The love of money is the root of all evil.
Nothing has consumed us the way money has over the past (almost) two years. And it’s not what you think (or maybe it is, because I don’t know what you are thinking). Sure, keeping up with the Jones’ crosses our minds every now and then, but the race (the one we don’t really want to run but there is a bear chasing us, so we kinda have to) is really just keeping up with the next MRI. Nothing is more daunting than seeing a bill from the hospital in the mail, having no idea how high the little red numbers will be.
We have great insurance. We have been gifted thousands of dollars. Yet, from September 2014 until December of 2015, we paid over half our income in medical bills. Let that sink in. Believe me, I have pondered that fact over and over, aware of how long-lasting it’s effects are. This year is slightly better, yet we are on track to pay more to doctors than we do in our mortgage. And tonight, as another unexpected bill rolled in, the weight of what we are still carrying, almost two years later, sat itself down on our shoulders. And for the first time in a long time, we both could not keep our tears from falling out.
The devil is a tricky adversary. Cunning and cruel. If you listen to him, he takes what little you still have and turns it to ashes. “Not. Enough,” he whispers. And we find ourselves wanting. And hurting in ways that medicine cannot heal. We find ourselves jealous of our friends and our family’s good fortune. Embarrassed by our own misfortune. Followed by shame for not rejoicing in the gain of the ones we love. A constant battle in our hearts of “why us” and … “why not us.”
We’ve been told over and over that this was given to us because God knows we can handle it. I told Matt tonight, sometimes, I don’t want to handle it anymore. With every little setback we have shrugged our shoulders, kept it to ourselves, pulled up our boots and marched on. God doesn’t call us to do that. We are a church for a reason, and I know there are countless others out there, in our position. Struggling alone. We are with you.
We don’t want to give up the things of this world “because we can handle it”. We don’t want to cancel vacations and return clothes and watch people get to say “yes” when we have to say “no.” We don’t want to feel guilty for renovating our bathroom when we still have to pay off our medical debt. We don’t want to see our dream of owning a farm drift further and further away. Its unpleasant. And hard. It’s unpleasantly hard.
And as we wallowed tonight, (and boy does it feel good to wallow) God said, ENOUGH.
I remember hearing this from my mother as a child. So worked up over something of little significance. She would let me say my peace, then sternly say “enough.” A polite way of saying “you’re done, now listen to me.”
And when we got quiet. This truth cut through our circumstance.
He. Is. Enough.
What we have is not enough. He is enough.
Do we believe God has handled a brain tumor? Yes. Do we believe God has rid Matt of cancer once and for all? Yes. Then why do we worry that He cannot handle this too?
So we asked ourselves:
Can God handle bummed out finances? Yes.
Can God handle medical bills that will be there (and continue rolling in like a train that is never ever late) for the foreseeable future? Yes.
Can God change our circumstances so drastically that one day soon we will lend and not borrow? Yes.
Are God’s blessings chasing us down? Yes.
Does God provide for all our needs? Yes.
Is God aware of the desires He has placed in our hearts? Yes.
Does He have a plan to get us there? Yes.
“For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.” Deuteronomy 15:6
Grace upon grace, dear Lord. When we cannot see what is in front of us, give us Your steady hand and lead us on.
P.S. – I know I have been MIA for almost a year, but life happens in the chaos and I am okay with that.