Thread: Trust in the Storm
May 27th 2011, 08:35 AM #1
Trust in the Storm
What does it take to trust God when the storm is going on?
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Hello everyone and welcome back to Deeper Waters. Before doing continuing writing on presuppositionalism, I'd like to write about some of what's going on. It's not a decision I've taken lightly, but I am hoping that this can be a blessing to you readers as well as reveal to you the honest reality of what our situation is like over here.
As regular readers know, I moved to where I am a little over 3 and a half years ago to continue education. Since that time, it has been a wild ride. It was in late December of 2008 that I was offered a job with a ministry. It was much better than what I was doing then and it certainly paid a lot better so I took it. I was doing something I got to enjoy and getting paid well for it. Meanwhile, my roommate and I had found an awesome church and I'd already got to teach a number of times.
Back in August of 2009, I visited a friend who was coming to the Seminary and he told me about a girl that I should talk to. She lived in another state four hours away so I emailed her. We started talking that way and on AIM and eventually on the phone. In September, we decided that we wanted to give a dating relationship a try. The next month, I went to meet her. At the end of that month, I took her to meet my parents. With the wisdom of many counselors behind me, in December, I proposed, and she said yes.
All is going well. Right?
Then comes April with the end of the month being near. My wedding is about three months away. My boss calls me into the office wanting to talk to me and at that point, I hear the devastating news that the company can't afford to have me around any more. This was entirely out of the blue with no warning whatsoever. Thus, I'm about to get married and saving up money for a honeymoon and living with my wife (after the wedding of course) and then the rug gets pulled out from under me.
Fortunately, several friends and family came through at this time sending much in the way of donations. One kind donor who I've never even met in person sent enough money to make sure my wife and I could go on our honeymoon, and we did have a very nice one. For awhile, I had more money than I'd ever had before. Of course, wedding gifts were also coming in which were quite a help.
Still, there was no steady income coming in and in the midst of this, we saw difficulties. My pet back home had passed away recently. My grandmother later died around Thanksgiving last year. I was still unemployed. I had a sudden flare-up in my abdomen after getting back from Thanksgiving as well and it turns out it was my gallbladder and we had to have that removed. I only recently got a part-time job in retail. It brings in some, but it's not enough to cover the bills really. We've had to apply for food stamps, something that I hated to do, and even those we've run dry now. The transmission on the car could need to be worked on soon and we are looking for a new place to live as our rent is bound to go up soon.
It's been hard every time to get out the checkbook.
Still, I've tried to be a good husband and I hope I've succeeded. I do not raise my voice to my wife and if she says something or does something that needs to be addressed, I am firm but gentle in how I deal with the situation and make sure that I affirm her afterwards every time. I try to love her with the grace that I believe God has loved me with. I'd still say I have a long way to go.
Last night, we were at a college ministry that she likes to go to. Other than the leaders, I believe we are the only husband and wife there and I am quite certainly, other than the leaders, the oldest one in attendance. I found myself sitting during much of the singing. Honestly, a lot of music doesn't usually prepare me for worship. Give me 2-3 songs for 10-15 minutes and I'm fine. I know a lot of you enjoy and appreciate music more than I do. Good for you. God bless you. Somehow, I find it hard to connect with worship music often. There are exceptions. The Mrs. can tell you that when I hear "Holy, Holy, Holy" I have to sit down immediately with the awe of the God I serve.
As we listened last night however, I found myself angry over what was going on in my life and wondering where God was then. It can be hard to hear about the goodness of God and the love of God when He seems to have left you. I also think however that it is important to realize that this can be a normal attitude to have. The Psalmist had it several times and was honest entirely with what he said. I believe it was Madeline L'Engle, a Christian writer, who wrote the following:
I hate you.
It's seven short words but so much is contained in those words. L'Engle has a deep anger in her at that point, but she ends it on love. She realizes that though she does not seem to be on good speaking terms with the Almighty at this point, she does seek to trust Him and she wishes to just let Him know exactly what is going on.
That is where I was last night. Ironically, the speaker that night was speaking on a topic I do know well and at the end for Q&A, I had offered to help and so he told me to come up as well as we all answered questions and I believe the listeners loved the responses that I had to give. I often look at such answers as simple answers anyone could give, but that could be a way of discounting myself. It is not to say that the answers are everything, but they are the result of years of studying.
There I am then upset about what is going on and in fact, I use the recent history to answer a question about how God is sovereign over all things and bring up a principle that is essentially that of Romans 8. My wife and I discuss on the way home all that has happened. I tell her how things feel and she tells me how things are. She tells me the thing we have to do now is to trust in God that he will get us through.
It is odd when one who is normally the teacher gets taught the exact things he's supposed to be teaching.
So in the midst of the storm, I write to those also in the midst of the storm. In America, we know times are tough economically. The gas prices keep rising higher and higher every day. The cost of living just increases and it creates a lot of political unrest. As one at a job where donations for a Children's charity are being collected, I see firsthand that giving is down. People aren't wanting to part and a number come through my line saying "I need a donation."
In all of this, my wife is right. All we can do is trust in God. When we prayed last night, we prayed honestly. We told God we weren't happy with what was happening and that at times, he seems to be absent. However, where else can we go? As a theologian, I know the arguments that show me the nature of God and how He knows all things and the future is in His hands. It may look at the time like he does not know what He is doing, but He does.
Last night, she insisted for our Scripture reading that we read Matthew 6:25-34 about worrying. I also read Romans 8:28-30. I can say that if these events have got us focusing on Scripture, at least some good is coming out of them. Biblically, all of it will work for good. It is not saying all that is happening is good, but that it will work for good.
So if you're in those hard times too, hang in there. You're not alone. We're in them together. Don't also assume as some do that because one is in ministry the blessing of God is constantly on their life with them doing well. Oh God has blessed me indeed, especially seeing as I have a loving wife, but there are a lot of hardships at the time as well. Being a Christian does not insulate you from suffering but gives you a reason to fight on in suffering.
I hope this account has been helpful to some of you. I plan to continue our regular series soon, but today, I was of the opinion that this should be written on instead.Check the blog of Apologiaphoenix!
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