Money is one of the touchiest subjects out there. We hate to talk about it, and yet it encumbers so many of our thoughts. Even upon writing this blogpost, I’m hesitant to share what’s on my heart. However, I am trusting that other people will be encouraged by this message too, so here goes nothing…
It’s burdensome, stress-inducing, contemptible, crippling, desirous, necessary, all while being a gift from God. You need it for basic provisions like food and shelter, but it also allows you to travel, indulge, and invest. It can be a stumbling block when you don’t “have enough”, but can be a blessing when you are able to do the Lord’s work with it. It’s an impactful responsibility.
I don’t think I truly understood that responsibility until this past year. For the past year since graduating from undergrad, I’ve been living at home, working in the hospital system, and paying off student loans. I indulge in the occasional lunch out or new workout top, but for the most part my money has been funneling into paying off loans. As I begin the next chapter of my adult education in PA school this fall, I will yet again be accruing more loans. There are moments when I truly believe I’m crazy. Going back to school and getting deeper in debt is foolish. In the short term, it’s a money pit. In the long term, it’s an investment. But ultimately, what would be even more foolish is not following the Lord’s call.
Sometimes the Lord calls us to do things we don’t always understand. Sometimes callings mean doing things that are nonsensical and illogical for the world’s standards. Oftentimes callings require seasons of sacrifice so that we can accomplish what He desires for us. If me being a PA requires me to sacrifice my spending, to budget more wisely, and to reduce my overall spending, then so be it. The Lord has ordained every step for me along this journey to Physician Assistant school (Seriously, if you need a good “God Provides” story, I will tell you all the details of how this dream came to fruition. It all points back to Christ!), therefore I am confident that He will sustain me throughout the next 2.5 years. It’s incredible to see how the Body of Christ is already at work in this next chapter. I have been spiritually, emotionally, and fiscally supported throughout this whole journey, and for that I am truly thankful.
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
Despite the cost, despite the struggle, despite what the world tells me, I need to remember God will never forsake me. He promises to guide and guard my footsteps every step of the way. Not to say that journey won’t be full of challenges, triumphs, and missteps, but I am not alone in this. For me, money easily becomes an idol of my thoughts. I worry that I won’t make ends meet. I check my account balances. I fret over my future. But what does that accomplish besides inducing a stomach ache and an unsettled heart?
Resting in the truth that God’s provisions brought me to this place and will continue to sustain and support me in this new chapter is all I can do. I am being called to find strength in God’s truth and spirit rather than in worldly pursuits. I am being asked to pursue God deeper, to trust deeper, and to allow His statutes to permeate my heart deeper.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. // Matthew 6:21
Money is a gift. It can be used to satisfy my every passing fancy or it can be used to glorify my maker. I’m just now beginning to understand the responsibility that money carries with it. It’s hefty. It’s not simply a means to an end, it’s a discipline for my desires. What do I value? What am I choosing to put my faith in? Who am I choosing to glorify? My hope is that my treasure will be in God alone and I’ll find joy in bringing glory to His name above all other names. I want to serve people in the healthcare field, tend to their aches and pains, mend their broken, hurting bodies, and extend to them joy that only God can provide. God is calling me to be a Physician Assistant, I know that to be true. So whatever it takes: long hours, commitment to perseverance, deeper trust in Him, hunkering down on finances. I am gonna do it because I know God ordained it so.
Whoever loves money never has enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with their income. This too is meaningless. // Ecclesiastes 5:10
If you are struggling with the burden of money right now, take heart. You are never alone in this journey. God sees your struggles, your cries for relief, and your helplessness and He agonizes to fill that void. No amount of money will satisfy an aching heart in search of a Savior. A blank check won’t bring the relief and peace you long for. I know it’s hard to believe that when the world is constantly challenging us to live the American dream. According to the world, we need to work a stable job, buy a monstrous house, drive a fancy car, and find an attractive husband/wife to be truly happy. There is nothing wrong with having any of these things per se, but holding them in higher esteem than Christ, that’s when things get tricky. Only God has the power to percolate your heart and assuage your fretful soul. Things (money, prominence, power) are fleeting. Our souls are eternal.
Join me in praying for Christ to fill the voids. Where there is a perceived “not enough”, let’s allow Christ to come in and overflow. Money is a gift and as I begin this next chapter, I pray that I see it as such. Rather than allowing it to burden my thoughts, I hope that Christ captivates my heart and shows me that He is in the driver’s seat. Don’t allow the frets of finances imprison you, let Christ alone emancipate your worries and alleviate your soul.
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore. // Psalm 121