I’d like to share a small piece of a dream I had last night. I know that seems a bit odd, but it was something that my mind needed to hear, and something that you might need to hear as well.
It was about money. That’s something that has been on my mind for the last few days, as my husband’s commuter car died on Monday. It was a sudden death that we were not prepared for. We knew it would be “soon,” but we just kept limping it along because we didn’t have the money to replace it.
Now, like it or not, we have to find a way to replace it. I wish we didn’t need to, but my husband’s work is too far away. If there were an emergency with one of the children, it would take too long for him to get to us. So we’ve been car shopping and I’ve been stressed.
Enter last night’s dream.
In the dream, I was sitting in some sort of class and the teacher was asking us to share things that we had learned through our life’s experiences. After a few other people spoke up, I raised my hand and shared a thought I’d never consciously had before. I told the class that I had discovered that the Lord cares just as much about your financial well-being as He does your health, relationships, and spiritual well-being. I’d never really thought about this before, but it was starting to make sense to my dream-self.
I said that finances follow the same rules Christ has set out for every other part of our lives. Though there are specifics, the overall goal is the same as any other good thing the Lord would have us reach for:
First: Do your best.
Second: Turn the rest over to the Lord with faith that He can make up the difference.
That may seem overly simplistic, but I think it’s what I needed to understand. I also think there is a great deal of truth to it. The Lord does care about the state of our checkbook. Maybe not so much whether it’s grand and large or very humble in its content; rather, I think it’s more of a matter of wisdom and met needs. He expects us to be wise and careful and to do the needful thing first, and then He expects us to have a measure of faith that He will not leave us wanting for our needs.
Notice I didn’t say our wants or even our goals, necessarily. Those may not be in line with the path He wants us to be on. But He does care whether we have food on the table, a roof over our head, and are able to go to the doctor.
After I woke up, I thought about this. I thought about my worries and desires and wondered if I was bearing a greater burden than I needed to be. For me, it was time to sit back and see if I was doing my best and if I was placing my faith regarding my finances in the world’s inadequate hands or in the Lord’s.
In doing my best, I need to look at the commands He has given us on how to govern ourselves and our money. These include:
- Honor your obligations
- Know where your money is
- Pay your tithes and offerings
- Work for what you need
- Beware of pride—either by placing more value on money than it should have in our lives, or by refusing or ignoring help that you could use
- Stay out of debt
- Prepare for the future
I think the whole point of my dream was to make me look at things realistically rather than in panic and upset. Am I doing my best in the areas He has directed me to pay attention to? Then, am I allowing Him to help me when I fall short? If I’m doing these things, just as with everything else, there shouldn’t be room left over for fear.
Yes, fears and doubts still happen because we are human. That’s why it’s so great to get little reminders every once in a while. Whether my mind was consciously thinking about it or not, my heart knew the Lord cared—about me and even about my checkbook.
This post was originally published in April 2008. Minor changes have been made.