When your world gets flipped upside down and all securities in life seem lost...
It was a beautiful, sunny day and my boys wanted to go to the pool. I decided it would be the perfect, quiet setting to work on a lesson I am scheduled to teach kids at church this weekend. We arrived and found a small table in the corner to work. As the kids darted off into the water, I flipped open the teachers guide and the word 'Perseverance' stared back at me. Honestly, I didn't really know the correct meaning of the word, so I read on. "Refusing to give up when life gets hard." "Hmm," I thought, "How will I relate that to young children?" I mean, how hard can life be for such a young child, when most worries stem from whether they will get to play Wii that day or not. I set the guide down on the table and watched as my son jumped off the diving board. I examined him closely and began to think of all the things in a world of 9 year olds that may represent a hard time or impossible situation. I jotted down some examples-- fighting with siblings, death of a pet, an injury, moving to a new area...the list went on and on. As I completed my list I struggled to come up with a recent example in my life to share with the kids, as the teachers guide suggested. Most examples I had didn't seem appropriate or fitting to share with a group of 3rd graders. I dismissed that section and wrapped up my lesson preparations.....or so I thought.
So now here I sit, one day later. God has allowed a fresh example into my life. An example that I rather not have to face right now. We have exactly seven days before we get added to the 9.2% unemployment rate. Uncertainty floods my mind and insecurity floods my emotions. Yet God promises that He will never give up doing what is best for us, and this fact floods my soul. I won't lie, there is a part of me that wants to have a complete pity party and scream at the top of my lungs, "Why, why, why? This isn't fair!" Honestly, what good would it do? My husband would still be without a job, and I would just make myself and those around me miserable. I know that if we give up and feel defeated, we could miss out on some incredible things that God has planned for us. When life seems impossible, we need to remember what God wants us to do. I find my thoughts often wanting to focus on the how's; how will we make our house payment, how will we pay our utilities. They are legit questions that really need to have an answer. Yet there is a comfort deep within me that screams from the depths of my soul, "It's okay, I am with you, and I have this all under control. Just trust me." It is in those moments that I find myself gazing out the window and find peace in knowing that my God is bigger than any obstacle I may face. If anything, I am going to enjoy the challenge of adjusting our wants, substituting needs, and making a dollar go a whole lot further than it already does in our frugal household. That means no more luxuries such as TV service, and our yummy home cooked meals are now being taken hostage by Top Ramen noodles and frozen pot pies. Nobody said it would be easy, nor fun. But, I can't help but cling to the hope that something better is truly coming our way. I don't want to view this as a problem or obstacle, yet as a blessing to something much bigger.
I don't know what you are facing today, but my prayer is that you too will cling to the one who can calm even the darkest storm. Remember, God is so powerful and loves us so much that He can take the worst situation and use it to do something good for us and in us. No one else can do that, and that is the very reason I put my faith in Him and Him alone. Your job is not to figure out why you were placed in a difficult situation. Your job is to trust that God will bring good from it. As I have challenged myself, I also challenge you to turn your panic into perseverance.
"Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40.31 (NIV)