As a husband and a father of two with one on the way being unemployed is burdensome. Living in your in-laws basement and having your wife work full time just to cover bills isn’t the boyhood dream we have as young men. I need more.
More grownups to talk to.
As a man, we need to feel as though we are providing. Providing care for my children is the hardest and most amazing job I’ve ever had. I am excited for school to start, though. Then why do I need more? Why is my desire to be he breadwinner so insatiable? Moreover, why do I live in a world, society, community, time… to which it is so difficult to live the dream of owning a home, raising kids and having the cool new f150 in the driveway?
Ok, lets be honest I don’t need a shiny new f150. Or even my own home. But, I do need a place to live. I do need to feed my family. I do need to pay insurance and credit card bills.
I have need.
In Exodus we read, “No other gods, only me” as one of Gods commandments to his people.
Can my needs be an idol? I spend more time worrying about my freaking bills getting paid than I do the wonderful and amazing gifts that I have been given from God.
I spend more time needing than I do worshiping.
My needs are my idol.
My needs have distracted me from God under the guise of necessity. It’s easy to justify a my attention when I NEED _________________! (Insert: credit card payment, student loan payment, gas money, food, diapers, a job to pay for all the diapers)
Paul writes in his letter to the Philippians,
“Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.”
… I do that.
…… I also worry.
I worry more than I pray and I search for a job more than I petition God. My need is my center.
My center needs displacement.
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.”
Is God-reality about me needing a job? No, that’s a human-reality. Is God-initiative getting me a credit card payment? Nope, that’s a Chase-initiative. Does God care if I go bankrupt? I sure hope so.
What happens when Christ displaces need? Will I need a job any more by focusing on God instead of jobs.com? Will my car payment get paid by worrying about where it’s coming from?
My need has become my god and I need my God to become my need.
Jesus said, “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘… Give us today our daily bread.'”
I must work hard, be diligent, use my brain and the resources around me to provide for my family. But, I must keep the star-breathing, creator-king at the center of my need.
Those who don’t know how God works worry. I want to be one of those who KNOW how God works.