Can our finances influence how we feel about God?
I think so. Money strikes close to our hearts. As Vicki must learn in my novel Prince Crossing, wealth can be an asset or a deterrent.
When we got married, my husband evoked Proverbs 30:7-9 as our mantra:
O God, I beg two favors from you;
let me have them before I die.
First, help me never to tell a lie.
Second, give me neither poverty nor riches!
Give me just enough to satisfy my needs.
For if I grow rich, I may deny you and say, “Who is the LORD?”
And if I am too poor, I may steal and thus insult God’s holy name. (NLT)
We entered married life as full-time Christian workers, so we knew from the beginning that we would never be wealthy. We are fed our portion—not so hungry that we feel forsaken or so full that we forget where everything we have comes from. It has been a very good way to live.
Those verses got us through hard times, such as when my husband attended seminary while we had preschooler-age children. We both worked part-time and pretty much all the time, but it was still hard to make ends meet. One month, we faced the last week without a cent for groceries. I had no idea how we were going to feed our children. But we trusted it to God and asked Him to provide. That day we received a check from an elderly woman on a fixed income I’d met only once about five years earlier. She heard my husband was going to seminary and sent a small check because she thought we might need it. It was just enough to buy all the basics at the grocery store. My kids were thrilled because we ate oatmeal and peanut butter sandwiches all week, without me once trying to get them to eat all the foods they didn’t like.
That experience of seeing God provide has stayed with us throughout our lives. We have never again had such a lean time, but when the lean times come, we are grateful that we can trust a God who honors our desire to know him.