All we had was basically bread and potatoes to eat. We also had some vegetable oil, margarine, salt, onions, green peppers and a few condiments. Our limited food supply required that we use a bit of ingenuity to feed ourselves.
Toast for breakfast.
More toast for lunch.
French fries for dinner.
Baked potatoes for supper the next evening.
There wasn’t much variety, but Kenya and I made it through, and cracked up about it, too.
“One day, we’ll look back on this,” we told each other, while sitting in our furniture-less living room.
We were newlyweds in the late nineties with barely two nickels to rub together.
No couch. No bed. Just a few blankets and pillows, and a rickety old cream-colored kitchen set my dad found for us at a local thrift store.
And it was so poorly made, that it didn’t even last a year.
When the last of those four cheap chairs gave out, I don’t remember who was seated in it (possibly me), the trip to the floor was fast and forceful.
Detached chair legs flew in opposite directions. Wood and paint chips were all over the creaky floor of our hole-in-the-wall kitchen.
Again, we laughed.
Until we cried.
We found it even in the middle of hardship. Our situation was so pathetic it was hilarious. Proverbs 17:22 is true: “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”
There we were.
Rich in love. Poor in assets. The former was more important than the latter, though.
Because we had the proper perspective, we had joy, peace and contentment, even in lean times.
Again, it was all a matter of perspective.
Friend, how are you seeing your situation? Are you sulking and down in the dumps because things are imperfect?
Although eating potatoes every day wasn’t ideal, by the grace of God, Kenya and I at least had something to put in our bellies.
He and I made the best out of a bad situation, while believing we wouldn’t be in that predicament always. We both remained optimistic.
Nearly 17 years of marriage later, there is more in our coffers, but our joy does not stem from that.
God is the source of everything in our lives.
I can truly testify to what Philippians 4:12 NIV says: “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”
What’s the secret? It is found in verse 13 where Paul said, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
God is strengthening you right now to go through whatever you’re faced with in your life, no matter how unpleasant.
With His help, I know you can be joy-filled.
Yes, that means even through your season of struggle, difficulty and hardship.
How do I know? Well, whenever I have allowed the Lord to take control of my thinking in hard times, while others wondered how I was making it at all, I had a deep-rooted peace.
Let me reiterate.
Whenever I have allowed God to take control of my thinking... I remained peaceful. On the other hand, each time I have let worry take over and didn't submit my thoughts to Christ, sadness, discouragement and pessimism have dominated my thoughts.
I was only calmed and comforted by His presence.
You can be too.
Now, your challenge may not necessarily be financial in nature. Your concerns may revolve around your health; relationships; career; business; ministry; or emotions.
Whatever plagues you, if you turn to God through this, He will strengthen you to get through it.
Right now, you have a choice. You can mope around depressed, defeated and all bummed out because things aren’t working out the way you hoped.
Or you can accept that we all go through ups and downs as a natural part of life and lean on God.
He will sustain and help you.
To remind you of this truth, I’m stirring one of my many favorite passages of scripture into your cup of inspiration. This one is found in Psalm 46:1KJV, which says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”
As you drink down the contents of your cup, you will be empowered to trust God and lean on His grace through this rough season.
As you run to Him, your refuge, He will fortify your spirit and bring to your remembrance the truth that You are already equipped to endure hardship.
When you are weak, His grace is sufficient.
Now let’s pray.
God, I am facing some hard trials and enduring inconvenient circumstances. In times when I feel weak and discouraged, help me to lean on You—for You are my refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
As always, thanks for reading and until next time... may today's cup of inspiration uplift, encourage, and empower you!
If you need prayer, don't hesitate to request it. I would be honored to stand in faith with you. I know that prayer works. CLICK HERE to learn how to submit your prayer request.