Are you “laboring in vain” to experience financial peace? Is there anything God is leading you to stop doing so you can find rest in His provision?
Before my wife and I married, people warned us that the first year of marriage could be tough. Even though Hannah and I tried to prepare ourselves, we still weren't ready for the challenges—including the financial ones—that came after we said, “I do.”
One month after we married, we moved halfway across the country from North Carolina to New Orleans to become full-time students. I began seminary and my wife started cosmetology school. We moved with a small amount of savings, but knew we would need to immediately find part-time jobs to support ourselves while in school.
When I look back on those days, I think about how financially tight things were. We made the most of every dollar, but even with careful budgeting there were many months when there was simply more month at the end of the income. During those times, my first reaction was to work extra hours or make extra income on the side. This was often how God provided.
Dependent on God
Now, whenever I think of working harder, I often think of Psalm 127:1-2:
Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves. (NIV)
This passage contains an incredible reminder: our efforts can only take us so far. We are dependent on God to provide for our needs. Even though we may work hard, rise early, and stay up late, there is a limit to what we can do in our own power. When we forget this important truth, we are setting ourselves up for frustration, fatigue, and disappointment.
Notice that verse two says, “God grants sleep to those he loves.” An alternate translation of verse two states, “For while they sleep he provides for those He loves.” What an incredible picture of how our Heavenly Father takes care of us! It’s not all up to us.
Whenever I find myself unable to sleep, I am reminded that God is at work even when we sleep. God can do more in the eight hours we sleep than we could do in eight months!
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that when we need more provision that it’s time to take a nap! Instead, these verses are a reminder not to run frantically into busyness without His guidance. God will ultimately provide for our needs. He is the only way to experience true financial peace.
Are you “laboring in vain” to experience financial peace? Is there anything God is leading you to stop doing, so that you can find rest in His provision?