Living in Argentina for 27 years as missionaries, my husband Jorge and I faced innumerable challenges. One of them that became chronic, was financial in nature. We received monthly offerings from our denomination’s missionary committee, generous offerings from several family members, and at certain times we also had supplemental incomes. Although we often hit the bottom of the barrel, we always experienced God’s faithful provision for our daily needs, as well as for special expenses.
When our oldest child Denise started college in the city of Cordoba, 8 hours away from home, we were very thankful that our best friends and their family lived there. Our children grew up together and were very close, so it wasn’t a surprise when the Ratti’s offered to let Denise live with them. My oldest sister Janet, who was single, willingly and faithfully sent us enough money each month to cover Denise’s expenses. Since Janet had no children, she wanted to be sure that her niece and nephews in Argentina had a chance to get a college education. With these blessings, Denise’s first year of college was covered financially. That same year, our son Adriel was a senior in high school and chose to study at the Universidad de Cordoba with Denise after graduating. That’s when the plot thickened. We knew we couldn’t “unload” both kids on our friends, (they have four children of their own) and felt that it would be best to rent an apartment for our two. Juggling numbers, expenses and costs, we realized that even with Aunt Janet’s help for both of them, we’d not be able to handle the finances. Although we prayed, I tried to help God come up with creative ways to be able to fund our kid’s college education. I sure came up with some interesting ideas! Realizing that our plans weren’t going to work, we knew that God was asking us to trust Him completely….not easy….
One day, after struggling with this for a few months, I cried out to Him in despair “Lord, please, just give me the guarantee that we will have enough money every month to cover our kid’s expenses while they are in college!” No sooner than I spewed out that demand, God asked me: “Aren’t my promises enough of a guarantee?” His voice wasn’t audible, but the pain I felt as he seared that question on my heart caused me to weep in shame as I replied in brokenness: “Yes, Lord, Your promises are enough! Forgive me for selfishly wanting to take control of the situation instead of trusting Your promises!”
God’s question to me that day resounds in my heart each time I face a situation that I can’t control and that has the potential to cause me to despair. I look back and thank Him for His faithful, generous provision; but more than that, I praise Him for the reminder that YES! His promises are the ONLY guarantee I’ll ever need in any situation!
In my next post I’ll continue with Part 2…. Stay with me!