Many of you have read posts by my wife, or me, describing the difficult year we have had as a family. “Difficult” would be an understatement. Traumatic or gut-wrenching might be more accurate. We have faced some things with a few of our children that have brought us to our knees. We are learning every single day what it means to trust God for everything. And I mean everything!
Although we’ve written from an honest and open perspective, it has been a bit difficult to put the journey we’re on into words. That is, until last Sunday, when I saw this video:
God could have left us alone, just like He could have left Job alone. If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Job from the Old Testament, he pretty much had it all- wealth, power, notoriety, material possessions, you name it.
His life was every bit of comfortable too- mansions, livestock (a big deal in Biblical times), house servants, and more. But, the most important thing to note about Job was that he was a God-fearing man.
This was all about to be put to the test. His whole existence was suddenly turned upside down when all hell breaks loose. Literally. Satan wagers with God that if Job had everything taken away from him, he would cease to trust in God and curse His name. God disagrees but allows Satan to strike Job. In an instance all that Job had (mansions, livestock, house servants, children, wealth) was gone. Reduced to nothing more than a pile of ashes.
His comfortable life was interrupted. Good thing too. When you look deeply at Job’s life, you see a man who lived upright in every way. He was morally and ethically sound. He was a person of great character and integrity. But he was comfortable to the point of missing some glaring issues. His children were self-centered jerks. His wife was a bitter, nasty, “quarrelsome” gossip. While Job had it together personally, everybody around him was falling apart. In many ways, all that he had, prevented him from seeing all that really wasn’t.
And then God interrupted.
We can personally identify with this story. Truth is, we are people who live by integrity and character. It’s a huge deal in our family. We live moral and ethically sound lives as well. We go to church and we “fear the Lord.” Heck, I’m even paid to be a Christian (okay, more like, I’m a pastor :-)). In terms of right and wrong, we live upright in every way. But, we discovered something a few months ago: we had grown comfortable.
Comfortable with our nice house. Comfortable with our generous salary. Comfortable with all the stuff we had. And the most importantly- comfortable believing that our kids were making good choices on their own.
We were comfortable with life. In retrospect, too comfortable!
And then God interrupted.
It was devastating. What we thought were the walls of life caving in on us was actually an awakening.
We discovered that some of our kids were not okay, and were not making wise choices. My comfortable salary was reduced because of financial cutbacks at the church. We could still have afforded our nice house, but it really was preventing us from saving and giving the way we wanted too. I personally realized that, for years, I was just comfortable with the fact that I could say I had a nice house and a lot of nice stuff.
All of this stuff that we thought made us happy really was slowly consuming us alive.
On our knees, broken, searching, and crying out, we discovered an important truth- life is found, not in having a lot of stuff, or looking like we have it all together outwardly, but in living every day with abandon, fullness and complete trust that a merciful Father is holding on to us. We were renewed to the fact that our precious children were our top priority. We heeded a deep challenge to live simple, give stuff away like crazy, and love the relationships we have been blessed to have with all of our hearts.
God could have left us alone, but I’m sure glad He didn’t. I’m glad He interrupted our life!
Oh, and if you want a little hope, read the end of Job (chapter 42). Through all of the hell he went through, Job never lost sight of the Lord. He stayed faithful and the Lord rewarded him for that. He was blessed even more than he was originally!
That’s a promise I can live with.
Question: Have you had your life interrupted? Share your story. You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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