Confessions of a Cynic

I write this on Monday, March 18th, 2013.

This is not the post I planned for today. And the post I’m gonna write runs the risk of looking like a pity party. But I want you to see something. And I ssume some of you need to see it as much as I did.

I took today off because I needed it. So after sleeping in and drinking the first cup of coffee I put my arms around Bethany and with two hurried sentences asked God to provide for our needs this week.

That was not a flippant prayer.

We enjoy a lot of comforts but paying bills without using our savings is not one of them. Our only real extravagances are the home we rent, Netflix and the cell phone plan. We have taken two family vacations. Ever. Recovering financially after vocational ministry is harder than I thought.

My prayers for provision are usually followed by a broken transmission. Or so it seems.

I tell you this only so you’ll see the goodness of God.

At 2 o’clock today, a stranger rings our door bell. Never seen her before in my life. She says she has a delivery for us from Sam’s and would not tell us who put her on the errand. All this is followed by confusion, smiles and incredulous wonder.

She was enjoying this possibly more than us.

I had forgotten about the prayer till we got it all inside and put the goods away. And then this old cynic’s heart beat bright red with the realization. I would like to tell you that this kinda thing never happens to us and that is why I am so cynical. but it does happen to us periodically. And I can only guess it happens more than I realize.

Yesterday I taught Sunday School and it was on the King and the Kingdom. It’s more of an OT survey class but I decided to go rogue and tell them about the righteous, powerful, and loving King we have. And how I’ve needed that kind of King lately.

All of it was hard to say.

Mainly because I’ve struggled to buy it. Intellectually, I’m there. But my head falls into my hands wondering what the hell is gonna happen to us more often than not.

Sunday’s check to the church was the hardest bit of writing I’ve done lately.

I don’t tell you all this because I want pity. Honestly, I don’t. But I saw something. Something I would not see apart from the need being there and then dealt with like this.

Maybe…just maybe he wants even more for me to see that he – the King – will take care of us. His promises are true. It’s easy to value the tangible over the principal when you wonder what’s coming next. But in this already/not yet space we occupy, the promise can be worth more than the temporary fulfillment. And if I don’t believe that, then I might as well believe this is all there is….you know, like I did before the door bell rang.

11 thoughts on “Confessions of a Cynic

  1. Julie Anne March 19, 2013 / 8:05 am

    I needed to read this this morning, Matt. Thank you.

  2. Lane Severson March 19, 2013 / 8:20 am

    Reblogged this on The Genius Brigade and commented:
    I heard about this story from Matt yesterday on Twitter. I really think that sharing these stories builds the faith of the church. I hope you are as encouraged from reading this as I was.

  3. Gregg March 19, 2013 / 8:21 am

    Matt, I was just thinking about something similar this morning. Lately I have been thinking a little about how Jesus tells us that we should become like children. And I thought about how my daughter does not worry about whether her needs will be met. In her mind there is nothing to worry about . . . Mommy and Daddy give her what she needs.

    Then I thought about myself. How I worry about my job, my performance. I worry about if I don’t work all this overtime that they are pushing me to work, will I have a job still? I think about the money we need and worry about how to make more of it . . .and push myself to work the overtime because we “need” the money. But my family needs me too. I let stress build upon stress.

    But Jesus says I need to be like my daughter.

  4. DuAnne Seeley March 19, 2013 / 8:30 am

    Enjoyed your post. In ministry over 25 years, been there. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Eric Morgan March 19, 2013 / 8:58 am

    Matt…

    Sounds like you and I are in the same boat. I never anticipated how difficult things would be since leaving vocational ministry. The “real extravagances are the home we rent, Netflix and the cell phone plan” sound familiar. I am looking down the barrel of sending my oldest to college in a few months when I cannot even make my paycheck last from payday to payday. I must confess “trust in God” often sounds hollow and cliché. I am sure I am just jaded.

    Thanks for being open. Thanks for writing “God of the Mundane”. It has helped me on my journey. Pax

  6. a pastor's wife in my previous life March 19, 2013 / 10:19 am

    Thanks for your honesty today (and in each post). Our family is also “recovering” from vocational ministry. Although I’d like to say that I’m always grateful for the provision of God, I’m not. Your book resonated with me, and if I had more disposable income, I’d buy one for many people I know.

  7. tatiacook March 19, 2013 / 4:04 pm

    I’m a friend of your wife’s from Wichita. We were in church together, so my oldest was in your youth group and I’ve had the privilege to hear you speak. What I liked about you then was your honesty, Matt. And…that’s what people STILL like about you! That’s why your book has resonated with so many. God uses your transparency to speak into our lives. I pray that you will continue to allow Him to bless us through you!

  8. brett1973 March 20, 2013 / 7:59 pm

    Good word Matt. Your blog & book have really resonated with me of late.

  9. Captain Kevin March 21, 2013 / 12:31 am

    Matt, thank you for your refreshing honesty. May the King continue to fulfill his promises to you and your family.

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