As you all know, I have been at college now for almost 2 1/2 years.That means a very long time without any serious form on income. This, in turn, means that there is great potential for stress as a guy moves closer and closer to being married. Rather than feeling a sense of responsibility being met, I am keenly aware of how I am going to be dependant on my (soon to be) wife for the next six months, while I finish of my studies.
As we look into our future, “concessions” is the word that seems to ring in our (or at least my) ears. Do we choose to live in a dump because you can’t afford a nice place, you don’t have much rental history and you only want a 6-month lease? Do we try & get some furniture when we have so many other things we could be getting? What about whitegoods.You need a fridge & a washing machine etc, but what do you do if you plan to move overseas next year & fridges & washing machines are just going to spend most of their warranty in storage?
These are all things that can weigh on the mind of a couple.
Or to put it another way, they were all things that could have weighed on our minds…
But fortunately, God is a good. Stresses have melted away as God has answered our prayers. Let me just run you through a couple of the blessings.
1: Finding a house: What a stress! We have to have a place that is handy to either my college or Shona’s work. The places near here are not nice at all, the places near Shona have 20 or more couples going for each one!
Enter Nici & her two friends. Nici tells me that her friends are going to Bali to be missionaries & are looking to rent their place out. I make a quick phone call to them. One week later, we have a lovely place that is 10 mins walk to Shona’s work PLUS with Nici and Jeremy living in the same block. I can carpool to college! God is good!
2: Furniture: We have been doing some marriage prep with Fergus (the minister) as we started off the first night in the church lounge room, Fergus notes how it is a little crowded with too many couches. 10 seconds later, Tim & Shona have a new (used) couch! Nice!
3: Whitegoods: I am staring into the mail room at college, hoping for some mail-love, when Allan walks up behind me.
“Hey Allan”, I reply.
“You don’ need a fridge do you? It’s not that big, but it’s not too small either. It’s a spare that we lent to T&C, but they don’t need it anymore & now it is just sitting in our garage”.
“That would be awesome!”, Tim responds with unbridled enthusiasm.
I know Allan & his wife & I like them both, but we’re not the closest of friends, yet they are thinking about my situation & actually approaching me about how they can help me!
4: Furniture (part B): I am reading my email & I notice I have one from the “Capt’n” who is living with his lovely wife in England these days.
“No.2”, emails the Capt’n. “how are you going for furniture in your new place? We’re about to put some stuff in storage from our house in Sydney. Could you use some?”
The captain, like Allan & Fergus, is a thoughtful, Godly and considerate man.
1:My good friends at college, thinking about me & seeking to help out. To be expected.
2: My minister, who has a thousand other worries on his mind, still keen to look for solutions for Shona & I. Something you would hope is the case in the church, yet are pleased when you find out it really is a reality.
3: Fellow students. In a different year of college, largely in different social circles, yet still looking out to serve. Unexpected. A great example of how and why Christian community can be a fantastic thing.
4: A friend, 12,000 kms away, yet right there with you in spirit. Thinking about you, praying for you and, even from that great distance, offering thoughtful and practical assistance to his brother and sister in Christ!
People ask me how I am handling the stress of all the things on my plate. Essays to write, Sermons to preach, exams coming up, followed by a wedding.
I have to say I am feeling pretty good. Certainly not because I am that organised or thoughtful. But, when houses, furniture and fridges get offered to a couple who are praying about how this kind of stuff will sort out, you can’t help but feel confident that God is in control.
God is in control.