I woke up this morning with taxes on my mind, and the thought of exactly how hard the next few months might be. A few hours later, after paying more money than I'd like and pressing send, I collapsed at the foot of the bed, weighed down by the reality of the position I'm in.
I've written a few times in the last several months about an issue with my taxes costing me a fair amount of money, and a fair amount of money that I don't have. I'd done the math and in theory, it seemed like I would just scrape by. Today, I actually felt the pressure and wilted under it.
After some tearful moments of desperation, I asked God to clear my head of all the plans I'd made to stay afloat until next year's tax returns (as in, 2016) arrive. I'd come up with all sorts of ideas, things ranging from donating plasma or finding a roommate to finding a higher-paying job, but for those few minutes, all those things seemed worthless. I didn't want my earthly solutions.
I had a quick breakfast, and stepped into my daily thinking-place for a shower. Then a thought hit me.
I'd always heard about how the apostles celebrated in the hard times and during persecution, and while 1 Peter 12-14 doesn't relate perfectly to the words that popped into my head this morning, I have a better understanding for what it means to rejoice in tribulation.
The greater the challenge, the more I will have to praise God for once he's brought me through it.
Sure, I've painted myself into this corner, and I get that -- like Paul says in Galatians -- we aren't supposed to mess up in life simply so that more of God's grace is poured out. But at the same time, I find myself less filled with dread and more filled with excitement to see what plans and little miracles God has on the path ahead of me.
At the least, these next few months will teach me a great many things. It will teach me about how wasteful I've been, and how much I can afford to NOT have. It will also serve as a reminder that my money doesn't belong to me, and that any and everything I have comes from the Father.
I can't help but wonder if it all goes back to finally being willing and brave enough to ask God to take away the things I didn't need to serve him. It seems as though, and I've mentioned this before, there are a handful of puzzle pieces being amassed in my heart simply waiting for God to piece them together.
Here, there is more immediate evidence of the redemptive process. In the past, this post would have been filled with fear -- just as my terrified prayers were this morning. I've had plenty of blog posts similar to those few moments, but I find it incredible that I've grown enough to see things in a different light and see an opportunity for God to be glorified.