The below deovtional email awaited me this morning. God is always so good to reming us that He loves us and is walking with us. If you read my earlier post you will understand why I was greatly encouraged by this as I truly know that it is because of the extended darkness that I have learned to walk by faith. Many blessings.
From Adversity to Destiny
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
“The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position” (James 1:9).Most of us avoid pain. We keep our medicine cabinets loaded with pain relievers. We couldn’t imagine major surgery without an anesthetic. We are so averse to pain that we think God must desire that we will experience pain-free lives. After all, a loving God surely wouldn’t want us to suffer pain, would He? Although God takes no pleasure in our pain, we have to acknowledge that He sometimes allows painful circumstances to occur in our lives in order to shape us and make us more like Christ. Sometimes our times of despair turn out to be a much needed light into our soul.
I once came across the following poem written by an anonymous Confederate soldier, a devout young man who fought in the American Civil War. The lines of this poem express the soul of a man who has learned to view his times of adversity from a different perspective:
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve;
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked God for health, that I might do greater things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy;
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life;
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among men, most richly blessed.*
Do we trust God to lead us even though we can’t see the pathway in front of us? Do we trust Him to be all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful? Do we believe He does all things well? As Paul wrote, “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23). That’s why God leads us through the dark places.
Only in the darkness do we learn to walk by faith.
I compared my life to GPS in my last blog “recalculating route,” but since then I would now compare life to a yo-yo. You know that up and down sensation? One minute I am up being firmly held only to be hoisted into a downward spin where I spin like crazy. What a month!!!
Well let’s begin with the good news Caryn is home safe and sound from Namibia as of July 3rd. Actually this time she was ready to come home and has assimilated nicely back into family life other than jet lag which had her slow moving for several days but now she is the bright cheery girl we enjoy. Be sure to visit her blog to see photos.When I last wrote on June 4th we just had found out we had until the end of July to find a new place to live as our rent house had been sold. Well, we still do not know where we will be moving to. Back in June we sensed we were to wait until July 15th to make a firm decision as to where we were go. We have looked at so many options. We found a great lease house however they would only accept a year lease and if the company sales we would like to buy ASAP plus I do not want to spend another summer moving. Then we tried to get a 6 month lease at an apartment but they lost our paper work and we talk to a friend’s friend who just moved out and had nothing but bad things to say so another door was closed. Yikes! the 15th is only 3 days away and I can’t wait to see why we were to wait. Oh how I wish we could have an extra week. I have packed about 75% of the house which includes about 30+ banker boxes of books – with each move I curse all the books we have. Many books have been collected over time because of home schooling. My personal desire/dream would be that when we move out on July 30th we will know our new address and home location for the next 2-3 years. A big request – it’s bold and specific.Moving is hard on the body as mine will attest to as currently it has gone on strike physically. Wednesday afternoon I was simply bending over a box to write the contents when I could hardly move. The muscles in my lower back are so tight that bending over to brush my teeth is difficult and painful. Think about the many things one does bending over – tie shoes, put on pants, etc… Also sitting for long periods is not comfortable. Needless to say this is NOT good timing for my back to act up as we have a move and many boxes left to pack. Currently I can’t pack or lift boxes even if I wanted to. So again it seems as if God is telling me to wait. I sure hope God provides help.
I went to see my doctor Friday and he asks me whether I’m experiencing any stress? Was that a trick question or was he just being funny? Hum! Let’s see, Jon is trying to sell the company, I had a talk to prepare and give on 7/13, there’s the upcoming move but we don’t know where we are moving to, this back pain is ranking right up there with childbirth pain at times, and then there’s life. Of course I’m stressed how can one live in America and not be stressed? I’m not anxious and I truly trust God to come through but internally my body is not doing well with everything going on.
On June 23rd BiM (our company) was given a thumbs up, a YES, a green light by ______ company. Needless to say we are thrill but cautiously excited as we have been down this road before. Now my life sort of feels like the Bill Murray character in Groundhog Day, I wake up each day waiting for it to be “the day” but it’s still the same old same with no new insight or written offer. The day turns into weeks but hopefully not months. So here we are almost three weeks later and still nothing to back up the verbal yes. This past week began with certainty that we should receive the written offer from the potential buyer only to basically be told they were going to slow the process down but were still really interested and planned to continue talks after their vacation – sort of an oxymoron. Needless to say this was not exciting news for us and seeing Jon’s face after he read the email Monday was a sight I will not soon forget. By God’s grace and prayers the deal seems to be back on track and they are working hard (so we are told) to get BiM an offer by next week before the lead M&A guy takes off the month of August. Can you imagine having a whole month for vacation? Actually that sounds wonderful. Anyway another week has come and gone and the discouragement slowly continues to grow as I have been through this scenario before only to have it NOT end favorably.
The blessing in disguise this week was preparing a talk for the “Get Trained” class Jon & I are participating in at church (Austin Stone). Being in the word and preparing has helped me keep a God focus. I am so thankful for the anchor I have in my Father. I cling to Him and trust that His timing is perfect. I do have those wavering moments where I plummet downward but as I get back into God’s word and focus on His truths, promises and past deeds I return to the secuity of His hand. I allow Him to influence my life and it is only during those faith moments the yo-yo is firmly held in the Fathers loving hands. It’s my choice where I stay.
I will soon publish my talk Who or What is Influencing You?