When Push Comes To Shove

We had just purchased our first home. A 1950 cottage with a ton of character, great moldings, high ceilings and oil heat. Our first born daughter was 22 months old. My husband had found a position with a brokerage firm in our town. “Back in the day” those positions were really competitive. It was a privilege to  interview much less land the job. The one catch? It was 100% commission. It was terrifying. However Robin wanted to trade stocks and bonds as a career. He was confidant that he would succeed. I trusted him and knew he would be successful. I went back to work while he grew his business.

One day, while we were both at work, our housekeeper thought it was too cold in our home. So I called and had oil delivered. When they came to deliver the oil Doris told the man to fill it up. The service man had left a hand written bill for $400. Equivalent to almost $800 today. I was in an absolute panic. I think our entire take home pay at that time was $1000. How would we be able to pay it? Let alone pay our mortgage, insurance, utilities, nursery school costs, groceries and our babysitter on my salary?

When push comes to shove who do you depend on? Who do you call first? Ask for help first? Do you panic? Or are you calm as you try to figure it out? 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to “Cast all of your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” I remember reading that as a young mother and thinking “that’s awesome but I need real help. Immediately. Like yesterday!”.


My mother called to talk to her grand-baby and to check in with us. She asked how we were. I told her about the oil bill. I explained how absolutely panicked I was. She said “Lillibet, you just need to trust that God will take care of it. ” Eyes roll from the first time, know it all, mother from my end of the call. She was right. Honestly as twenty something  year old I wanted to hear “That is terrible how can we help?” I didn’t really have time to pray about it nor did I want too. I just needed to be able to pay the debt for the oil.

How often do we push Jesus aside in order to try and resolve our own problems? How often do we call a friend or spouse to dialogue how to solve our problem? How’s that usually work out for us? (note Sarcasm). One of several things was happening in my oil scenario:

(1) God was trying to lovingly teach us how to problem solve
(2) God was trying to teach us about blind faith
(3) God was trying to teach us that we were not the solution to our own problems
(4) God was trying to show us that when He’s in control there is no place for fear
(5) God was saying “trust me”

If we approach problem solving from a biblical view the resolutions become pretty clear. If God says He will help us? He will! The very first place we should go to problem solve is our bible. If we are overwhelmed call a friend in Christ who is seasoned in prayer and scripture. Ask them to point you to areas of the bible to help you.

It doesn’t matter if we don’t trust ourselves. We have to trust Him. If we approach problem solving according to His biblical standards? Well, that’s a no brainer! The issue will be reconciled according to His will. And it may be hard. We may face backlash. It may be painful. But we can rest peacefully knowing that we can stand on God’s word.

If we bring our opinions into the solution there is room for chaos, distrust, gossip, accusations. When we use God’s word to problem solve we know that the solution is based on truth, His word, and it is infallible.

I wish I had a climatic ending to the story. I don’t. Honestly? I don’t even remember how we paid the bill. And I guess that’s the point. He paid ALL of our debts for us so that we wouldn’t have too.

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an
opportunity for great joy”-James 1:2