The One Question That Relieves My Financial Stress

This past month, my Instagram feed has been filled to overflowing with pictures of friends and strangers enjoying the blessings of new homes, trips to Disneyland, and lavish meals out for celebrations. Most of the time, I relish the joy of these incredible blessings on their behalf.

And then there’s the other side of things. I have also had my inbox and facebook feeds filled with urgent requests for prayer. Families have lost their lives. Readers have shared that their finances are in peril. Parents are at the end of their ropes as they struggle to provide for their children or determine the best course of action for an academically struggling teen. Many won’t come even close to taking a dream vacation this year. Or next. I know the feeling. Running a business in one of the toughest industries in the world has provided my family with a life of sacrifice, more than anything else.

As I lay awake at night, thinking about the lack that so many are facing, I sensed the Holy Spirit guide my prayer. It came out in the form of this simple, yet profound, question:

“Lord, what do you want me to do today to lay up treasure in Heaven?”

Short. Sweet. Radical. Freeing.

When we want to give our kids Disneyland, but we can’t, when we are facing another round of rejections from job interviews, when we aren’t sure how we will pay for house repairs, and when the harsh realities of everyday life begin to sap us of our joy, we must refocus on what matters most.

It’s not treasure on earth.

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21, NIV)

The moment we force our eyes away from the things of this world, we begin to see more clearly. More supernaturally. And we begin to depend on the God who owns the cattle on a thousand hills to meet our needs. We bounce the ball of provision for our needs right back into His court.  And then we ask Him the question that will satisfy all our desires.

“Lord, what do you want me to do today to lay up treasure in Heaven?”

Christian martyr Jim Elliott had it right, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” Perhaps you find yourself on the other side of your own Instagram feed today, paging through the good things that God may have afforded to others and you can rejoice with them. But perhaps it leaves a pang, a seed of discontent, or even outright depression. Life on earth is fickle. Bank accounts can drain and family vacations can turn sour in a moment. You may never experience the bounty this world offers but there is absolutely nothing stopping you from gaining a far better treasure that has no expiration date or potential to be spoiled.

The thrill of a beautiful home or car will only provide momentary pleasure. The joy of living a life in Christ, sacrificial though it may be for you, runs far more deeply. You can take that to the bank.

YOUR TURN: Is this issue a struggle for you too? How can I pray for you? 

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Amber Lia

A former high school English teacher, Amber is a work-at-home mom of 4 little boys under the age of 10. She is the best-selling author of Triggers: Exchanging Parents’ Angry Reactions for Gentle Biblical Responses and Parenting Scripts: When What You’re Saying Isn’t Working, say Something New. She and her husband Guy own Storehouse Media Group, a faith-friendly and family-friendly TV and Film production company in Los Angeles, CA. When she’s not building sand castles with her boys on the beach, or searching for Nerf darts all over her house, you can find Amber writing to encourage families on her blog at Mother of Knights (www.motherofknights.com).