Written By Mikaila Bisson, USA
My entire life, I have been trained to aim for financial security. In grade school, my parents helped me start a bank account, and any money I earned from odd jobs or babysitting went directly there.
“You’re saving for an emergency,” they’d say—which of course made no sense to me at the time. Now, though, is a different story.
A few months ago, I broke my ankle very badly while playing a yard game with friends.
Between the surgery and recovery of this unplanned medical emergency, this topic became all too real to me as I started learning just how much medical surprises actually cost. Now that I’m living through trusting God with my finances, I feel like my perspective has changed on the topic and my insight is coming from a more authentic place.
In Proverbs 3:5, we’re told to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Trusting is hard, especially with something so concrete and important as money. How do we trust someone we can’t see with our rent, car payments, and medical bills? How can we, as Christians, start or continue trusting God with our finances and yet still plan and save for the unexpected?
The feelings I’ve run into amid my unexpected bills chiefly was fear, followed closely by grief. In unpacking these feelings, I’ve come to a better understanding of what it means to trust God with my finances.
Because although the Bible doesn’t offer specific guidelines on our monthly budgets or financial portfolios, it does offer guidance on these feelings and what to do when experiencing them.
Trusting God with my finances looks like . . . believing He provides for me—not money.
My first reaction to my unexpected bills was crippling fear. Forget about the fact that I was recovering from a broken bone, I was crying because the bills were expensive, the insurance impossible to figure out, and I was worried that I would never get back the savings I had worked so hard to accumulate in the first place.
But Jesus says in Luke 22:22-26,
. . . do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them.
God takes care of the ravens, and He takes care of us.
He’s the One who allowed me to build up savings leading up to this injury—even when money was tight in the past. He’s taken care of me in other ways too—from helping me find a counselor in my new city weeks before a breakup, to providing friendships long ago that have gotten me through trying times, and everything in between.
Prayer, guidance, and learning about His character combined with the ways He’s taken care of me in the past has shown me that He wants good things for me and has plans for me that are bigger than I know in the moments where I feel silence. He’s shown me this over and over, so when I feel my trust waning in present situations, recalling this helps remind me that no matter my struggle, He’s in control and is worthy of my trust.
Trusting God with my finances looks like . . . finding joy in the midst of sorrows.
But I still have worry, to be sure.
Even with the promise of provision, I am human. My fear is sometimes so crippling that I have to seek refuge in the guidance of my counselor, a trusted friend, or parent. While many times I cry for fear of the future, I also cry to mourn.
I’ve always been told its okay to grieve loss, and for me, losing my savings was an especially big loss. But Jesus says in Psalm 34:18, “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”
While I was grieving the loss of my savings, God was close to me.
He was working to show me all the different things that would bring me joy: a family that would take care of me in my time of need, a doctor that had a cancellation to get me in for surgery even sooner than expected, and a healthy body that would allow me to recover quickly.
While my savings was important to me, what was even more important were the simple, yet vital ways God was working for my good—and helping me to find joy!—right under my nose.
As I continue to muddle through finances in my life, trusting God is still hard. But as I understand and identify the source of my feelings and how scripture helps me process them, my grip on the realities and securities of money loosens.
Where I once relied on myself for financial stability, I’ve gained insight and empathy that has allowed me to more wholly trust God’s provision for me—even if it doesn’t always look like what I expect it to.