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Thursday, May 8, 2014

We Were Being Cheated!

Larry and I had bought a product for a hefty amount (for us) from a Christian business and when they couldn't deliver the product, they promised a refund within ten days. Time passed and I forgot about it. But when I was reminded of it again, I contacted them but they said the owner was out of the country. Two weeks passed, no return call. We called again and the owner was in a meeting.

The following week, an employee called and took down all the details, saying the owner would take care of it. Nothing happened and we began to see the pattern. They didn't intend to refund the money.

Need Want Like Dice Stock PhotoAnger welled up in me. How in the world could a Christian man be giving us the run-around? Christian people shouldn't act like this. I felt powerless and voiceless.

The situation began to possess my mind. The thought of it barged into my thoughts during the day and woke me up at night. The unfairness infuriated me. It wasn't just the money. It was the principle of the thing! Tweet This! God, how can You allow this? Convict this man of his sin!

One day during my devotions, as anger welled up again, I wrote in my journal:

This is a trial and test of whether we truly trust the Lord and believe in His righteousness and justice. How we respond about this shows whether we've truly surrendered our possessions to God. We say we're just stewards; are we going to be owners now?

If we trust God for the outcome and emotionally release the money, that's an indication we regard it as God's loss, not ours. Sure, we should do what we can but not with anger and in fear or revenge.

God is righteous and just. He can replace the money in another way if He desires. 

I took several deep breaths and again released the whole situation to Him. I continued writing, "Father God, this is not hidden from Your sight, and neither are Your eyes closed and uncaring. Thank You, Lord, that I can surrender all my cares to You."

"Maybe I should memorize some verse to help me trust God," I thought. I flipped through my Bible but nothing seemed appropriate. Then the Lord whispered in my heart, "Turn to Jeremiah 17:5-8." I responded, "Lord, you know I've been memorizing those verses, and there is nothing about this situation there. But oh well, I will if you say so."

I turned to the Jeremiah passage and as I reached the page, my eyes locked onto a verse right at the top of the page that was marked in yellow. It was Jeremiah 16:17, and it said, "For My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from My face, nor is their iniquity concealed from My eyes."

I was stunned. Those were so similar to the words I'd written in my prayer. Tweet This! Tears filled my eyes, and I knew He did care and He was aware and in charge. 

Peace flooded my heart. I thought, "I am the steward, not the owner, and the Owner is aware of this situation about His money. It belongs to Him."

We did continue to contact the company but with peaceful and trusting actions. Our heart motive now was to obey God and not react out of tension and anger. We were calm and trusting God to do what He wanted. Ultimately, it was up to Him. And after several more months, we did receive the refund. Later, we heard the company went out of business. 

That experience tested me to trust God and reminded me that I am the steward of my possessions not the owner. Tweet This!

In the Parable of The Laborers in the Vineyard, Jesus says the Owner's attitude is, "Is it not lawful for me to do what I wish with what is my own?" (Matthew 20:15).

That truth is what we had verified in that testing.

If you are holding tightly to something and the effort is making you anxious, tense, angry, or feeling powerless and voiceless, know that God is not tense and He sees all. You have power and a voice because God will hear you, even if someone else doesn't.

Take your concerns to Him. 

(Image by Stuart Miles at www.freedigitalphotos.net)

6 comments:

  1. I love this post. If only we could see so many of life's trials as just tests. It's all about character building and spiritual growth, which I usually do not enjoy at the time, but am grateful for afterwards. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings honestly.

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    1. Thank you so much, Jane, for taking the time to make this comment. I'm so pleased and encouraged to know my post was meaningful for you. Praise the Lord!

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  2. It's true that often fellow believers do not live up to our expectations. Loved your insights. thanks for posting.

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    1. Thanks, Candace, for taking the time to comment. Yes, it is a sad fact of life that we will continue to be disappointed by others--even Christians. On the other hand, I know I've been the one who has disappointed others. So grateful for God's mercy and gracious forgiveness. Thanks for your encouragement!

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  3. I needed this reminder, thanks for posting it! :-)

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    1. Thank you, Sherry, for stopping by and for commenting. I'm very grateful to know that you found the post meaningful. It means a lot to me to hear it! God bless you! Praying right now for you in whatever circumstances you are facing.

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