meeting needs

God is stretching me  (and no, I'm not just referring to my pregnancy!)
He's stretching my faith, my heart, my hands.  
He's daring me to be uncomfortable.  He's inviting me to live on the edge--to give out of my own need--without expecting anything in return but still having faith that He will provide.
And I'm not very stretchy sometimes.

My husband sees needs and he is moved to do something.  I am moved, but so often feel incapable of doing anything.  I wait for abundance to give.  He gives all he has.  He comes home telling me about families in need and his plans to help lighten their burden and I stare at unpaid bills piling on our table and I feel my heart grow numb.  "God will take care of us,"  he says with confidence streaming through eyes lined by stress from his venture into the instability of self-employment.  And I know it is true.  God has always taken care of us.  We have been so immensely blessed.  I am surrounded by robust, rosy-cheeked children in a beautiful home.  We may live week to week, but there are some that live hour to hour.

Keep my heart soft, Lord
Keep my faith strong
Keep my hands open, Lord
Knowing you are the Giver
Of all I that I own

Keep my heart soft, Lord
Keep my faith strong
Keep my hands open, Lord
Knowing the greatest gift 
Is you and you alone

"In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"  Acts 20: 35


Sailor and Co said...

goose bumps :)

Crystal said...

That is so powerful. Great post!

That is so true, " we may live week to week, but there are some that live hour to hour".

Loren said...

I must say ~ I am your husband...A gift of Faith (and trust me...it is definately a gift) is such a blessing when seen through your eyes and in the hearts of the one it was given too. When something comes along (sickness and death) and questions that Faith it can be very devastating!

Be stretched my friend and grow in HIM ~ The Lord longs to bless you in every way!

Becca said...

I love this friend - seriously beautiful -- we are discovering just how perfectly God takes care of us, even when it's not in the way we expected or hoped for!

Andrea said...

Thankful for all the stretching GOD has done in my life...HE has grown me so much.
Hugs, andrea

Terri said...

I needed to read your post! Thank you for the reminder to give God the glory...he has always provided what we need.

3 Blessings said...

Beautiful! He is right too...God will richly bless you for helping His children in need.

Heather said...

This is beautiful!

Jennifer said...

"He's inviting me to live on the edge". What an invitation... TAKE it! :)

Anonymous said...

This was so awesome, thanks for sharing from the heart. Yes, God will provide and He will take care all of our needs. God has put us thru a season where we have had to give up our home where we have lived for 20 years, I know the self-employeed thing oh too well. And I have had to trun it over to Him and I know He has plans for us.

September said...

Dear Joye,
I am there with ya' girl! We too, are a self-employed family, and every year, around this time, we face that stretching and growing season. I, too, am thankful for all that we have in a time of uncertainty.
Your words were a balm to my soul.
Remembering that the vine that is pruned - grows more fruit in its season.
Hang in there.. baby time soon!

Suz said...

My Pastor said a few weeks ago in a sermon, "Don't just give 'til it hurts, Give 'till it's gone." That's what God wants and it really feels right to do that.

He will provide.

He & Me + 3 said...

What an awesome man of God you have. He is to be treasured. Give...God will provide & bless you for your giving heart.

Amy said...


I can see how I would be very stretched if I were married to Joel . . . but that just convicts my own heart in more ways than I can say! I have just read "Money, Possessions and Eternity" by Randy Alcorn and was greatly challenged by it. Randy could probably learn from Joel, though!(I remember so long ago I mentioned liking Joel's stereo and he tried to give it to me on the spot!)

Mich said...

Loved this!!!

PaisleyJade said...

Awesome post!!

Natalieh said...

Thank you for posting this. :) Beautiful.

mommara said...

precious. I have missed reading. It was like a breath of fresh air. The Lord is stretching me in my prayer life right now. It is hard for me to just be still and pray and not act on things or try to fix them. I am glad he isn't just stretching me right now. It's always nice to know another sister is in it with you.

Cheryl said...

I just love you the more that I read of your sweet heart! Thank you for keeping the TRUTH in front of us...in all that you share!

Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Keep stepping out in FAITH. God will provide.

After we had 6 kids in 6 years, we had dear friends sit us down to tell us that we couldn't possibly support a large family on a teacher's salary. We told them that God called Jim to teaching, and God called us to have a large family. So, God was going to need to make up the difference on the budget sheet. And, He has.

We now have 12 children, and my husband just took a pay cut. He is now a full-time pastor, making much less than he did as a teacher.

God WILL provide, if you are faithful to follow Him.

Laurel :)


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