We are talking about using meditation on God’s Word to help us through the tough times of life and how using meditation can also help us experience God in our times of trial.  Here is what we have covered so far.  You can read this week’s past emails because I always post them online at https://www.180recover.com/encouragement/.

What about when we are faced with financial problems?  How can meditation help me in this stressful trial?

Well, I experienced this in the fall of 2008.  Remember the Great Recession?  I was selling cars, Cadillac’s to be exact.  When the recession hit and the banks were in danger of falling apart they would not lend anyone money unless they had an exceptional credit score.  60% of my business was leasing cars and I had been doing well for 2 years.  However, sales dropped sharply and I had two kids in college and mounting debts to pay for their education.

Depression and anxiety showed up at my door and let themselves in.  Out of the blue, I got a job offer from someone I knew and he wanted me to work for him as a recruiter for financial advisors.  He said any monkey could do it so I guess I qualified.  He also said he would pay me $2000 a month for 6 months to give me time to get some deals in my pipeline.  It normally took 6 months to move a client and I started in November.

So, here I am starting a new job that I have never done before and to make it even more difficult I had to drive an hour south of Columbus in my old V-8 1990 car and gas prices were a little under $4.00 a gallon.  Every day the closer I got to the job the more depressed and anxious I became.

I used the trip down as a time to pray and meditate.  It was early in the morning when I passed a tree on the highway just as a flock of starlings left their perch in a black cloud of what seemed to be 1000 of them.

I had been meditating on this passage …

“Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  Matthew 6:25-27

And this one as well

“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So, don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”  Matthew 10:29-30

If I had just been reading through 4 chapters of Matthew to check my Bible reading off the list for the day I might not have been impacted as much as I was since I was quoting these passages from memory to myself and praying about their meaning.

When I saw those starlings leave their roost I heard the Lord say to me; “John, see those birds?  I know all of them and I made all of them and I take care of all of them.  Don’t you think that you are more important to Me than those birds?  You are my son.  Keep working on growing the 180 Ministry and I will take care of you.” Peace came upon me and guarded my mind and my heart in Christ Jesus.

Now here is the rest of the story.  God is so awesome!!!  Before 2009 started and I am making about 50 phone calls a day, I thought I would take God at His word where in Malachi He tells us to test Him in the whole giving a 10th of our income to Him.  Now you are going to think I was nuts so I said; “Ok Father, I am going to give you a tenth of my income in 2009 but I am not going to give it as it comes in.  I am going to give it BY FAITH that it will come in.  I want to make $120,000 doing this job I have never done before, and so I will give $250 each Sunday no matter what my income is.”

We had about 2 months of income saved up and each Sunday I wrote the check and gave it at the church.  I called it “first fruits” giving because I was giving by faith that God would provide.  To make a long story shorter, it did not take me 6 months to move some.  I moved people in January, February, March, April, May, and June.  And in those 6 months, in the worse recession I have ever seen, I made $220,000.  I not only made the $120,000 I was hoping for the year, God threw in an extra $100,000 just for fun!  Is God Awesome of What!!!

Do yourself a favor and begin to meditate on His Word.  Then listen to what He wants to say to you.

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