Yesterday, I tried setting up a monthly budget so I could manage my finances better this year. The reason behind this is because I want to save up enough money so we could start the renovation of our house here in the province.
It has always been my dream to have our house renovated ever since I started working. However, unexpected things that require more of our attention happen every year so we always need to bump off house renovation from the list of our priority expenses and I was sort of secretly complaining to God about this situation. I may not have said it out loud but deep in my heart, I have a lot of questions:
‘Lord, I know that my current salary is already enough to cover our house renovation but how come that we have to put it off because of my father’s medication?‘
‘Lord, our income is relatively higher than these so and so people yet they were able to build a more decent home, while you have brought sickness to our family that eats up much of our expenses?’
‘Lord, why does our life need to be harder than others especially those who are unbelivers?!Why are they seemingly more prosperous than us?!’
I don’t resent supporting my father’s medication so I myself can’t believe that I have these secret complaints to God. Since God knows my heart, He showed me this morning the kind of attitude I have inside through my quiet time on Jeremiah 12.
You are always righteous,Lord,
when I bring a case before you. Yet I would speak with you about your justice:
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why do all the faithless live at ease?
You have planted them, and they have taken root;they grow and bear fruit.
You are always on their lips but far from their hearts.
Yet you know me,Lord;
you see me and test my thoughts about you.
Drag them off like sheep to be butchered!
Set them apart for the day of slaughter!
How long will the land lie parched and the grass in every field be withered?
Because those who live in it are wicked, the animals and birds have perished.
Moreover, the people are saying, “He will not see what happens to us.” (Jeremiah 12:1-4)
The complaint of Jeremiah sounds very familiar to me as these are the same questions I have for God.
Why do wicked peole prosper? Why do faithless people live at ease? Why is it easier for them to do whatever they want and do as they please without even considering what God wants for them?
I found God’s answer to these questions in the following verses:
“If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses?
If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?
Your relatives, members of your own family— even they have betrayed you; they have raised a loud cry against you. Do not trust them, though they speak well of you.
(Jeremiah 12:4-6 NIV)
God’s answer was plain and simple—
“My child, if you had it easy, how would you be able to stand up against the more challenging life in the future? How will you be able to stand against this cruel world?!”
I’ve always known that we live in a broken world and life was never meant to be fair and easy. That my present life is just a preparation for my life in the future.
Yet, I always tend to forget so God has to remind me about this truth over and over again. I have to be reminded about the principle of faithfulness in small things. If I keep on complaining about the simple things that God has asked me to do, then I will not have the strenght to do the bigger things that He will entrust to me in the future. So for now, I need to overcome whatever life has thrown at me so I could prepare for more challenging yet abundant and fulfilling life in the future.
Going back to the budgeting I did yesterday, I want to share what I discovered while doing the exercise. As I try to make all ends meet with my income and fixed monthly expenses, I can’t help but feel amazed at how God has been faithful in providing for me and my family last year. Our expenses continue to grow but God’s provision was also always on time that I was still able to buy things for myself and spend on entertainment. Then I was reminded about this verse:
Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
(Hebrews 13:5 NIV)
I repent for the kind of attitude I have about suffering and life’s challenges. I know that these sufferings are your way to help me grow in faith and to form Christ in me. Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have warned us that in this life, we will have trouble. But you also promised that we will overcome because You overcomed the world. Thank you that in You, we have the victory and that by sharing with your suffering will also result in future glory with you. Amen.