Confession: I’ve been anxious lately.
I’ve been anxious about money. Not my money, but SCYM’s. It’s no secret – the economy stinks. The stock market is sagging. Jobs are being cut. Everyone is limping along. And nonprofits are no exception. We survive on donations, so when our donors are hurting, we feel the pinch.
So the Dessert is coming, one of our major fundraisers, and apparently I’m anxious.
I didn’t even realize it, until I had an anxiety dream last night. (I have two versions that pop up from time to time – one is waiting tables at a restaurant full of people by myself, and the other is packing in slow motion for a trip that is just minutes away. This happened to be the waitress scenario.)
I am trying not to consciously worry, but deep in my subconscious, questions are plaguing me: Will our Dessert be a success? Will we bring in enough money? What will we cut if there’s not enough? Will we ever see money from our DJFS contract? (That would be the slow-motion packing dream, but I digress.) And ultimately – will God provide?
Today the kids and I were driving home from lunch with my husband. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw my 3-year-old daughter, playing with a stuffed animal and making silly noises for her brother. We’re starting to teach Ada a little about money – how it works, what you can buy with it, that sort of thing. And as I looked at her, I realized there is one thing as our kid that I never want her to do: worry about money. It’s great if she understands how it works, and of course we want her to be wise about it, but I never, ever, ever want her to lie in bed at night thinking, “What if mommy and daddy can’t pay the gas bill this month? What if there’s no heat? What if there’s just not enough money for what we need?”
And in a flash it hit me: If that’s how I feel about my kids, how much more does God want the same for me. How much does he want me to have a deep sense of trust, not only that he will provide but that he knows what I – and SCYM – truly need.
This could just be a nice thought – but it also happens to be biblical. It seems to me that it’s pretty much what Jesus was trying to say in Matthew 6:28-34:
See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
Do not worry, Jesus says – three times in that chapter. I think that today I heard not just the words, but the heartfelt plea of a Father who not only longs for our childlike trust, but also has all the treasure in the world at his command.
No matter what the state of your life right now, no matter what the state of your economy – I pray you will embrace this truth with me, and truly rest in the promise of our Father to provide.