“Trace, our debit card was just declined.”
These have to be my least favorite words EVER.
Unfortunately, that was the phone call I got from Matty yesterday morning. Matt went to mow his mom’s yard before the rain, and when he filled the gas can for the mower, his card was declined. Now, what makes that funny is that I’d just written a blog on God’s provision for school supplies — on asking Him for provision, expecting it, and reminding yourself of His faithfulness.
So what did I do when my husband called with the good news?
Yup, totally freaked out. How did this happen? Why? What had gone wrong? It turned out there was a very horrible explanation. Our credit card had accidentally double debited our a very large payment.
“I’m sorry,” the lady with the foreign accent said from whichever country our credit card has outsourced customer service, “We will refund the money to your account in 3-5 business days.”
You guys, 3-5 days with an overdrawn account is NOT okay. My auto draft payments all hit on the 15th. Each of those come with a $35 fee if declined.
“I’m sorry,” the lady said again, the tone of her voice saying the opposite, “my manager says we can not help you with your overdraft fees.”
I argued and talked to a manager, but I hung up the phone knowing that no help was coming from the credit card company.
With a very sick feeling in the pit of my stomach, I had a very serious talk with Jesus, and then pillaged my envelopes of cash and my children’s allowance money, and still came up short for what we needed. Suddenly, I found myself in the exact place that I had blogged about the day before.
Luke had his “Meet the Teacher” yesterday afternoon at 4 pm, and I was supposed to either purchase school supplies there or bring them with me, and I didn’t have any idea how to do it…
Except to ask my heavenly Father for his provision.
So I did.
And when Matt went inside his mom’s house after mowing, she had left a check on the counter for us labeled “For School Supplies” for the exact amount that we needed.
It is so, so humbling, but so amazing to daily be dependant on the grace and goodness of God.
Did you know, when God called my family to America, He gave my dad such a clear word that we were supposed to go, and yet in spite of that, when we applied for our visas we were declined? Why? Why would we be declined when God wanted us to go? And then it took us nine months of believing God for his provision before we had the money for our tickets and the trip. Yet the wait for the funding and the refusal didn’t negate God’s word to go.
And then when we came to America, knowing we had a word from God to be here, knowing that He had called us, and we still had to believe God every single day just for food, for clothes, for money to pay the rent. It was a tough, tough walk of faith. The whole time we knew we were where we were supposed to be, doing what we were supposed to be doing, and yet every day was a struggle of faith, both remembering God’s promises and believing God for his provision.
So why do storms come and boats leak if you’re in the right place doing what you’re supposed to do?
I often think about the story I shared a few months ago on my blog here and preached about here. It’s the story of Jesus sending his disciples in a boat across the lake after feeding the five thousand and sending them straight into a storm. Why? He probably knew the storm was coming, so why did he send them into it?
I think it was because Jesus truly wasn’t fazed by the storm. He’d given them the word to go to the other side. He’d just fed five-thousand people with five loaves and two fishes. He expected them to trust, remember his provision, and be at peace in the middle of the storm. The same God who did the miracle of the loaves and fishes would keep them safe in the storm.
In fact, the Bible says in Mark 6:52 that they were afraid in the boat because they “failed to consider the miracle of the loaves and the fishes.”
God isn’t scared of storms. He isn’t scared of leaky boats or leaky bank accounts. He is big enough, strong enough, and He already knows the end of our story. We cling to our leaky boat and freak out in storms because we dont’ yet realise that God doesn’t need our leaky boat to get us safely across the lake.
We cling to our leaky boat and freak out in storms because we dont’ yet realise that God doesn’t need our leaky boat to get us safely across the lake.
It all comes back to that trite phrase “don’t sweat the small stuff,” but in the language of faith it’s, “don’t freak out in the boat just because it springs a leak, or the storm is too big.” God is the same good God whether it’s raining or not, and it’s His word that carries us to the other side, not the boat.
So if your boat has a leak, or you’re in the middle of one heck of a storm, what has God said to you? If it’s “go to the other side,” then be at peace. If it’s, “My word and My provision are more than enough for your leaky boat,” then stand on His promises and rest and trust. The God of the loaves and fishes is big enough to calm our storms, fix our boats, and see us safely across.
More things debited today from our bank account in this faith-building credit card misadventure that Matt and I are experiencing, and God supernaturally provided again, the way He does…
The way He always has.