Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Stumbling, Bumbling, and Blundering

We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance.
~ Romans 5:3

I often laugh at the contrasts in my life.  In some areas, I've been blessed beyond measure.  I couldn't have a more loving wife than my bride of twenty-two years and our children bring us so much joy as we discover their uniqueness.

The day I asked Jesus to move into my heart, everything changed... almost everything.  There was one thing I held onto, probably due a sense of financial insecurity.  When you live through times of scarcity, you tend to hold on to material things with a death grip, fearing you may not be able to put food on your table.

I told Jesus, "you are in charge of my life; I will do anything you ask except the money part.  I have my own great plan for my retirement."

Over the years, I worked long hours in order to build my nest egg.  My investments included commercial real estate, four-plexes and aggressive growth stocks.  I even borrowed money from credit cards at 0% interest to buy the hottest stocks of the day.  My work friends made fun of me because I commuted to work in a dilapidated car that looked like it belonged in a junk yard.  I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches daily so that I could put the savings into my investments.

The only time I consulted Jesus was when my investments got in trouble.  I never really liked talking to Jesus about money because of things he told the rich men who came to him for advice.  He told them, "sell everything and follow me."

My life without Jesus in charge of my money can be described using three words...stumbling, bumbling, and blundering.  One day, I sat down with my wife and pointed out to her every area of our lives is filled with peace and happiness, except for our finances.  I asked her, "do you think it would be a good idea to give Jesus our money?"

She bit her tongue.   There could have been a bunch of responses such as, "I told you so," or, "it's about time."

I looked her in the eyes and admitted we were handing over a stack of bills and very few assets.  I don't expect the stumbling, bumbling and blundering to disappear overnight as Jesus has much work to do in this part of my life, however, my heart is at peace knowing my life is now 100% in God's hands.  All you have to do is invite Jesus into your heart and let Him be in charge...of everything.

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