God@Work: Amanda Findley
Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing how the Lord is working specifically in the lives of a few people in our church family during this unprecedented time. Our hope is that these stories give glory to God and spur us on. While the story is still unfolding and we may not know exactly what the Lord is doing, we want to encourage each other to look to Him.
by Amanda Findley
At 26, God has provided for and sustained me financially as a single woman and self-employed hairstylist. He has been so faithful! When this pandemic began in the United States, I watched as state after state ordered businesses to shut down and people to stay home. I knew it was coming and wasn’t surprised when on March 25, I was officially unable to work in my salon. At this point in time, I have a guaranteed four weeks without pay, potentially a total of 6–8 weeks. Though I know that God is the one who provides all things for me, I have also often enjoyed the illusion of control that I felt in running my own business.
With one official statement from the governor, all of that illusion dissipated. I have been brought face to face with the reality that I am at the mercy of God to provide for me in this season and all seasons. I was reminded of what I so often forget – I am not in control. Oh, but I so often wish I was! In the midst of this pandemic, I have no income. I have no timeline of when this will end. I can’t make any plans for the future because things are so uncertain. And I am confined to my home, lonely for my people, my community and my church.
When my gaze is down, looking around at my circumstances or the news reports, my mind grows noisy and my heart gives in to fear. That fear is a vicious enemy, attacking my soul. It does not believe that God is who He says He is, and my fear certainly doesn’t believe that God is good. If left unchecked, all of these things – fear, frustration, loneliness – can lead me to a God-less, hopeless place. Yet, my Father in heaven is so patient and gives me what I need when I need it.
The Good Shepherd
There is a saying, “We study truth in the light, so we can stand on it in the dark.” Last fall, I spent some time studying Psalm 23. At the time, I had no idea how I would need that time of study over the next six months, but God, in His grace, knew. One phrase from that psalm that has become so precious to me is, “The Lord is my Shepherd.” Throughout Scripture there are many descriptions of what it means when God says He’s our Shepherd. As our Shepherd, He tends to, guides, protects, gathers in His arms, carries close to His chest, gently leads, seeks the lost, rescues, provides, gives rest, binds up the injured and strengthens the weak. He is the eternal shepherd. He knows His sheep. He SEES His sheep, and in every encounter He has with us and everything He does, he is GOOD (Psalm 23, Ezekiel 34, John 10, Revelation 7:17).
In this time of uncertainty and darkness, I have desperately needed to know each of these truths about my God. They have been such a comfort, a strong rock to stand on. They have taken my downward facing eyes and lifted them up to see my God in heaven. When I am lonely, the Lord promises He knows my heart and He carries me close to His chest. When I am worried about finances or how this will affect my business, I know that He provides for me. When I can’t see the end of this and fear threatens to consume me, I KNOW that the Lord sees me and promises to guide me, gently lead me and be good to me. Why? Because that’s who He is! Not because I’m worthy of His care, but rather because He chooses to make me a recipient of it. The sovereign, reigning King of the universe is also my Shepherd, and He LOVES me.
Faithful is He
Right now, I have no idea what the future holds. I have no immediate resolution to my problems… but I do have HOPE! When I cannot see, I choose to trust the truth I learned in the light. I fix my eyes on my Good Shepherd, for “all I have needed Thy hand has provided. Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”