Grace Touch

waiting for the pay stubs

By Cindy Shuler  

       A while back, I took a quiz designed to tell me how biblical my view of the world was. I considered each question through a biblical lens and answered accordingly. The result? A 100% Christian worldview. I was pretty impressed. My theology proved to be solid, my view of the world in line with God’s.

     If only my thoughts and reactions to life circumstances yielded the same result! Maybe you can identify. You know what you believe, yet are surprised by your response to certain circumstances.

    A couple of months ago, my son and his family applied for subsidized housing. He had two options: to have his employer submit the proper form or wait for four pay stubs. The need for housing was urgent so he opted to have his employer submit the form. However, his employer and the housing complex used differing employment verification services. Neither would budge, so he had to wait another five weeks to get the fourth pay stub. I was furious! Bureaucracy and protocols stood in the way of meeting urgent needs. Where was God in this? I, along with a few others, prayed fervently that God would intervene and enable them to secure housing. When it didn’t happen, I felt as if God had let me down. 

     My professed belief that God is just and good and that his timing is perfect was not evidenced in my reaction to this circumstance. I questioned his goodness. The waiting furthered the inconvenience of three extra people living in our home during the quarantine. The timing was terrible. Did God really care about them, or me? 

    When Covid 19 came on the scene, I was struck by the differing responses among believers. I began to evaluate their reactions, as well as my own, in light of biblical truth. Often, they didn’t line up. 

Here are some examples:

        “God is in control. Covid 19 has not taken him by surprise.” Yet we live in fear.

        “God cares for the birds of the air and the flowers of the field.” But we are anxious and troubled.

        “God is at work, stretching us and make us more like Jesus.” However, we’re angry because our lives are interrupted.

    By definition, our worldview (belief system) shapes the values which lead to our responses (mental, emotional, behavioral). So where is the breakdown? Lloyd Kwast, in his article “Understanding Culture,” suggests that our worldview is deeper than our beliefs. It pertains more to what we perceive to be real than to what we profess to believe. So even though we know what is true (our beliefs) our perception of what is real (worldview) distorts the truth.

     In this context, Paul’s charge in Romans 12 to “be transformed by the renewing of our minds” takes on greater significance. We must move beyond knowing the truth to internalizing it so it shapes our reality. 

     This is a life-long process that begins with awareness. Where are your responses incongruent with the truth you profess? How is God working in you to align your beliefs with your worldview?

     After five weeks, my son received his fourth pay stub and applied for subsidized housing. New government standards went into effect the day of their application which lowered their rent by $300 per month. The truths I professed were true. God is good and his timing is perfect. In retrospect I can see it. If I had grasped the reality of those truths, my responses over those five weeks could have been different. 

     As we continue this journey through Covid 19, may we look for the inconsistencies between our responses and our beliefs and ask God to make his truth our reality.

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