You run your card through the machine a second time, a third time, a fourth. But each time, you see the same words pop up on the screen, screaming at you as the machine angrily beeps: DECLINED.
Frantically, you search through your bag for cash, loose change, anything. Nothing.
You think, Okay, maybe I can do this. I can make this work.
You ask the cashier to take off the extra loaf of bread. You tell yourself you can get rid of the carton of eggs, the box of cereal, the hand soap.
Then you run your card a final time. But, still, it’s not enough.
Customers waiting behind you in line begin to grumble. You can feel their hot stares. You see a few of them grab their carts and stomp away to a different checkout line.
Briefly, with a surge of dark humor, you think, “Maybe I should just start bartering with the cashier.
But you don’t. Instead you politely apologize, watch the cashier place your bags behind the counter, and leave empty-handed.
Left with Nothing, Given Everything
When you’re caught at the end of a checkout line with no money in your bank account to pay for your purchases, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, humiliated, and defeated.
But even in those incredibly jarring and stressful moments, God is with you. With God, you do not need to feel defeated. Instead, you can rest in the comfort and assurance of God’s protection over you—even when you feel like you are left with nothing.
If you’re wracked with financial dread today, I invite you to meditate on these Bible verses of hope and safety:
- Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God's peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. — Philippians 4:6-7 (GNTD)
- May God, the source of hope, fill you with all joy and peace by means of your faith in him, so that your hope will continue to grow by the power of the Holy Spirit. — Romans 15:13 (GNTD)
- Leave all your worries with him, because he cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7 (GNTD)
- The LORD himself will lead you and be with you. He will not fail you or abandon you, so do not lose courage or be afraid. — Deuteronomy 31:8 (GNTD)
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