Thursday, January 26, 2017

A Test of Faith

Remember when I told you that the Lord had given permission to not borrow money to go to school but to trust Him to provide?

Well, one semester something went wrong. I can’t remember what it was, but there was no money for that semester’s classes. What to do?

I can still see it in my mind’s eye; sitting in my car in the parking lot of the school wrestling with what? My vow? Myself? God? Whoever was in the ring with me was not getting any rest. See, the school had a program where you could fill out a form (it was on blue paper) if you were having trouble with tuition. I hated those forms because they seemed to ask everything from what your income was to what color underwear your grandmother was wearing when Kennedy was killed. I tried to fill it out, but I kept getting stuck. There was this nagging voice (not audible) that kept frustrating the process. The interchange went something like this:

Voice: Not speaking but going tap…tap…tap…tap on my conscience.

Me: Ignore…fidget…squirm…try to concentrate on filling out the form.

Voice: Nudge…nudge… poke…. “I thought we had an agreement.”

Me: SIGH….stare straight ahead. Clearing my throat.

Voice: “Remember? No taking out loans.”

Me: “This is not a loan. They will pay my tuition up front and then over the semester I will pay the money…back.”

Voice: Not saying a word…just letting my eyes land on the top of the page of the form where it read “Loan Application for Student Aid”

That was it. I tore it up right there in the car.

So how was I supposed to pay for classes?

Oh! I remember now why I had no school money: the scholarship awards were split. I had already received the first half, and the new term had begun long before the second half of the award was due me.

You have to know me to understand why all of this was such a big deal. I am a rule follower. I am unassuming. Nobody owes me anything and I do not ask people to bend the rules for me. It simply isn’t done. God has a way of challenging our trumped-up principles. We can piece together a rule-book that God has no intention of signing off on. I had no choice. I needed to call the head of the scholarship committee and ask for an advance on the money I was due to have next semester.

He was very kind but said he would have to call a meeting to get approval for this to happen. I felt this was highly irregular. I don’t like asking people to do highly irregular stuff for me. I envisioned the committee all in their beds when their telephones rang and they each got out of bed and walked to the other side of the room on a cold floor to answer a call about me.  It was humbling.

You know what, though? God is in the business of doing highly irregular things when His children find themselves in highly irregular circumstances! How about that time when the Israelites needed a little more daylight to finish their fighting? No problem, God kindly made the sun stand still at Joshua’s highly unusual request (Joshua 10:12-13).

The Syrophonecian woman, in essence, got told by the Son of God that it would be highly irregular for Him to heal her demon-possessed son since technically only the house of Israel was on His current agenda.  She was not so easily put off.  Her faith found a tiny loophole, if you will, and she got the healing she needed for her child (Mark 7:24-29).

My need was nothing compared to these examples, but I serve the same God they did. You do too!

Back to the story.

If you know anything about church committees, you know nothing happens quickly.

By now you’re probably not surprised that the leader called the next day and said he’d contacted enough people to make the move on my behalf and the check was in the mail.

That’s it. That’s my story.

Fear dogged my every step, but in the end, by God’s grace and my taking Him at His word, she lost! 

How about you? Is Fear reigning in your life or are you drop-kicking her ne step of faith at a time?

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