I'm going to Poland in a little over two months. Frankly, that scares me. I'm going to be in another country, in a completely different culture, and far from home. But I'm excited. I know that it will be a great experience. I have no problem believing that God will do great things during my time over there, and right now I'm at peace with going.
But I'm not at peace with raising the funds to go.
$5000. That's the roundabout cost of my trip. That is a LOT of cheddar. That is a lot of money to have to pay back if I don't raise the funds.
The funny thing is that I raised a similar amount for an internship with a Christian organization last summer, yet I'm still having issues believing that the Lord is going to provide for this summer.
This morning, I woke up anxious because I started thinking about my first support raising deadline. $500 by April 4th. That's a little over a week away. The balance in my account: $0.
That's when the lies kicked in: You can't raise $5000, Madi. You don't have enough time. No one wants to support you. You have too many other things to do instead of support raise. God doesn't really want you to go on this trip. God's going to make raising funds for this trip really hard. You won't raise the funds and then have to pay them back yourself. You will be a burden on the people you are asking.
On and on it went until God finally said in my head, "STOP IT, MADI!"
That caught my attention.
"Now, go for a walk."
So I went outside, and what was the first thing I saw? Birds. And then this verse came to mind:
Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns,
and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Woah. I am more valuable to God than birds. If He provides for birds, what makes me think that He won't provide for me?
I kept walking. I probably walked for a good thirty minutes around campus, and as I walked, God kept reminding me of promises in His Word.
My God will supply every need of yours according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Truly, truly, I say to you if you ask of the Father in my name, He will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be complete.
John 16: 23-24
Therefore I say to you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen.
In scripture, Jesus fed the 5,000 and the 4,000. He healed the blind and the sick. He performed miracles. In my life, He's provided me with family, friends, food, and shelter. He has provided for me so abundantly already. What makes me think that He will stop providing? He provided funds for my internship last summer. What makes me think that He will not provide for this summer?
Essentially, the real problem isn't a provision problem, it's a belief problem. I have to have faith that God is doing a good work, that if going to Poland will glorify Him, He's going to provide the financial means for me to go to Poland. He might provide all of my funds at once or He might provide them after I return from my trip.
Either way, I shouldn't be anxious or worried. God is in control. He knows exactly how much I will raise. He knows what my support will look like. He even knows how this process will bring me closer to Him.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
At the end of my walk this morning, I surrendered. I gave my support raising up to God. I'm going to be faithful and make calls and ask people for support, but I'm trusting that whatever happens, God is still good, and He will keep His promises.
The best part? God does keep His promises. I received my first email from someone this evening saying that they sent in support.
My only response:
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and faithfulness!
P.S. I find it ironic that my Bible has a bird on it.
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She Laughs Without Fear