“Between a rock and a hard place can be your place of God’s miraculous intervention….
Have you ever felt hemmed in by a hopeless situation, caught between the proverbial “rock and a hard place”? This is exactly where I found myself during one particularly difficult season of my life.
I was a single mother of two teenage daughters, an expensive time of life for any parent but especially challenging for me as their primary provider. Thankfully, I was employed full time as a medical secretary. I was, however, in a tight financial bind. My paycheque barely paid for the household necessities, making it impossible to stay on top of things.
I had no one to blame for this predicament but myself. Purchasing a new car, taking family vacations, and relying heavily on the use of credit had eventually taken their toll. I was faced with either declaring bankruptcy or entering a debt repayment program. I prayerfully chose the latter, a process that was going to take three tedious, long years to complete. Two college tuition fees also loomed on the horizon, making the future look extremely daunting.
The notice from our landlord of an upcoming rent increase was the final straw. My
husband and I had been separated for 10 years, but we had nothing legal in place to determine the amount of monthly child support. The amount I did receive was quickly eaten up by debt repayment, leaving very little to put toward groceries, let alone any additional needs my daughters had. Desperate, I applied for geared-to-income housing.
One warm September day during that time remains vivid in my memory. Both our food supply and my spirits were at their lowest. I asked God to come to our rescue and shed tears of shame at being in such a desperate condition. I’d put off going to the grocery store as long as possible, knowing I could purchase very little to put in our lunches the next day. Feelings of despair and failure threatened to overwhelm me.
As I walked slowly to my car, I glanced down at a small pile of multicoloured leaves that had blown together in the driveway. One leaf in particular caught my eye, and as I stooped to pick it up, I realized it was no ordinary leaf. It was a beautiful red 50-dollar bill! Tears of joy and gratitude flowed down my face as I realized what a merciful heavenly Father I served. His dramatic provision strengthened my faith and gave me the courage I needed to face the future.
As the time drew closer for my oldest daughter to attend college, God assured me that all would be well despite the total absence of funds. He gave me this promise as I sought Him in prayer: “Don’t worry about Julie and her education. I will provide the money she needs, for I am the God of the impossible. I know what she has need of and I will provide it. You don’t have to waste time worrying about how you will come up with the money.”
This promise was fulfilled over and over again—sometimes at the last minute, but always right on time. When the initial $400 deposit for college was needed, I received the total amount from three different friends on the same day, each one unaware of the other person’s contribution. Peterborough Housing Corporation, where we then lived, provided Julie with a college bursary of $500 for two years in a row, to be used toward tuition fees. Humber College awarded her a $500 scholarship upon acceptance of her application. True to His word, God met Julie’s every need, including a free computer and printer.
Over the course of the next 12 months, we were also blessed with four free appliances, an increase in my salary, several bonuses, and monetary gifts equalling almost $10,000. The two generous Christian doctors I worked for also blessed us with many practical gifts that would otherwise have been unaffordable. In addition, two close friends gave me postdated cheques to cover my car payments for one full year. These are just a few of the many miracles we witnessed in our lives during this time of total dependence on God.
The greatest gift by far, however, was increased intimacy with Jesus. Our relationship deepened as I spent extended periods of time with Him seeking His guidance and wisdom. During those moments of sweet communion, He brought healing to my bruised and wounded heart. He restored my soul as I sat at His feet day after day, soaking in His presence and learning to hear His voice. I was still in the hard place, but looking back I see that the rock was none other than God Himself, the Rock of my salvation, the One I had learned to lean on and depend upon.
Your hard place may very well become a blessing in disguise, just as mine did. It may be the very thing God uses to draw you into the intimate, loving relationship you’ve always yearned for, and one that He longs for you to experience. Between a rock and a hard place can be your
place of God’s miraculous intervention, where you discover Him to be more than enough—and more than you ever imagined.
“But the LORD has become my fortress, and my God the rock in whom I take refuge”
Susan Baxter lives in Peterborough, ON, with her daughters and is actively involved in Elim City Church. She loves to encourage others to trust God for the impossible to happen in their lives.
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This article appears in the January/February 2015 issue of testimony.
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