Do you ever struggle with finances? Our friend, Fran, has some important lessons to learn about managing her money. I tell this on-going story as though Fran is having a personal conversation with Jesus throughout her day because the fact is, as Christians, we do have his presence all the time. We need to learn to practice it more, and hopefully Fran will help us learn how to do that.

After Fran gets the kids in bed this evening, she says to herself, “It’s the first of the month. I’ve got to pay bills tonight.”

One of the toughest aspects of being single for Fran is the total responsibility of the finances, which now rests on her shoulders since the death of her husband, Jim. Of course, it’s particularly difficult because there’s hardly ever enough money to pay all the bills. She and Jim had moved into their home three years before he died, but on her salary the mortgage payment is pretty steep.

“Well, what bills will I pull out of the hat this month? Good grief that phone bill is ridiculous. And this dental bill for Alice. All she had was one small cavity; you’d think from this bill she had a new set of teeth put in,” Fran fumes.

“Oh great,” she exclaims, “I’m $200 short this month. If the kids just didn’t have to eat, I guess we could get by!”

“But don’t forget,” Jesus says to her, catching her by surprise, “I’ve promised to take care of you. You will not be brought to shame, or go hungry, or miss anything you need.”

Fran wasn’t aware of his presence until he spoke to her, and then she felt a little annoyed. “Yeah, but I still have to pay these bills and that takes money.”

“Well, Fran, take a look at your bills. Which ones can be eliminated or reduced?” Jesus asks in his calm and logical manner.

“Well, this cable TV bill—I guess that could be eliminated. But the kids enjoy the Disney Channel,” Fran rationalizes.

“Yes, but they have a lot of good Disney videos, and your mom has bought them several Bible videos,” Jesus reminds her. “Don’t you think that’s enough?”

“Yeah, you’re right. It’s just easy for me to plop them down in front of the television when I’m tired or busy,” Fran candidly admits. “But I’ll cancel the cable tomorrow.”

Looking through the rest of the bills, she says, “There’s really not much else here I can do away with. I know I could sell the house and live somewhere cheaper, but. . .” That’s the one thing Fran doesn’t want to think about. “I love my home, Lord,” Fran says. “And I don’t think it would be wise to move the kids.”

“Fran, it’s time for you to seek counsel,” Jesus says to her. “Remember Proverbs 20:18 which says, ‘Plans are established by seeking advice; so if you wage war, obtain guidance.’ You need to wage war against these financial woes. They’re causing you a great deal of stress and it’s getting worse, not better. So, seek some counsel.”