by Kathy Collard Miller @KathyCMiller
My husband, Larry, and I had bought a product for over a thousand dollars from a Christian business and when they couldn’t deliver the product, they promised us a refund in ten days. The ten days came and went, but no refund. Over the next two months, we made repeated calls with no result. There was always some excuse.
Would we ever get our money? How could a Christian company be giving us the runaround? I felt powerless and voiceless. The thought of it barged into my thoughts throughout the day and woke me up in the night. The unfairness infuriated me. It wasn’t just the money. It was the principle of the thing! God, how can you allow this? Convict them!
One day during my devotions, my thoughts again turned to the situation. Anger welled up inside me. I wrote in my journal:
“This is a trial of whether we really trust the Lord and whether we’ve truly surrendered our possessions to God. We say we’re just stewards of God’s money. Are we going to be owners now? That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to do something about it. We should. But more important is our attitude. If we become angry and anxious, that is an indication we regard the money as our own. If we trust God for the outcome and emotionally release the money, that’s an indication we regard it as God’s loss, not our own.”
I continued writing, “God is righteous and just. My anger, which wells up in me as we place fruitless phone calls can be replaced by trust in the Lord. Praise the Lord.”
I took several deep breaths and and wrote, “Father God, this is not hidden from Your sight, and neither are Your eyes closed and uncaring. Thank you, Lord, that I can surrender all my cares to You.”
I decided memorizing an applicable verse would be good. In my inner being, I sensed the Holy Spirit say, “Turn to Jeremiah 17:5-8.” I thought, Lord, you know I’ve been memorizing those verses, and they have nothing to do with this situation. You must be mistaken.
I began flipping through my Bible, thinking I’d surely find something helpful. But nothing seemed pertinent. Oh, all right, Lord. I’ll look at that passage, but it won’t do any good.
I turned to the Jeremiah passage, but before I could find the exact verses, my eyes locked onto a verse right at the top of the page that I’d marked in yellow who knows when. It was Jeremiah 16:17: “For my eyes are on all their ways. They are not hidden from me, nor is their iniquity concealed from my eyes” (ESV).
I couldn’t believe it. That was almost the same words I’d written down in my prayer! Tears filled my eyes. He did care. He was noticing what was happening. I could trust Him. I memorized and meditated on it.
Over the following month, Larry and I made calm decisions using righteous means to try and get the money returned. We were willing to never have the money if that was God’s will, but we also felt Him leading us to make some efforts even as we kept a right attitude.
After further stalling by the company, the money was finally refunded. We were very relieved and appreciated having the money. The most important part had already happened: the changes in our hearts.
For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. 2 Chronicles 16:9 NASB
About the author: Kathy Collard Miller is an award-winning author of over 50 books that include Christian living topics, women’s Bible studies, and Bible commentaries. One of her most recent books is At the Heart of Friendship. She is a speaker who has shared in 8 foreign countries and over 30 US states. Kathy and Larry have been married for almost 50 years and are the parents of 2 and grandparents of 2. They live in Southern California and often write and speak together. Visit her at www.KathyCollardMiller.com. She would love to hear from you.
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