In Genesis 31:39, Jacob is telling Laban about his experience working for his father-in-law. Although this only gives us a slight glimpse into the challenges that Jacob faced, we can still get a pretty good idea of just how chaotic it must have been. Laban sounds like a man who not only misrepresented his goals and objectives to his employees, but also changed his mind constantly.
We may look at change as a bad thing at times. It changes our routine and throws us off balance. But, in actuality, changes in our life should not come as a surprise. They should be expected.
Financial changes may come our way at any given moment. Our challenge is to be able to withstand the change and go with the new flow.
Loss of income
Income changes can go either way. Let's consider a worse-case scenario first. If the household encounters a loss of income, it can be devastating to the family. More often than not, the household is really counting on that income in order to function. Living from paycheck to paycheck is the norm in many homes.
At a time like this, it is important for the family to start prioritizing expenses to determine the first areas in which to make cuts. Some things may feel hard to let go, but we have to be able to live within our means.
Mismanaging the resources that God has provided may hinder His providing more. Luke 16:10 tells us, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much." (NIV)
If we prove ourselves faithful to God, His blessings will continue to pour out on us. He will make sure that we, His beloved children, have every need met.
What about more?
The change in income could go the opposite way. We could be blessed with a raise, a bonus, or some other financial windfall. Nevertheless, we should still be careful with how hard we celebrate.
Luke 16:10 still holds true in this situation. If God has entrusted more to us, we are expected to be good stewards of the additional income as well. This is not a time to catch up on all of the toys that we've wanted to buy - for our children or for ourselves.
We should examine our financial position and determine the best way to allocate the additional resources. Do we have an emergency fund in place? Are there debts that need to be paid off? Does God have an area of need within His Kingdom in which He wants you to be a blessing?
Life is full of lessons. Some are easier than others. But they all are intentional. God uses every encounter to mold us, to shape us, into His image.
We do have a choice as to whether or not we will be flexible enough for Him to use us. His plans are so much better than anything we can ever imagine. Let's make a conscious effort to be available to God and to follow His path as changes come our way.