We try to add a little bit of meaning to the holiday each year by taking turns, before the blessing, to share what we are thankful for. There are often tears and hugs as we take turns. Ours is a big family gathering, so it takes awhile. It is a great way to remember why we celebrate Thanksgiving. It is a good time to stop and count our blessings.
Can We Give Thanks for our Financial Situation?
I have never heard anyone talk of money around the Thanksgiving table, though we are all thankful to be able to have a home and pay bills. We often talk of family, friends, and precious memories.
I am convinced, though, that our attitude toward money is very important to God. After all, He spends a lot of time in Scripture talking about wealth and money. If you are struggling financially this holiday season, most of us can related. My husband's business income went to 25% of what we were making before in 2009. It has not picked up yet. We have seen God miraculously provide and we praise Him, especially with up to ten people living under our roof and three children in college. One finally graduated with her master's degree and is teaching at a nearby university.
Am I thankful for our financial downturn? Ouch. Do you have to ask that question. I kept waiting for things to pick back up, but the economy kept sliding downward. I had high hopes after the Republican election win in 2010, but the next day, the Fed began printing 600 billion dollars of worthless money to pay back the debt. Wow! What a lack of integrity. Can God bless us after that move?
Is God Blessing Us?
When we walk in financial integrity (tithing, saving, living within a budget, being content), then we can expect God's provision and blessing.
Sometimes, it is a blessing from God to experience financial hardship. Now, I am not talking about reaping what we have sown for being disobedient to God's Word in handling our money. I am talking about God's training. There is something wonderful about lean times for strengthening our ability to handle money with wisdom. The Less we have available, the more we need to streamline and make wise choices. We have to determine what is a priority and what is not necessary.
Rocky financial times prepare us to handle large sums of money with wisdom and integrity. When money pours in, we do not have to change how we live and what we spend. Instead we can store up wealth to save for future calamity or need. We can also save money to invest int he Kingdom of God or in a business enterprise.
Can you thank God for His provision of a financial trial to strengthen your ability to manage money? Can you thank Him for lean times that purify your faith in God as Provider?
God will come through and meet your needs if you keep your focus on Him. Trials help us to wait on the Lord and let us see His Great Provision. We gather together as a family to pray and He comes through.
Can We See The Big Picture?
Our life, just like a national economy goes through the ebb and flow, from lean times to good times. If you talk to an older couple, they will tell you about various seasons in their financial life. They may have had businesses fail, lost employment, or lost a home.
Can you step back and appreciate the Invisible Hand that is in control of your family's financial situation? He is All-Wise, knowing what you need at every step of your journey with Him. He can direct you through your financial situation too, into the places He wants you to be.
The secret of contentment that Paul talks about in Philippians 4 is thankfulness. We can thank God at every turn in the road, knowing that He holds us in the palm of His Hand. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength, even praise God in the midst of financial lean times.
So, join me.
"Father, thank you for this season in our lives right now. we aren't really sure how all the bills will be paid or how we are going to make it. But, we know Who holds us in the palm of His Hand and we trust in You. We will continue to put You first in our finances and honor YoYur Word in the way we manage our money. So, Father, thank You for this season. We are so grateful that You know what is best for us. Be honored and glorified in our financial situation. Amen."
Merey (Meredith Ludwig Curtis)