Last fall, the truck broke down right around the time we were expecting to be able to catch up. We normally have a higher income in late summer than any other time of the year, and we use that to pay outstanding bills and to sock away a bit of money to get through the leaner winters. It wasn't to be. Major repairs, truck rentals, the whole shebang.
My husband, bless his heart, soldiered on. He usually reacts to bad news with a bit of a slump, but it isn't long before he is cheerfully heading out the door, fighting traffic and little old ladies to bring home the bacon.
Little Old Ladies
Little old ladies really are a problem to truck drivers. For some strange reason, they don't seem to understand that a loaded truck can't stop on a dime. My husband often finds himself having to stand on the brakes in order to avoid flattening a car driven by a little old lady.
On December 22, I called Rick to tell him I had broken my arm and was on the way to the hospital. He countered with the fact that he'd been stopped by the MTO, and was charged with having defective brakes. He told the officer that he'd had to stand on the brakes that morning, in order to avoid killing a little old lady that had pulled out in front of him. No matter - the charge stood. He'd have to appear in court.
January brought the annual inspection, which turned out to cost more than double what we thought it would cost. The day we brought the truck home, the lights weren't working. More aggravation, until we figured it out. The next run was to London, and lo and behold, the truck broke down. Two trips home and back to London to try to repair it ourselves, then a tow charge and the news - another expensive repair.
Meanwhile, the cheques we receive in the mail were coming in later and later each month. Payments are scheduled according to the normal state of affairs, so late cheques had repercussions. Money was tight, and getting tighter. As my friend said about her Big Pink Farm, we were hemorrhaging money.
Thankfully, we have faith in Jehovah-Jireh, our Provider. We know that He is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent. He is able to deliver us from all evil, and to supply all of our needs. This, we know.
We raise our own meat birds each year and were thankful to have a freezer full of chickens. We ate chicken and rice, rice and chicken. The kids found some flax seeds and rhubarb, and made some delicious muffins. Our daughter loaned me some money to get through the weekend two weeks ago, and we thought we'd have the cheque that Monday in order to pay her back. It didn't come in.
Our son and his family came for a visit last weekend, bearing gifts of roast beef and vegetables. Such a welcome change from chicken!
We ran out of rice. We ran out of oil. We ran out of vegetables. We ran out of fruit, except for a bit of rhubarb. We still had some chicken.
It's amazing what you can do with chicken. We had roast chicken, chicken with ginger, blackened chicken, and chicken soup. We blended the twice-boiled bones and made pate. But honestly, we got tired of chicken. Our children commented that they now understood why the Israelites grumbled about manna. We learned that God provides what we need, not necessarily what we want. It has been a faith-building experience.
A Thief at the Mall
Last night, I saw on the news a story about a man who'd been caught shop-lifting at Cherry Hill Mall, in London. He was trying to steal diapers.
It's never right to steal. There is no excuse. Yet, because of my present circumstances, my heart went out to the man.
The kids and I sat together in the living room, reading the Bible and discussing all of this. We pondered the following passage:
Two things I ask of you;
deny them not to me before I die:
Remove far from me falsehood and lying;
give me neither poverty nor riches;
feed me with the food that is needful for me,
lest I be full and deny you
and say, “Who is the LORD?”
or lest I be poor and steal
and profane the name of my God.
(Proverbs 30:7-8; Proverbs 30:9 ESV)
- It would be a lie to say that God does not know our circumstances, or that He cannot provide, or that He does not care. He is our refuge in times of trouble, He is a caring, loving, Beautiful God.
- We echo the prayer - give me not riches - for we don't want to be self-sufficient. There is wonderful peace in knowing we must depend on God to provide.
- We echo the prayer - give me not poverty - for we don't want to ever be tempted to steal, or worse, to act as if the stealing is necessary because of our circumstances.
- God squeezes us longer and harder than we think we can stand. Not one week, not two weeks, but months or years of financial hardship, or bad health, or relationship difficulties. Whatever the trial, our loving Heavenly Father does not remove it until He has accomplished His purposes. It is up to us to rejoice in Him, to trust in Him, and to wait on Him.
As we were reading the Bible together, encouraging each other, the mailman arrived. No cheque. I cried, just a little, not because of my own pain, but because I do not want to see my children falter in their faith. My daughter assured me, "It would take a lot more than a late cheque to cause me to lose my faith, Mom." Words that were balm to my soul.
I phoned another company that owes us some money, but doesn't pay until the tenth of the month. Normally, if the tenth falls on a weekend, we have to wait until the Tuesday after the weekend to get the deposit.
They're doing it today. I'm going grocery shopping! PTL!