Thursday, September 5, 2013

Energized Faith

Polly and I have done our best to stay out of debt. We don't have a mortgage, never carry a balance on our credit card and own our cars. Still, we are far from debt-free.

Laden with debt.

I used to have a bumper sticker on my car that read, "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance." The truth is that education is not cheap in the U.S. As such, Polly and I have school-loan debt. Before we leave for Costa Rica we need to get that debt down to the allowable limit as we will not be able to live overseas on our modest salary if we're paying too much in debt each month. Our school debt has been the biggest obstacle for our leaving for Costa Rica. So we've been praying for a solution. And we found out yesterday that we may have our answer.

A glimmer of hope.

A couple years ago, the Assemblies of God came up with a program for students graduating from its Bible colleges. Too many students were leaving school with so much debt that they could not go into full-time ministry. In order to change that they came up with a solution, a grant. There are a lot of prerequisites that need to be met by someone in order to qualify for the grant but for each student who does qualify, the grant will pay up to $400/mo toward school loans for 3 years. That's a serious chunk of change.

I had heard about this a while ago, knowing Polly could be eligible, but I forgot about it until a friend brought it up recently. As I was praying about our loans yesterday, I decided to go online and look up the grant.

How often do we pray for something but never take an action step toward the answer? God WILL answer our prayers and do things His way in His time, but that's not an excuse for us to be passive. He will direct us, but we still need to take the steps.

One of the first things I noticed is that the application deadline is fast approaching, with a September 16, 2013 deadline. That's less than 2 weeks away! Through a few short emails it seems that Polly may actually meet the prerequisites. There is no guarantee that she will receive the grant yet, but we're praying and believing for favor. Would you pray with us for a miracle?

The big "What if..."

As we were walking through our neighborhood yesterday and praying, I began thinking about how awesome it would be for this grant to come through. I was already picturing myself writing the testimony into our newsletter about how God once again showed His faithfulness. Then the "other" thought came into my mind. "What if this falls through? What will I write then?"

Immediately I was reminded of God's constant faithfulness and my response to that thought was this:
If this falls through and Polly doesn't get the grant then it will be just one more thing to write about how we tried so many options but how God finally came through another way.
You see, the reality that hit me is that God will meet this need and provide a solution, regardless if it's this one or another. The means isn't what matters, God is!

We will pray.

We are praying for favor in this solution unless that door closes. And we will pray with confidence, believing and expecting great things. A friend and I were talking last night about God's faithfulness. I was sharing an awesome miracle I had read about from a missionary friend yesterday concerning his daughter. In short,

The missionary's daughter needed surgery to remove a tumor from her spine and the missionary wanted to have it done in the U.S. instead of Japan.
  • He "just happened" to mention it to his regional director
  • Who "just happened" to mention it to the executive director
  • Who "just happened" to have a son who is an orthopedic spine surgeon at a pediatric hospital in San Diego.
Dr. Mundis performed the surgery this past Monday and all went well.

When I heard that, I was amazed! Not surprised...amazed. As my friend said last night, "Miracles don't surprise us, they energize us." I completely agree. I am energized to believe for awesome things regarding our school loans.