Somewhere in the Bible, it says something about living humbly. In truth, I don't know the specific passages, but if you'll indulge my generalizing, I think we'll still learn a lesson.
My pastor often says that the word of God, the Gospel, travels through us on its way to someone else. And, I'm feeling like there's some reason more than my own... humbleness... that I am writing about this subject. Like humbling myself in this post might help someone who's reading it. So here we go...
A few months ago, we moved out of an apartment into a new house. We had problems once we moved out. The apartment complex seems to think we owe them a month of rent we didn't stay there for. We gave verbal notice but not official written notice as called for in the lease. A few weeks into the 90-day trust challenge, I lied in hopes of getting out of it. And, for this I feel the need to humble myself and ask for forgiveness. In fact, I have asked God for forgiveness. This is the humble part.
Lies are funny because, if your good at it, no one will ever know. Rather, no human will ever know. God always knows. He knows what's in your heart and will deal with you accordingly. For Christians, you would think knowing God always knows would effect the way we act more. Knowing that God knows should be a great deterrent to giving in to even the slightest sin. But, it's often not.
Get ready for a long read...
We lived for two years in our old apartment complex. When it was time to renew the lease, we decided to sign a month-to-month lease. The paperwork was dated and signed on April 7, 2006. The lease specifically says that it begins on May 1, 2006, is good for 1 month, and expires on May 31, 2006. It also says that 60 day written notice must be given to move out and that notice must be turned in a specific way. When we signed the lease on April 7, 2006, we did give verbal notice and were told we still needed to give written notice.
We were gone on May 31, 2006. The apartment complex is claiming we owe them for June 2006 because we didn't give proper, official written notice. The only defense we have is how do you give 60 day notice on a 31 day lease.
Meanwhile, I started the 90-day trust challenge where I tithe for three months and see what happened. During this time, I told a lie in hopes of getting out of paying this. I distorted a fact. And for a while, it helped. I guess that's the nature of it.
I left a message in August for the apartment complex people basically asking them to explain how they can charge me for June when the lease was up anyway. To date, they haven't returned my call. So, I thought that maybe they decided with the lease ambiguities it wasn't worth pursuing.
My parents loaned me the money to pay this just to settle it. I accepted it knowing I would be (and are) paying them back. But, medical and dental bills started to make money extremely tight. I ended up using the loan to pay some of these thinking the apartment people relented. As of this writing, they don't know I did that, but I do plan on telling them. I feel like I might have betrayed their trust, even though I am paying them back, since I didn't spend the money on what they think I did.
I knew it the apartment people could come collecting at anytime. But, for three months, there was no contact from them. During that time, I started feeling... well.. further from God. I wasn't praying or fasting like I had been. When I heard that still small voice talk to me, I pushed it away. To use the "walking the path" analogy, I was on the path, but I stopped walking and was sitting on a bench. I just didn't feel as close to God has I had been. Later, I got off the bench and started walking again. Since then, I've asked for God's forgiveness for not listening to Him and lying about the situ.
A few days ago, I got a letter from a collection agency about paid the apartment people. God's really funny. You see, He might put things on you and He might test you, but He never gives you more than He knows you can take. And, while I might have failed His test earlier, I learned from it, as I learned to trust him during the 90-day trust challenge. While I struggled through the challenge to give God my 10%, and while I struggled to make ends met, God still provided. Even when I turned away from God for a bit, He still provided. And that's important.
God never gives you more than He know you can handle. There was no way I could afford to pay the apartment bill. Not at the time. Not with the medical bills and everything else. But, God provided for me through all of that time. He made it so the bill would get fumbled around and held up until I could afford to pay it myself. And, today, we're at a point financially that I can without a problem. And that's what I will be doing by the end of the month.
If there's a lesson you can take away from this, it's this: God only gives you what He knows you have the strength to handle. Take comfort in knowing that no matter what's on your plate, God knows you can deal with it. Take comfort knowing that you can get past whatever you are dealing with. It might be difficult and you might not see how right now, but you CAN. Have faith in that.
I want to apologize to those who have given me advice on this matter for a little betrayal of trust. I humbly ask for your forgiveness and I hope I can earn that trust back.