BY SUMMER WILLIAMS
"You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. (Matthew 8:26)
If anything sums up my December every single year, it has to be this verse. For the past three years that I have been at CGM - working as a fundraiser - I sweat the entire last month from the 1st to the 31st, all day, every day. This month is one of the most important determinants of how our fundraising year will end. It undoubtedly affects how 2016 will look – how many children we will be able to serve, the number of teachers we can hire, the types of programs we will be able to offer.
There is a lot weighing on what comes in during December, not only for the month, but the year in its entirety. It is stressful to say the least.
This is when I begin to doubt and worry. In the midst of all this, I pray and petition on behalf of the children, families and co-workers that I love. “Dear Lord, please see my heart and my efforts and use this year and the coming year to work in the neighborhood. Please see fit to bless us with the proper finances to enter 2016 so that we may love others well for yet another year.” I plead, wrestle, and bargain. “If you just get us through this year, I promise I will work harder in 2016 and give you all I have.”
I prayed for a very specific amount during the month of December. It was a lofty goal and one that has never been raised in the final 31 days of prior years. But I was hopeful in November. The last week of December rolled around and I watched the deposits daily, checked online donations and went in to the office to review what had come in. And we were nowhere even close to the goal I had originally established. This when I felt like I was watching the giant storm on the horizon, knowing that it would pummel my boat all while Jesus sleeps. Everything would be flipped upside down.
Thankfully I have a calm and understanding boss that is always there to listen to my concerns. I would talk to Bryan and throughout all of this he remained extremely positive and affirmed my fundraising efforts of the past 12 months. I, however, was still anxious and not looking forward to reporting our final numbers.
And then the winds calmed.
And the Lord showed me that the fear was in vain. He showed me that my faith was little. He showed me that He was in control. He is for Common Ground Montgomery and the Washington Park neighborhood and wants to see disciples made, trauma healed, people loved well, and families restored.
I boast on His behalf, and His behalf alone, when I say that we met our December goal. I sit here today humbled by God’s provision and your generosity. Like the disciples, I find myself asking over and over again what sort of man is this? The kind of man that handles all of the storms of life and tells them to be calm. The sort of man that is constantly reminding us of His love for us.
So these are not simply donations that I am entering into the database but gifts that are helping to grow the kingdom, investments in to people's lives. These donations are constant reminders of his provision and your submission to his calling. Thank you to each and every one of you that listened to His voice prompting you to donate. It is because of you that the kingdom grows daily.