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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Expire (08/01/13)

By Carla Rogers


“Now also when I am old and gray headed, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.” Psalm 71:18 (KJV)

Seeing the bills growing into unruly piles on the floor, Janet felt her blood turn to ice. “It isn’t even a choice of which bill to pay. We can only pay the little ones. If we chose to pay the big bills, it will take over a whole month just to pay those.”

The thought of the bank coming to take the house and car made the loss of her job even more hurtful, if that was even possible.

“I never thought at this point in my life I would be struggling like this. I thought being in the computer field was a good, safe choice. It seems like over twenty years of experience is not a wanted skill.”

Trying to catch her balance after slipping on a drifting envelope, the sea of bills seemed to be mocking her. “Where is your God now? He has left you. You must have done something really bad for him to leave you like this.”

Fear and confusion stifled her initiative to look for a job. Picking up the stray envelope, visions of being buried alive under all the paper caused her depression to set in even deeper. Tears flowed; as if the tears would clean away the bills or at least make God hear.

“You can’t even keep house. No wonder no one wants to hire you. You are now not in a position to adopt either. Your dream of being a parent is gone.”

Desperate for some relief, Janet made her way to the couch, slipping on a bill on the way. The hopelessness was beginning to be a close friend, instead of a passing acquaintance. Wailing, she prayed her heart out to God, the good, bad and the ugly. She cried to God for deliverance; asking why he was hiding, asking why the trial, and why the threat of losing everything she held dear. Even after praying, the fear of losing everything she had worked for was still very present. She just couldn’t shake the feeling that God was going to allow her to lose everything. The knowledge that God allowed other Christians to lose everything really brought more ice cold fear.

“How can God be good if he allows this to happen to someone who trusts in him?”

Peaking out from under some more papers, her well worn bible shone in a ray of sunlight as a lighthouse during a storm. Flipping through the pages, she was drawn to Job, the expert in losing everything but his faith in God. Reading the end of the book, hope flickered in her heart. The cold fingers of fear were beginning to lose their grasp. Turning to the Psalms, her bible fell on Psalm 71. In the first verse, the psalmist pleads to not be confused.

“Father, I am tired of being fearful and confused. I old and grey haired too, don’t forsake me.”

As she read the psalm, she prayed the psalm.

“In the Lord, I put my trust. You have taught me from my youth for this trial, help me through it. Help me to be a wonder to others so I can help the younger generations. Let me know if I do lose everything you are still with me.”

Her prayer turned to worship as she read the psalm again. The words began to sparkle light as the icy cold she felt melted away. She realized that God’s love didn’t expire with due dates on her bills. He hadn’t forsaken her. He wanted her to seek him with all her heart. She realized the only way to feel hope again was to read her bible regularly and pray.

Father, I pray for everyone who is having financial trouble which is outside of their control. Lead them back to your word to encourage them and strengthen them in this spiritual fight. Let them realize that this may be a worldly problem, but it has a spiritual side too. Amen.

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This article has been read 179 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Rice 08/08/13
A gripping account of how we struggle with one of life's difficult realities.

Turning to the Word of God for encouragement is exactly what my devotion said this morning. I believe it referred me to Psalms 42.

This is powerfully written. I did have a stumble in a couple of places, but they are minor.

Thanks for sharing.
C D Swanson 08/10/13
Great job with this piece. I especially loved the closing prayer.

God bless~
Sheldon Bass 08/12/13
What a wonderful message! And a situation most of us have faced at least once in our lives, so it's easy to relate to your character's feelings. I would have liked to hear some of her prayer, which is a great opportunity to "show" us her feelings. Maybe instead of telling us she prayed, you could just go into the prayer: "Oh God, I don't understand why..." I think this one will do good though. Good work, you have a fan!
Danielle King 08/12/13
In these times I'm sure lots of people will relate to your MC's struggles with finances and faith. Let's hope they will also trust in God to steer them through the difficulties, just as your MC eventually did. A worthy message here.
Shirley McClay 08/12/13
Very realistic struggle for a lot of people right now. I don't know how you get through it without Him. If more Christians, even, would turn to Him the way your MC did, maybe we could help others see the hope we have in Him.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/12/13
Wow what a powerful piece. You had my eyes brimming with tears as I read the familiar self-abusive arguments going on in the Mc's head. It felt so authentic.

My only red ink would be the part in the middle where the MC was calling out to God would have worked great in quotation marks as a dialog, since you did it earlier.

I think you covered the topic in a great way. I had never thought of using bills as a topic. You did a great job of writing on topic while still delivering a powerful message. I really liked the prayer at the end. Not everyone knows how to pray and this is a great way to show them. I totally enjoyed this.