Written by: Charlene McClung
In the year of 2008 we were living in Southern CA. My husband had retired from the USMC in 1998. The Lord provided a job for my husband. He started to work for a friend who owned a pool company and it flourished. We had more resources than I had ever known! We were able to put our children in a private Christian school, buy a big house and furnish it, take great vacations, all the things that the world says are “good.” I had grown up with the Lord meeting our needs, but there was never “extra.” I was loving this life of abundance and was unaware of a certain smugness I had! I wasn't giving the Lord the glory.
By 2009 my husband and his partner closed their pool business. My husband was able to get a job at the local power plant that he did not enjoy at all. We had to take our daughter out of her school into a public school. Then the economy basically collapsed and we had debt that we weren't going to be able to get out of. It took all of this for the Holy Spirit through God's breathing Word to get our attention. God had NOT changed, but our worldly circumstances had. We made the decision to leave California and move to Texas.
My husband, daughter, and I were living in a two-bedroom apartment as that is all we could afford. BUT the Lord now “had our attention.” The Holy Spirit revealed to Ed that he was not a true believer and God opened his heart to salvation! He was a new man. And then the Holy Spirit had to convict me that I had been in sin by not being a spiritually obedient wife. Jesus chastened us through His Word and taught us for a year in Texas. We jokingly say “we sojourned in Texas!” Then on a trip to see family we felt led to move to Tennessee.
Once in Tennessee, Ed didn't have any work (we have a small retirement pension). We rented a house, sight unseen. God provided the most wonderful landlord. It was significantly smaller and we shared a bathroom with our daughter! God provided a small place so that our daughter would “unlearn” having stuff, etc. as we downsized significantly. I was in an automobile accident and my car was totaled, but God provided a car through a gal in Bible study. Our son wanted to rejoin our family and God provided a place for him to live. I had not “worked” for years and God provided a flexible part-time job for me. God provided work for Ed through men at a church we were just visiting. BUT God had been preparing.
On paper each month we didn't know how we made it financially but God provided! After 7 years we were able to pay off our debts and purchase a home here in Knoxville. We needed a one-story house which are rare, and God provided one in an area we would never had thought to live. We had grown so much in our faith that we realized we needed to find a church of “like-minded” believers that want to grow in their faith, not be entertained at church. God provided. My husband is a disabled veteran and had been applying for disability for 7 years...God provided. Our daughter met a wonderful young man that God provided to be her Godly husband. God provided so many things to open our son’s heart to the Lord. Did I worry – oh yes indeed! Did I lean on my own understanding – you bet. Did we learn that God is Sovereign...absolutely.
I have learned to “be content in all circumstances.” Especially the ones that I see no way out. We would take all the hardship to now say we understand God's provision and ask daily that we can be an encouragement to others. Sweet sister...God is sufficient, His Word is our guide, we are to be content...hard lessons to learn. But, I wouldn't change a thing.
"And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work." - 2 Corinthians 9:8
"Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." - Luke 12:7
"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to
you as well." - Matthew 6:33
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