It is true that one does not live by bread alone, but just try paying the bills with the Word of God alone!
The truth is that money is an important thing in our world, the pursuit of it, and the lack of it has caused many people much misery. As parents we know this very well, as it costs a lot of to raise children!!!
Many find it hard enough to make ends meet when there are two salaries in a household (I once thought that it would be impossible to raise a children without that luxury), as single parents, even for those who are fortunate enough to get regular child support, finances can be an on-going concern! There always seems to be something new to challenge us: another increase in the daycare bill, school fees, new clothes, a doctor’s bill, car repair, or other disaster (both major and minor); often it seems that just when it seems like when we are about to get ahead, we get knocked back down again by a new crisis!
I have been up and down financially for years. When we were first on our own, I was able to take some time off, and focus on healing and getting used to life as a single father, but before long I had to go back to work, and to learn how to balance my work/life in order to just get by from paycheck to paycheck, and did not always make it.
Then there was the year that we almost did not have a ‘Christmas’, hit with unexpected bills, and a wage freeze, I was not able to pay my bills, buy food and get presents…something had to go, and that was Christmas. I was planning on getting a small gift for my daughter, but could not do much else, and I was very down-hearted!
The Word of God, as shared in church and through those around me gave me hope in the midst of this trouble; however it was not going to be giving me any money for presents, put food on the table, or pay any of my bills! In short, I felt like I was on my own, and was wondering where God was, why wasn’t I getting any real help? I went to church, taught Sunday school, and was doing the right thing by raising my daughter on my own, as her mother was unable to do so…and this was the reward I was getting: to wind up broke and in debt at Christmas, with a three year old who had a nice long list for Santa!
Although it was Advent, this time felt more like Lent for me, a dark time of struggle and uncertainty; a time of trial when it seemed as if nothing was going my way, and the Word of God’s love rang hollow for me.
Yet God never did leave my daughter and my prayers for help were heard, as we experienced a remarkable kindness: about two weeks before the holiday someone left a tree, food and a stack of presents by our door!!
THIS was the Word of God in action!
For Christ is the Word of God made flesh, alive and active in our world! As followers of Christ we are called to not only share this Word in the midst of our lives, but to also BE this Word in action, by following Christ in all we do!
So, this means that I was wrong: the Word of God CAN help us to pay the rent, for it inspires us to help each other, and give each other the support and hope we need to face any challenge that life hands us or our children!
The Word of God, as shared with each other, is the light of Christ, the light that we are moving towards as we journey through whatever season of Lent we may find ourselves in the midst of. For Lent is not only a time of struggle, but also of renewal as we head towards a new life…and with children, aren’t we always heading towards something new…even if it is not always an easy journey?
No matter how ‘stony the road we trod’ we can have hope in knowing that we are not alone, that we walk together, proclaiming the Word of God in all that we do, and wrapped in this Word, we are sustained and nourished, for the light we are moving toward is not only the light of Easter, but also the light of the Kingdom of God…and it is drawing ever closer!
Let Us Pray:
God, thank you that you continue to speak to us, through both the scriptures and each other, filling our lives with your healing Words of hope. Please help us to share this Word with others, not only by giving them hope, but also by helping those who struggle financially to meet these challenges. Let us remember that when we share what we have been given with others, your Word is shared, and where your Word is shared it grows more powerful, nourishing us all with your love.