Sunday, November 20, 2011

God May Not Always Be On Time, But He's Never Late

Life has been difficult the last couple of weeks. So difficult, in fact, that I have quite forgotten to remember that God takes care of His people. I've been worrying so much that I haven't been able to sleep at night. My wife has been grouchy, and we've both been on edge.

I carelessly neglected to pay my State taxes from last year when I filed them. We couldn't afford them. We had more taxes to pay than previous years because we had received some extra money through the unfortunate death of my Father-in-law. I stupidly did not get around to making payment arrangements.

I don't make a lot of money. We rarely have more than a 4 or 5 dollars left from my paycheck by the time the next one arrives.

Three weeks ago, and one week before I was to receive my last paycheck, The State Department of Taxation sent me a letter explaining that my checks were going to be garnished until the full amount owed was paid off.

Now, I've had checks garnished before, and I found, at the time, it was a convenient method of paying debts. I didn't have to worry about having enough money left from my checks to make the payments because they were deducted directly from my paycheck off the top. But, they only took a percentage of each check. They didn't take the whole thing.

Initially, I wasn't worried.

But, then, I found out they were planning on taking my entire paycheck. My wife and I started making phone calls, trying to make other arrangements so I could have at least part of my check, and we did manage to get a break due to "hardship". Unfortunately, the payment arrangement didn't get to the payroll department on time and my entire check was taken anyway.

I haven't received a paycheck since the 27th of October.

So, we have been living on next to nothing for almost a month now. We were already behind on our water bill and our electric bill. We heat with fuel oil and that is so expensive, I haven't been able to afford to purchase fuel oil all summer. Our heating oil provider won't even deliver less than 150 gallons at a time and that runs almost $600.00. So, now, with winter rapidly approaching, we have been looking into other alternatives to heat our house. We have one small electric heater, and a wood stove. Of course, if we lose the electricity and our water, one wood burning stove would be woefully inadequate. If the temperature dropped, we would literally be freezing in the dark.

Then, one day before our water would be cut off, and two days before our electricity would be disconnected, God stepped in.

Friends offered to let us come and cut up a fallen dead oak tree at their house. Other friends loaned us just enough money to pay the past due balance on our water and electric bills. We are three days away from my next paycheck, which, because of the earlier payment arrangements, will be doubled, with only a hundred dollars deducted from the total, and it looks as if we will survive.

We have enough heat, and we still have light. We will make it to the next paycheck. Now, I said all this so I can say this:

I wholeheartedly believe that we managed to stave off freezing in the dark only with the help of a loving God, who, as He promised, takes care of us, even when we misplace our faith in Him, and disregard His promises.

Someone once told me (and I will never forget it), "God may not always be on time, but He's never late", meaning God will step in and help on His time, not ours, but it is always just when we need Him most.

As a way of acknowledging the awesome power of God and in thanksgiving for His timely help, I am posting the following video, which spoke to my heart more powerfully than anything has for quite a long time:

It says in music, what I say to God in my heart. Thank you, Jesus. How great Thou art!