Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.
One of the biggest fears we face is finances since ALS has affected the family bread-winner. Sickness is expensive! Right now, we are living on 60% of Akhil’s basic income. From that 60%, we have a mortgage payment and a $1400 per month health insurance payment. Could you get by? It is scary! Will this illness whittle away our savings?
I asked the ALS Association to assist ALS families related to this financial fear. One thing I suggested, which we did early on, is to create a budget template for those newly diagnosed so they can project their financial needs as the disease progresses. The second, involves the development of a professional network to assist in finding an employer who may be willing to hire the healthy spouse as a consultant or on a part-time basis during the illness so when the time comes, the healthy spouse may be employable. I haven’t worked in my field in a few years so for me, looking for a job is a daunting task.
I had many other thoughts and suggestions I shared with the board but I won’t bore you with them here. I will share with you how it made me connect with Joseph in the Bible. Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers. Then he was wrongly imprisoned! He suffered for eleven years before God elevated him to a position of power. The Bible doesn’t mention it, but I was wondering whether or not Joseph cried out to God to remove him from slavery or prison. The Bible speaks of times when it was evident that God was with Joseph in prison, but did Joseph ever feel abandoned or forgotten by God? I know I have cried out to God many times for relief. Looking back on Joseph’s life, we can see how God used his time of suffering to build his character so Joseph was prepared for what was going to come his way. I can only hope that is God’s plan for me – to use me in some great way that, without going through this time of suffering, I would not have been equipped to handle.
The resounding message through all of this is “Trust God”. That is the message Joseph speaks to us. We need to fully trust God. His plan may not be the one we want for our earthly lives but it is the best plan for our eternal lives. Sometimes we forget that. God’s plan encompasses not only the here and now but also the forever after. If you feel you are in a place of imprisonment or suffering, I encourage you to seek God’s eternal purpose in it. Trust that He has a reason for taking you through your time of suffering.
If that doesn’t help, listen to my current favorite song…