SAFE AS HOUSES

Roy and CariBY: ROY STONE

E-MAIL ADDRESS: roy@lifeassembly.com

BIBLE TEXT: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” –Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

PERSONAL REFLECTION: As Christians — and especially as pastors — it is often so very easy to be speaking with someone and just spout off a verse. We say, “This is what God says, so trust Him,” but when change comes to our threshold it is a bit tougher to follow our own advice. The verse above is one that most of us know and hold to, but in times of testing we find that our grip on this verse sometimes slips.

My wife, Cari, and I have been fortunate to live in the little house up by the church for the past 13 years. We rented and were very happy there. It gave Cari quick access to the interstate for her commute to work each day as well as easy accessibility for me to get to the church, but back in December, the house was sold. I thought, “Ok, no problem. We’ll just find another house to rent.” This is when things got tough. You see, for the past 13 years our rent has been around $800 a month. I did not know how this rent compared to others, but when I began looking for a replacement house I found out that God has REALLY blessed us all these years because the average rent in this area is $1500! I nearly fainted.

We began to pray to God to help us find a rental that we could afford but nothing came up and our budget could not afford such outrageous rental prices. Part of me began to wonder, “Where is God in this? He knows my need. Why has He not provided?”

Pastor Andrew asked me, “Why not purchase a home instead of renting?” Well, that question brought about an ugly answer. Back in 2011, Cari and I ended up in bad financial shape and lost everything. In debt up to our eyeballs, we went through Dave Ramsey’s program. We got out of debt and began living a cash-in, cash-out life. No credit cards, no car payments… which meant no credit of any kind. If we could not afford it, we did not buy it. This was great except that our credit score after 17 years of living “off the radar” became zero. This meant there was no way to get a loan to purchase a house. Pastor said, “Go to the bank and ask… all they can do is say no.”

 And he was correct. They said no.

My faith struggled. We needed a miracle. In the natural, there was no way this could work out. Depressed, Cari and I were really seeking God on this issue and we were not finding answers. Where was that miracle? I know sometimes God’s view is different than ours, but we felt that we needed an answer.

Struggling to hold onto His promise, a couple months later, I was told to try another bank. I thought, “Why? There is no chance.” I went and they looked at our financial situation. Then to my utter surprise, they said, “No problem.” Two months of house hunting later (which was another test of faith in itself) we found our new home. God is good. Even when our faith wavers, God is there.

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Cari and I have always trusted God in every part of our lives and our faith has been tested at times. But we have found that even when we see no way in the natural, God has a PLAN.

PRAYER: Lord, I thank you for your constant care. Even in our times of debt, You’re there. Help me daily to seek you and to know, “Thus Saith the Lord.”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Roy grew up in the carnival and circus, traveling week-to-week across America with sideshows, games, food concessions, and more. At the age of nineteen he left that nomadic life to settle in Crossville, Tennessee. There he came to know the Lord as his Savior and met his wife, Cari. Roy and Cari have been the children’s pastors at Life for the past 15 years.

2 Comments

  1. by carol bohannon

    On May 15, 2017

    i worked with Roy in crossville many years ago,his heart even back then was God and leading children to Him,,Wish him all the joy life has

  2. by David Mitchell

    On May 15, 2017

    So glad to see God move on behalf of my dear friends. Now I pray that He continues to meet the need and provide the way where there is no way. What a mighty God we serve! Congratulations to the new Home Owners!

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