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Learning to lean

Years ago we were missionaries in Thailand...before online banking, when our paper check was sent via airmail (snail mail). The treasurer of our organization was notorious for being late and slow at getting the remittances out.

We didn't have a huge savings on which to fall back. My journal records my regular frustration with this arrangement, and honestly a whole lot of wasted worry.

One particular time we were preparing to return to the U.S. for a furlough. It was necessary to purchase airline tickets by a certain date in order to get a great price. We were waiting for our "ship to come in"-with a check from Indiana! Never once was the money too late, but it often came just in time.

God is never too late. If things don't work according to our schedule, we can rest assured that God's timetable is probably quite different! But He's aware and at work. If something doesn't work out like we think it should, God is able to do a new and entirely unique thing-and He knows what is best.

What this all means is that we must learn to lean on Him...trust in Him...rest in Him. He knows what's going on. We need not fret or worry. In fact, He commands us not to worry. Worry and faith don't exactly go together!

The scripture reminds us over and over again that God, our Heavenly Father, loves us. He knows what we need - physically, emotionally, spiritually...even financially. His goal in our lives is to use every single thing that happens to us, to draw us closer and closer to Jesus.

So, as our economy feels stress and our security is threatened, we can know that God wants us to be dependent on Him...to find our security in His provisions and His care.

To His people long ago, God said, "I have loved you with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself." (Jeremia 31:3)

Paul wrote to a group of believers in Rome, reminding them that God's love is not dependent on our circumstances. He said, "Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or are hungry or cold or in danger or threatened with death?" (Romans 8:35). The answer is in verse 37: "No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us."

Encourage each other in these tough times...help each other...provide for those who are struggling more than you are...and experience God's grace and peace in a powerful way! Learn to lean on Him.

Rev. Karen Helsel is pastor of the Sunnyside Church of God.

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