My husband and I had a wonderful senior year Spring Break in Costa Rica years ago. We loved it so much, we've been talking about doing missions work there. We even started a "Going to Costa Rica on a Missions Trip" fund.
Imagine our thankfulness for God's provision and foresight when we felt called to go on a mini-trip this December! Our pastor preached a moving sermon one Sunday morning that made our spirits stir so much, we immediately began making preparations to go somewhere, anywhere when we got home.
God provided us a way to go to Costa Rica to fulfill our hearts' desires for doing work for Him. We stayed with a missionary couple and helped do some work on their church. We even had the opportunity to go out and about and have a great time exploring.
We are so thankful to God for allowing us to plan and save for this wonderful trip. We had a wonderful time getting to know people and doing some "work" (that was more fun than actual hard work).
My husband reminded me of part of Joseph's story. Pharaoh had a dream that revealed Egypt would go through seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine. In the times of plenty, Joseph set up a "savings plan" for the country that allowed them to store up enough food for the years of famine. Not only did Egypt have enough for its own people, she had enough to sell to her hungry neighbors. Despite the famine, Egypt managed to prosper.
This story sort of reflects on our family and how we were able to go on this trip. We saved money while I was still working. When we got the call to go now that I'm unemployed, we were able to because we trusted God and saved our money instead of buying things we wanted but didn't need. We prospered because we were blessed by the wonderful people we met and the natural beauty of the country we visited.
So many times, we (especially Americans) are called to serve God, but we feel like we can't because we can't afford His calling. What are you doing today to prepare for serving God? Are you giving to God faithfully? Are you saving money in a "God's Calling" fund? Are you disciplining yourself and refusing to give into the blatant consumerism that is so rampant in our country-that is, are you buying things that you want, not need before giving to God? Putting yourself before God is bad business!
God calls us to be faithful and trust Him in all our decisions, especially the hard personal and financial ones. He promises to provide everything we need. This doesn't necessarily mean we'll have easy, prosperous, wealthy, or even healthy lives. This simply means He will fulfill our every need. He uses use as He sees fit, and sometimes, what He has in store is greater than we can imagine. I urge you to trust God and put your life (and money) in His hands. I promise, He will surprise you with how He decides to bless you!
If you are interested in learning about how to manage your money in a Bible-based manner, check out BeatingDebt.org. It is a non-profit Christian financial ministry that has oodles of information and resources available on its website.