How to Flourish in Hard Times
By Tiffany Thibault
Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife. - Proverbs 17:1
Tough times definitely bring out the insecurities and the weaknesses of a person’s character. Turn on any crime TV show and you will see what happens when people let their emotions control them. So how do we get through the hardships of life with peace and quiet, as our verse says? Let me share with you about my childhood.
My family struggled financially for most of my growing up years. My dad struggled for several years to find a job, sometimes hiring on daily as a construction worker. We actually lived in other peoples’ homes for six months, as my parents couldn’t make the rent payment. Our only car was repossessed. At one point we only ate two meals a day, for many months, and my parents relied on food banks to help us get by.
I remember one cold winter, while living in Colorado. The power was turned off for a few weeks and we had to take cold showers and wash our clothes in the bathtub. It was around this time that my 16-year-old brother started working at Arby’s to help, while I cleaned a few houses and babysat to help out as well (at the age of 15).
It was difficult. My parents were stressed and argued a lot. Financial struggles are really, really hard. Fear is the enemy in a time like this. We worry about how to make ends meet, and where we can find any extra money to make those ends meet.
Today, news reports are predicting a tough economic future ahead. Many of us are looking at cutbacks at work, or even losing our jobs due to the sudden, drastic change. Fear tries to grip our hearts as we worry about paying bills.
One thing though, through this all, we still have our families, our friends, our church communities and our neighbors. We have one another, always.
Our Bible verse says: “Better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife.” During this tough time, let’s take this opportunity to build strong marriages, strong families, strong churches and strong communities.
Two basic principles to guide your days:
1. We Must Get More Intentional about Prayer and Reading God’s Word
We can start by being intentional about increasing our prayers, and strengthening our faith, as we fill ourselves with the promises from the Bible. Can you take time throughout your day to read the Bible or even just one verse? Can you practice being quick to pray as each new situation comes your way?
As we allow God to fill us with Him, we can reflect peace and quiet to those under our roof. We can trust Him to get us through. We will then have peace and can react calmly to our family. Let’s moment by moment place our fears into the hands of God.
2. We Should Make it a Priority and Value to Find and Create Moments of Joy Each Day
Another easy thing to do is to be intentional about creating moments of joy in our homes for our family.
When my family was struggling, my mom created joy by having a movie or game night every single night. We may not have had snacks, but my parents intentionally created these moments of fun. It was critical to our survival as a family.
When I look back on my childhood, I remember those movie nights, as we all squeezed onto the sofa. I remember taking walks in the falling snow, late one night, just because. I remember my mom breaking out in silly singing. I remember her reading us promises from scripture and discussing it over our two meals a day. I remember her having each of us kids plan and lead devotions for the family.
God did get my family through that situation. He will also get your family through this time as well. He has a plan at work in your life, for your today and all your tomorrows.
Someday, let’s look back and see that God blessed us during hard times with strong families and communities.
What good is plenty, when relationships are at strife? I would give up all feasting and be happy with only a dry crust of bread to eat, if it meant my husband and I lived in peace and quiet together. Let’s reach out to our spouses and be intentional about living in harmony through this difficult situation. My family is worth it. Your family is worth it.
Tiffany Thibault enjoys living life with her husband, two teenage daughters and one very large dog. She homeschools her girls, and loves to write and speak about Jesus. She loves long walks, coffee and anything chocolate. You can find her over at www.TiffanyThibault.com.
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