How Faith Grows in Poverty

by | Feb 26, 2012 | Uncategorized


As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.  For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.   (Psalm 103:13-14 ESV)

It is sundown on the mountain and I stand over the stove with coat on, stir the pot with gloved fingers, see my breath linger cloud-like in the dining room as I set the table, call my husband to dinner.  The fireplace burns golden in this home meant for spreading out in summer. Insulation paper-thin and missionaries can’t afford electric heat, so we buy a cord of wood for a month. It barely lasts two weeks.

We run bathwater hot, turn on the electric blanket to warm the bed in the room with frost on the inside of windows. Just long enough to get the bed warm so we don’t feel winters sting on the skin. Body heat, it spreads out nice under those blankets piled high for newlyweds.

Just when the refrigerator opens bare and we ask God how, paper bags of groceries appear mysteriously on the stilted front porch. Enough food for a week and we smile inside out. The neighbors invite us over for dinner.

And now, as I sit covered up with blankets in front of the fire, help my girl write letters to ask for support for summer missionary dreams, I am Paul echoing his words of truth.

I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need. ~Philippians 4:12-13

As you begin a new week, dear friends, may you find the secret of true living, experience the warmth of His embrace.

Also linking with Fresh Brewed Sundays, and Scripture and Snapshot and Still Saturday.

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  1. Sharon O

    I love that verse, it is a promise I think …I can do everything, because HE gives me strength.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Sounds like a promise to me Sharon! Amen.

  2. Deidra

    In our first apartment, the heat was turned off at night by the building supervisor. We lived in upstate New York, and would wake up to the sound of radiator pipes banging and bedroom windows glazed over with ice. The windows were single paned, and operated with a crank turn, so they never really closed all the way shut. When we got pregnant, we wondered how we’d buy diapers. I don’t know why we ever wondered…

    • Redemption's Beauty

      You were in the city, we were in the mountains. I had those same thoughts with each child and like you, I wonder why I ever wondered. He is so faithful.

  3. Elizabeth

    Wonderful photos and verse and true life experiences shared about trusting God in the times of need or plenty.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Thank you Elizabeth, He has been so good to us and I am grateful, even for the difficult times.

  4. momof M&MS

    such a wonderful post… and thanks for sharing!!!

  5. Nancy

    Thanks for the visit; I appreciated your comments….

    This post is so encouraging and shows we can trust God in any circumstance we find ourselves….

  6. Laura Rath

    “For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.”
    I just love this verse. Whenever I’m thinking about all that I can’t do, it reminds me that through Christ, I can do whatever He asks me to do.

  7. Sandra Heska King

    This made me draw my blanket closer. And it made me smile from the inside out.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Sandra, we turned on the electric blanket just long enough to get the bed warm and then turned it off so we wouldn’t run up the heating bill. We were so poor then. Oh my! But we don’t take anything for granted, that is for sure.

  8. charinabrooks

    “I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ who gives me the strength I need.” ~Philippians 4:12-13

    Amen! So beautiful Shelley! Thank you!

  9. Floralba

    It is a truth that is foreign to many and to real for too many others, thank you…..

    • Redemption's Beauty

      You are right. Hopefully, when we get to the other side of hardship we have empathy to give to others.

  10. Kristen

    Our sinful nature is to doubt, but God continues His faithfulness and never leaves us – in spite of our doubts and fears. Paul’s secret is one I strive to learn – over and over again. Thank you for this glimpse into your life.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Doubt often lurks around the corners of my circumstances but Jesus stands strong in his stead. Yes, the example of Paul – so rich.

  11. Katie Lloyd

    This is wonderful!! Such a powerful reminder that God IS our strength!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Katie, your photos each week are just lovely. Glad we can connect here.

  12. Katie @ simply[his]

    “For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.”

    This gives me strength and hope today. He knows my weakness and all He asks is that I rely on Him alone!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      Katie, I just love that verse. It haunts me somehow. And it is comforting knowing that He knows me like this.

  13. kerry

    This is my favorite verse! Infact my family brought me a charm with Philippians 4:12-13. It gives me strength each day!!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      My daughter has given me jewlery with scritpure verses imprinted on them as well. They represent her thoughtfulness and the truth of His words.

  14. Joanne Norton

    Yep… consistency on our part and trust of the Father to provide what’s needed. There’s not much more that we can do and grow in Him. My life-long independent attitude is one of my biggest challenges. TRUST Him and, whether my stomach is full or not, He will provide the strength. Thank you.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      The first time we had to live by faith, trusting in the generosity of others as missionaries, I truly realized how God does provide for my needs. No weekly paycheck, just checks in the mail at random and we always had what we needed down to the penny. That cured me of thinking I was the one in charge.

  15. Muthering Heights

    Yes…and we learn lessons in those circumstances that we never could have otherwise!

    • Redemption's Beauty

      So true! And I try to remember that when it comes to my children and expectations. That they will have to learn those lessons too, even though they are painful and I don’t want them to feel pain. So glad you visited!

  16. simplystriving

    Love how the ESV says “He knows our frame….”
    Thanks for opening my eyes to see this verse in a whole new light! don’t you just love multiple translations? we’re so blessed…
    Beautiful post, Shelly. will be pulling my covers up tight tonight 😉

    • Redemption's Beauty

      I love the way it says it too, it spoke to me deeply when I read it. Me too, Nikki, pulling them over me and thanking Him for His goodness in all things.

  17. tara // pohlkotte press

    oh, these are years not too far behind me. a broken furnace with no money to replace, two small babies by the crackling fire stoked by my husband who looked in my eyes, searching for the answer of what to do… bless you for sharing your stories, for they help me remember mine.

    • Redemption's Beauty

      They shape us don’t they, those hard times? I wouldn’t want to do them over but I am thankful for the lessons learned and the ability it gives me to relate to others. Like sitting among Rwandan students and feeling like one of them.

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