So here we go again into a world of financial worries, an uncertain future, and an open book for God to write whatever He wants in. It has been almost a week since Tim found out his full time job will be eliminated in a matter of weeks. A few people have commended us on our faith and peacefulness in the midst of this. I feel we should come clean about the whole thing though…. How are we really faring?
In all honesty, we were doing fabulous all last week. We were models of Christian patience and trust. We kept looking at each other and saying, “You know this is absolutely for the best. God has something great planned for us and it will be exciting to see where He leads us.” We meant it, too. We really were filled with peace. We really were curious about the future, it being so unpredictable at this point in life. And we talked about how our last bout with un-employment was so full of God’s blessings and opportunities to grow in faith. Like I said, we really meant it all and were fine.
Today starts week number 2 and, though Tim is still going to work in the mornings as before (for now), the reality of our uncertain future keeps rearing its ugly head and our stomachs knot up in stress and anxiety. I find myself, especially at bedtime, counting the days of “normalcy” left and wondering what will come next. Sleep has taken a little longer to come the last night or two. It has come, and been restful at that, but it has been preceded by a time of tossing and turning and trying to ignore the “what-ifs” that plague me in the dark. Even during the day, there have been moments of panic when I think about no money, and bills that won’t go away, and weeks stretching into months. Peace usually returns pretty quickly but there is a sense of fear sort of lurking nearby, ready to pounce and steal it away again. If we are truly to rely on our faith to get through this, or any other trial in life no matter how big or small, it is not really about how we react in the peaceful moments though. Rather, we live our faith in those moments when we are racked with fear and worry and cannot figure out how we might put food on the table and stay on top of our bills without enough money coming in. It is then that we must turn to God, throw our hands up in defeat, and hand it all over to Him, “Provide for us Lord, as only You can. Help us to depend, not on worldly comforts, but on your love. See us through our present anxiety and be with us in our moments of doubt.”
When life feels predictable, when it feels easy and things are going my way, I sometimes forget to think about God. I sometimes feel as if I have it all under control and don‘t really need Him much. The truth is, no matter how much I want to be in control, no matter how much I feel in control, I am not in control. Not when life seems predictable and easy, not when life seems to be going my way, and not when life is falling apart around me either. None of it really depends on me. It is all in God’s hands and a part of His plan, and though I will surely continue to have moments when I lose sight of that and feel swallowed by fear, all I really need to do is turn to Him. I know that this may not be an easy road ahead of us. Certainly worse things could happen, but peace will probably continue to be fleeting, and fear and worry will likely continue to pursue us. Still, if our goal is heaven (not just a new job) and, of course, it is, we must keep going forward in faith. We must follow the path God has laid for us, letting Him guide us… through the desert, over the mountain, wherever He may take us. Am I at peace with that? Not necessarily. Certainly not every moment of the day, but we are in the situation we are in and worrying will not change it. We have no choice but to rely on our faith. The coming weeks and months may not be easy or fun but this latest turn in the road is sure to be an exciting and unpredictable part of the journey, a journey I cannot even imagine taking without Jesus to guide me, and, at times, to carry me through.