart to bring honor and glory to you.