Have you ever wondered how you survived through a particularly difficult stretch of your life? I think we all have. Coming out the other side of a trial one might be tempted to say they could chalk their emergence up as tough mental strength, great personal character, an innate ability to problem solve, or even luck. But there are also the times in which control is wrested from our grasp and we are helpless to change the circumstance we are in.
With that as a backdrop, it has been an exceptionally difficult year for us. After a personal failure, a sudden job loss, moving across the country, and getting established in an area that has a much higher cost of living than we are accustomed to, we have been hit on every front possible. The financial expenses depleted all we had, even retirement. But the costs have been way more than monetary, with many of those being relationships, physical problems, and emotional stresses, it has all been nigh unto catastrophic in reality.I awoke early one morning thinking about the many amazing ways God has walked with my wife and I through this time.
There is a depth of trust in God that is born in the inferno of tragedy and loss.
Through failure and the resulting consequences, there has grown a reliance on our Savior that has a strong foundation not easily shaken. As we have navigated the complexity of these rough waters, we have been learning that there is ultimately one source of our hope in this life. There is only one we can rely on in any and all difficulties.
The beautiful thing is, when we relinquish the thought that everything is in our control, we gain such freedom; and blessings we never ever dreamt of or thought possible begin to happen. Consider the stress that is lessened when we realize some things are too enormous for us to figure out, that there are challenges beyond our ability to find a solution. When the obstacles are so huge, we can go one or more ways, such as despair, resignation, hopelessness, yes, giving up totally. (I have done many of those things through a series of actions in my life.)
God has been faithful. I have found a trust in God through it all that has jumped off the pages of scripture and become the truth of life, with confidence in God that goes far beyond whether or not some petty want or desire will be granted.
I am learning to depend on him in the unknowns of personal illness, the uncertainty of financial need, and the invisible and unquantifiable workings of His Spirit that make every new day possible.
He has been with us so beautifully and completely that to trust in anything less than God alone seems ridiculous. I pray that we stay here; when the blessings again overflow and His voice is so plainly heard in the quietness of the flowing stream, and the leaves rustling in the gentle breeze. That in the crashing thunder, terrifying lightning, and driving rain of the storms to come, we will run into the shelter of His love, mercy, and grace.