First the Blade
© 2019 by Larry Nevenhoven
Building Mustard-Seed Faith (i)
In May 2004, we sold our Upland home and bought one in Irvine, California.
Just seven miles from the Pacific Ocean, Irvine (population: 217,000) is rated the fourth best city in America to live in. It has the lowest crime rate of any American city and the median income is the seventh highest in America. The weather is Mediterranean-like and wonderful. Irvine sounds like the perfect place to live, right? And it is.
Carol worked at a furniture store in Yorba Linda and I sold real estate for a new home developer. We felt blessed.
Then, Carol’s furniture store was sold to another corporation in July. Her income instantly dropped 60% with the uncertainties and changeovers of new management. At the same time, new home sales nosedived. This double setback to our incomes was disastrous. We quickly began sliding into a financial black hole.
We had no fallback position and decided to put our home up for sale in early September. The housing market had cooled off, which was unfortunate because we needed to sell the home for $50,000 more than we paid for it, just to break even.
Carol came down with Bell’s Palsy in late October. She was forced to go on Workman’s Compensation Insurance and stayed at home, recuperating from the illness. More bad financial news!
Our savings and checking accounts flat-lined in December. The phones rang from 8 a.m. until 8:30 p.m. with creditors wanting their money right away.
That’s the background for our financial nightmare. It sounds like hundreds of thousands of homeowners today. We were up to our eyeballs in debt and stress, with no hope in sight. Each day was divided into two sections: when the phone rang and when it did not.
Our days normally began with Carol coming downstairs to sit with me in the family room to drink coffee.
“Did God speak to you this morning?” she would ask first of all.
“No, but I have peace about our circumstances,” I said over and over again.
“Oh boy!” she said more than once while rolling her eyes.
The Lord spoke to my heart in early January: “You will leave Irvine with money in your pockets.”
From that moment forward, we had a promise from God to hang onto with our faith. No longer did we feel like the waves could just toss us whichever way the wind blew. We had hope.
Did the circumstances turn around and get better from that morning onward? Absolutely not.
In a similar way these are the ones on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with joy; and they have no firm root in themselves, but are only temporary; then, when affliction or persecution arises, because of the word, immediately they fall away. (Mark 4: 16-17)
When you receive a prophetic promise from the Lord about your circumstances, it is time to batten down the hatches because you will soon be hit by monstrous storms. Your will have two choices: believe your circumstances or believe the promise from God.
Trust me on this: the testing of your faith about your promise will always come. (85) Always. Always. Always.
Soon after we received the promise from the Lord, our mortgage company began foreclosure proceedings against us. This is usually a greased downhill slope for couples with financial problems, but we weren’t just another couple. We had a promise from God.
If there is one thing Carol and I have learned how to do: it’s how to hold onto a promise from God and disregard whatever circumstances may be screaming in our faces.
This did not mean the circumstances weren’t real because they were. This did not mean we did not have to fight our thoughts because we had to. This did not mean our friends and family agreed with us because they probably did not.
We sold the home one week before final foreclosure took place, at a price, which was $50,000 above the last comparative home’s price. The comparative home had been totally remodeled with new hardwood floors, new floor tile, and a new kitchen with granite counter tops. Because of financial lack, we could only afford to paint our home. It still had its old carpets and old counter tops.
“Impossible,” you say.
“Yes, I agree,” I say.
But then again, all things are possible with God, especially when we are holding onto His promises.
(Continued…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)