The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world; but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy...The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God...Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.
This entry was incredibly timely. My one-year anniversary of unemployment has passed without fanfare. I moved to Colorado 12 months ago with a five-digit figure in my bank account. How things change!
I have learned so much in this year about finances, particularly regarding the high position I have given them in my own heart. Surrendering that source of security has allowed God to reform my thinking and lifestyle in a myriad of ways, but if I am honest, I have to say that I still struggle--daily. Every morning, I wake to the pressing concerns of paying rent, putting gasoline in my car, and purchasing groceries. The worries gnaw at my mind throughout the day until I wrestle away from them each night.
I am so humbled to see the anxiety arising in my heart relentlessly every day. There have been times during these months when I have been so worried I have broken down into tears. In those moments, I ask myself, "But how big is your God?"
I find myself now in the in-between stage between a season of intentional unemployment and a time of entering the workforce once again, and I think this is especially difficult. I wait for phone calls from places where I have applied for positions and simultaneously search for other prospects. I have a few weeks before rent needs to be paid again. The pressure, at times, feels enormous.
I must constantly recall exactly what C.S. Lewis illuminates in the above excerpt: it is better that I be restless in this place. Only that sense of unsettling sustains my awareness of my true origin. The worry must be surrendered to the God who is good and able; the discomfort must be embraced as a mark of my heritage. I must remain restless.
I find myself right back at that passage I contemplated early in this adventure.
For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!
Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Every practical fiber in my being wishes I had earned and saved and rationed as much as I could have during this last season. But the whispers in my spirit rejoice in the opportunity for a revelation of a compassionate Father who delights in the care of His beloved sons and daughters. The cost is nothing.
(Which is fantastic, because I could not have afforded much more than that.)