Japan is reeling from the series of disasters, starting with an earthquake, then a tsunami, then the problems with the nuclear facilities. One thing comes after another so fast that it is almost impossible to even regroup and regain solid footing before the next aftershock, the next disaster. A feeling of “what’s next” seems to hang over the entire situation.
In a much smaller way, our life right now resembles that scenario. First came the diagnosis of cancer followed immediately by all of the tests and chemotherapy. Then Sam lost his job, and now the new job that we had very high hopes for has fallen through. At this point we are feeling very much like we are in the rubble, and wondering if it is over, or if more is yet to come.
Yet we know that God is in control, and that his plan is in action. Does that mean it will go easily? Not necessarily. Might we struggle? Sure. We are not promised easy times or good money just because we are Christians. In fact quite the opposite. The Bible makes it very clear that trials will come in this world. But an amazing thing happens when we come to the end of ourselves and we realize that there is nothing left – we are left with two choices: giving up or trusting God.
I believe with everything in me that this entire season is happening for a reason, a vital reason. We are being prepared for something. God is pushing us to believe deeper, to trust harder, to look further than ever before. What that reason is, I have no clear idea. I do know that I have a strong pull to ministry, but what, where, how, when? That is to be revealed.
When we found out today that the “dream job” was not to happen, it was a pretty low point. We were both disappointed and sad. After some time we were talking and I asked Sam if I could read to him what I had been reading just the night before. I pulled out my Kindle and opened to the Bible in The Message format. I love that edition. I started reading, and by the time I got two sentences in, he stopped me and said, “Where are you reading from?” I said “Second Corinthians.” “What chapter?” he asked. “Four, why?” “Because”, he said, “That is just what I was reading half an hour ago downstairs.” He was reading from a different version but God had led him right to the same exact Scripture. God knows what we need.
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
That’s why we live with such good cheer. You won’t see us drooping our heads or dragging our feet! Cramped conditions here don’t get us down. They only remind us of the spacious living conditions ahead. It’s what we trust in but don’t yet see that keeps us going. Do you suppose a few ruts in the road or rocks in the path are going to stop us? When the time comes, we’ll be plenty ready to exchange exile for homecoming. But neither exile nor homecoming is the main thing. Cheerfully pleasing God is the main thing, and that’s what we aim to do, regardless of our conditions. 2 Corinthians 5: 6-10
What we need is prayer, from all of our friends who pray and have faith. The need is most urgent because of the insurance issue – COBRA is available but expensive, and if it lapses or if Sam can’t get a job with benefits, I will be uninsurable for life. Also, if anyone knows of any good jobs, please contact us. We are willing to follow the Lord wherever he leads us as long as it is his will.