Uphill trusting

When I was in grade school my parents bought me and my brothers some thick plastic skateboards that we all called "banana boards" because that's pretty much what they were shaped like. These boards were indestructible and me and my brothers would ride them down our inclined street over and over again. Sometimes we would stand while riding them but I would usually sit on mine like I was driving a fast car. The feeling of cruising to the bottom was exhilarating, even a bit scary. It was so easy to just pull of my feet and let gravity speed me down that hill.

Of course, once the ride was over I found that it was a bit of a drag having to walk all the way back up the hill to the starting point. While the ride itself was awesome, it didn't last very long. The walk back up the hill felt like an eternity. But I knew that if I wanted to enjoy another ride, I needed to put in the work to make it happen.

Sometimes life feels much more like work than anything else. And let's face it, money is always an issue. You work really hard for what often seems like just a short-term benefit. There is great excitement to get that paycheck, yet when it's gone a few days later because you've had bills to pay and groceries to buy and debts to settle, the thrill is pretty much over. 

What do we do when we face those lean times, when what's coming in just isn't enough to balance out what we know needs to go out? Perhaps you've already been through financial courses and have a budget to keep you on target, yet life inevitably decides to throw a wrench in your plans and you find yourself wondering how you will pay next month's mortgage or car payment or how you will feed and clothe the kids. How will you make it?

You've got options. You can worry and scheme and plan and fret or you can trust God. Sounds like an incredibly Sunday school-ish type of plan, doesn't it. Yet this is exactly the prescription for our financial worries that Jesus Himself has given to us:
"This is why I tell you: Don't worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't life more than clothing?... So don't worry, saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear?"... But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you." (Matthew 6:25, 31, 33)
Jesus tells us, "Don't worry!" Why? Because worry accomplishes absolutely nothing. Instead, seek God with all your heart. Trust Him first, not as a last resort. Yes, work hard and do your best, but come to the understanding that it's not all about you nor is it up to you. Your provision is God's deal and He's pretty stinkin' good at it.

It's so easy to forget this when we are coasting downhill and life is good and the bank account is healthy. Yet we know that life usually tilts in the direction of the uphill walk, the grind that can wear you out and draw you into despair. In the good times and the tough, God is your provider. He isn't hands on only when you need Him. He's all the time. So seek after God - first and in all things - because His promises are always true. "And all these things - your basic needs - will be provided for you."

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