My husband Kenya had been unemployed for months and the bills were mounting. We kept praying and believing God for breakthrough while we were negotiating and renegotiating with bill collectors.
Some days, I felt so discouraged looking at those shut-off notices and not being able to do anything to meet the numerous financial obligations.
I did my best to wear a strong face for Kenya as he put in application after application, only to receive no call-backs.
When he first told me he lost his job, I just sat there on the bed with our newborn, trying not to panic.
“We’ll be okay,” I said. “God will take care of us.”
My words betrayed my feelings. Everything in me was screaming, "This is a disaster!" I had so many questions about how in the world we would make it, but I did not voice them.
At the time, Kenya and I didn’t have any savings. We were living paycheck-to-paycheck, doing the best we could to make ends meet.
His job loss came at what seemed to be the worst possible time—right after our second daughter came into the world.
What a bitter-sweet season.
Our family was growing, but our finances were shrinking.
Not a good a scenario.
I remember my early-morning prayer sessions with God. On certain days, I just cried in His presence. I didn’t have the words to say. I was already hormonal after just delivering a baby. The added stress of financial trouble was the last thing I—we—needed.
That cycle of praying, hoping and being disappointed when rejection letters came in the mail daily was exhausting for both Kenya and me.
One afternoon, we received multiple rejections. It was so sad, it became comical. We laughed until tears streamed down our cheeks.
Other days, well, the laughter did not come. We did our best to encourage each other.
Despite the difficulty of the let-downs, Kenya and I kept on talking to God.
Sometimes, I would overhear him trying to explain our situation to bill collectors. I could tell when the conversation wasn’t going well. Kenya repeatedly said things like, “Sir (or ma’am), I’m doing my best. I really don’t have it. I would pay it if I could.”
After one particularly tense call, Kenya hung up, sighed and told me, “They said they’re going to cut the lights off.”
Our grace period had run out and we didn’t have enough to cover our payment arrangement.
For a moment after his announcement, I must have looked dazed, because I sat there staring at him. I was speechless.
Then I heard myself say, “I’ll be right back. I need to go pray.”
That’s exactly what I did.
I stayed before God until that desire to speak defeat turned into a determination to speak the word.
Although things didn’t shift overnight and Kenya didn’t land a new gig as quickly as we had hoped, the Lord did take care of us.
Our lights never got caught off. We didn’t go hungry, even when we didn’t have much to eat.
When the breakthrough finally came, we knew it was the Lord.
You see, Kenya landed a job for which he didn’t even apply. Someone called him to see if he was looking for employment and mentioned a position that was open.
God opened a door we didn’t have to knock on.
He’s so good. He already knew His plans for us before we did.
But we had to go through our wilderness first. We had to walk by faith one day at a time.
It reminds me of Exodus 16 when the children of Israel were in the wilderness and God fed them “manna” which, in Hebrew means, “What is it?”
That manna was literally bread God rained down from heaven for His people to eat. But there was one stipulation: they could only gather up enough for a one-day supply.
Moses instructed each family to collect as much as they needed for that day, but not to try to hoard or store any until morning.
In Exodus 16:20, the Bible says some of the Israelites disobeyed and kept part of the manna until morning.
You know what happened? The next day, they discovered the manna was full of maggots and stinking. It had rotted.
God had them on a strict day-to-day diet, which likely went against the preference of those who felt they just had to know what the future held. They didn’t like the idea of having nothing stored up.
Extra, in our minds, is always better than just enough.
It’s natural to seek security in tangible things. It is much harder to trust in the intangible promise of provision that we cannot see.
But in order to teach us to trust Him, God will take us through our “manna seasons” when we have nothing stored up, except faith and confidence in God’s faithfulness to provide.
In Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV, Moses told the children of Israel why God allowed their wilderness season. He explained, “He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
Friend, it is through your season of uncertainty that God teaches you to trust in the certainty of His word.
He is your provider, deliverer, way-maker and source of everything.
Instead of trusting what’s in your hands, He wants you to be secure in knowing that you are in His hands.
He will take care of you.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring the words God said to Israel in Isaiah 46:4 NIV into your cup of inspiration: “I will be your God throughout your lifetime--until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, rest in God’s promise of provision.
He will provide for every need—whatever that need may be.
Psalm 34:10 NIV says, “The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”
Today, you can rejoice in knowing that, as long as you seek God and obey His word, you need not worry over lack.
He will provide everything you need.
When you don’t see any sign of progress or breakthrough in a specific area, don’t fret. The same God who rained down manna from heaven, will rain down blessings in your life.
Just trust Him to provide.
Now let's pray.
God, I don’t see how things will work out. I don’t know what You have planned. I don’t have any evidence that things are shifting in my favor. But yet, I trust You, Lord. My hope is in You and I know, despite what it looks like, You will not fail me. Until manifestation of my breakthrough comes, I will wait with expectancy and a heart of thanksgiving. I trust You to provide. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
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