Like a minor pain, it is there day after day after countless day, until I don’t think I can stand it for one more second! Here it is again - this creative balance of making incoming earnings equal outgoing spending. It wears me down.
I’ve learned that I’m getting a two percent wage increase. That is helpful and I am grateful for it. Next I’m notified that my shift differential is to be cut by sixty percent. This will leave me with an overall loss of fifty-six dollars a week. Hmmm and the cost of living increase is - how much? It is so discouraging and tiresome. I fear my creativity is tapped to its limit.
Now what about that healthier lifestyle I was going to pursue? Is somebody playing games with me? Because here it is spelled out. A gym membership costs - guess what? Money. Dietary supplements cost what? Money. Gluten free, no preservatives, more anti-oxidants, more omega-3's, no filler (or is that just dog food?) - guess what? More money. I’ll just have my generic white bread and fresh-from-the-non-filtered-spigot water.
It gives a whole new meaning to “Dear God, Please bless this food, (poison really) that I am about to partake of and share with my family. Amen.”
And then I’m reminded of the widow who helped Elijah. What was she thinking? What was it like for her? Maybe something like this:
I’m tired. Too tired to be frightened or surprised or hopeful. When will it end?
Why are we here?
And then there ‘he’ is. He tells me to bring him water and bread. Why not?
What difference whether we die today or tomorrow?
Still, I want him to know just what he asks of me.
“The bread I would bring to you,” I tell him,
“Is the last meal for my son and I. Then we die.”
Is he daft? How does he not understand?
“Go and make the meal for your son and you as you wish,” he says,
“But bring mine first.”
I am only a woman, but I am not a fool. Still,
I will do as he bids...But what is this that he is promising?
“For this is what the Lord says: The jar of flour and the jug of oil will not run
dry until the Lord makes the rain to fall on the land once again.”*
She took Elijah in and she fed him, fed him first, even. Why didn’t she yell at him saying, “Get out of here! Leave us in peace!”?
Was it hopelessness? Or was it hopefulness springing from trust in the Lord?
This puts things in a different perspective.
I am not down to my last meal, I just need to make ends meet. The Lord has always taken care of me before. When I look around and see all He’s done for me how dare I complain? Though I know I will probably fall prey again to the pain and frustration of making ends meet, I will try to praise Him who holds me in his hands.
Oh Heavenly Father, I am thankful that You have always provided for all my needs even when I fear and worry (which you’ve told me not to do.) You do ever more than just ‘make ends meet’ for me. I am your unworthy servant, but you know that, yet you still love me. Thank you. Amen.
*Based on the story of Elijah and the widow from I Kings 17:7-16
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