When I was thinking about what to write, I whispered and asked God what He needed me to say to His people. I first went to the devotional I wrote this time last year but then I decided to save it for later because in the midst of my writing God said share your testimony. Here I am thinking that I always tell people that test gives you a testimony yet I haven’t shared mine. See, I choose to not look like my struggle so folks rarely know when I’m having a bad day but that’s just the God in me.
I’ve been married for almost 15 years and through our marriage we’ve had our share of ups and downs but we’ve always came out together. During the last 6 months of last year, we really struggled and I knew that we would have some harder times because it was then that I really decided to trust God and use the gift that He has blessed me with more, so I was ready. Now, when I say we struggled I mean financially. It seemed like every time we turned around a bill needed to be paid but there was no money to pay them but we endured. I was raised by some strong women so I know how to make a meal from a few dollars, stretch a few more dollars to pay day and even rob Peter and Paul to pay Saul but it doesn’t mean it wasn’t a struggle but we endured. We said, we only have a few months until tax time and then we will pay off our bills and get on a budget but let me tell you how God had already worked this thang out. While I was trying to figure out how to pay January’s rent, God blessed me with enough from a bonus I received to pay 2 months. Then He, God, allowed us to take tax money and pay off every household bill we had to a $0 balance (with the exception of my car note). That’s a ZERO balance. See, while we were trying to figure out how to get enough to catch up, God had already made a way for us to get ahead. While we were trying to figure out our next steps, God had already cleared the path. While we were trying to figure it out, God had already worked it out! No, we don’t have thousands in the bank but we have a little left over from paycheck to paycheck. No, we don’t have money to blow but we have a little left to grow.
See, I shared this with you to let you know that if you go through the storm, you’ll appreciate the blessing afterward because going through the hell we went through those six months; we never pulled away from each other. I didn’t blame my husband and he didn’t blame me but we endured and because we struggled in the storm together, we are now able to enjoy God’s blessing together. However, the struggle made us stronger and it made us wiser. It made us appreciate the little in order to turn it into a little bit more. I had to make it personal this morning because I want you to know that trouble comes but trouble doesn’t last. So, don’t look like the hell you’re going through or been through. Strap up and enjoy the ride, dance in the rain, cry if you must because they are liquid prayers, scream because it’ll release some stress but don’t give up. With the struggle comes sacrifice but then it turns to strength which allows you to succeed through your suffering.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:2-4 (NLT)