My husband of 8 years has left me and our 2 children. I have never worked outside the home and doubt it would be worth it to try. By the time I pay for child care, I’ll have nothing left for rent, utilities, food, and all the rest. I’m scared to death. What will happen now? I don’t want to be a welfare mom, but I see no other alternative. I’m a Christian, but I’m scared. How will I provide for my children? ~ Jill
Dear Jill, exactly what scares you? Are you afraid God can provide for you only through a husband? Think about this question. If that’s what you truly believe, th en you do not know God well enough! Many fine adults who are serving the Lord were raised by single mothers. Dr. Charles Stanley talks about his youth constantly, and his mother was single for most of it. I could name dozens of others, but that wouldn’t change your fear, would it?
Are you afraid of lack? Are you familiar with Phillipians 4:19?
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”(Niv)
God fed the Israelites in the wilderness with enough manna for each day and told them not to eat the leftovers the next day. But did they listen? Did they trust Him for tomorrow’s provision? I don’t think so, and as a result of their unbelief the leftover manna was no good. It became rotten.
Exodus 16:18,19a and 20 (NIV) says
“And when they measured it by the omer, he who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little. Each one gathered as much as he needed. Then Moses said to them, ‘No one is to keep any of it until morning.’
However, some of them paid no attention to Moses; they kept part of it until morning, but it was full of maggots and began to smell. So Moses was angry with them.”
Why did the Israelites hoard the manna? Was it out of fear? Did they doubt God would provide tomorrow’s provision?
Fear is a much-covered emotion in the Bible.
Proverbs 28:1 says,
“The wicked man flees though no one pursues, but the righteous are as bold as a lion.”
Fear comes from unbelief. Maybe intellectually we agree that God is able to provide, even in this economy, but somehow we doubt He will provide for us.
As believers, we are not to fear. Isaiah 41:10 says,
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:13 says,
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
Jesus knew how deadly fear was. In Mark 4:39-41 when He was in the boat with His disciples:
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
And he said unto them, ‘Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?’
And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?'”
And the scripture that just blows me away is Revelation 21:8 –
“But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Wow! Fearful and unbeliving are bunched in there with those really sinful people! Funny how we see sin so differently than God does. It offends God when we are unbelieving!
God wants our worship and of course he accepts our petitions but He wants a heart that is pure and wholehearted in adoration to him. And He tells us His mercies are new and fresh every morning. So what’s to worry about?
As Adrian Rogers used to say, “Everything we truly believe, we obey. All the rest is just religious talk.”
You may have to apply for food stamps, or visit food banks for a while. OK, that’s not the end of the world. No matter where you live, your state has a program to supply necessary food and health care for children.
As far as clothes for the children go, there are garage sales, churches that will help you if you are not too proud to tell someone what is going on, and untold resources through which God can provide for your children.
Also, as long as you’re married (even legally separated), their father is obligated to provide for them. And if he divorces you, he will have to pay you child support. Check out charities in your area like Catholic Charities, Jewish Charities, etc. for a free lawyer to protect your interests.
Life is changing, Jill. It doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. It just means provision will come from different sources now, and God will open the door to new doorways of help. But you must keep believing not in what you see, or what you dread, but believing in the God who said He would never leave you.
A favorite song of mine is called “His Eye is On the Sparrow”. It was first sung by Mahalia Jackson, but this video is done by more current singers, Lauryn Hills (from “Sister Act 2”) and CeCe Winans (long time Gospel Artist). It was written from Matthew 10:29-32 niv:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
You can view this excellent video on YouTube.
Jill, do not look ahead and play “what if”. Just get up every morning, thank God that you are worth everything to God! He sacrificed His Son so you could have fellowship with God! You are worth far more than a sparrow to Him, and He’s watching over you and your children. So thank Him for what He has provided, and for what He will provide today. Then get up and “do the next thing.” God is with you every step of the way. Here’s His promise. (I’ve relied on this many times, myself.) Psalm 32:8
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Pretty good promise, don’t you think? You’re going to make it, honey! God will make sure that you do!