One of two things can happen to a Christian when he suffers. First, he can turn away from the Lord in anger and go his own way, or second, he can fall into the arms of Christ and seek refuge, deciding to trust the Lord above anything else. I must say that when I suffer, I’m a combination of the two. I have never truly turned away from the Lord, nor have I ever truly given myself up totally to Him.
Many may already know that my husband and I have been facing a severe and terrifying life redirection. It has been frustrating because it was only a year and a half ago that we believed we had found the right path for our family and jumped head first into our new life. Well, this new and permanent lifestyle has already faded away and we are embarking upon a different adventure, a very perilous adventure so far.
To the world and often to us, it appears we are not using common sense to deal with our struggles. Despite the financial difficulties that have come with having a sick husband and a precarious job situation, we have decided, against all odds, that I will not return to work full time. This decision, at times, seems downright ludicrous. Thankfully, it only stays ludicrous for a few minutes until Heaven’s voice returns once again and we recognize God’s hand in our decision.
A nonbeliever does not have the capacity to understand why a family with a perfectly healthy mother would choose not to send her back to work in order to, ya know, buy food for the family. However, to the Christian, I believe the only thing we need to say to defend our decision is this: God has placed us on this path and we will trust in Him.
There have been more times than I care to admit when I have begun seeking my own solution to our difficulties. I have planned to substitute teach, clean houses, or land myself a number of part-time jobs. However, when I begin to take my life into my own hands for the purpose of restoring some order to the chaos that my husband and I face each day, God never fails to remind me that He wants me home with my children. The reason why He asks this of me, I really have no idea. It is not that I am unwilling or unable to return to work in some capacity, despite the fact that Baby #2 will be greeting us in six weeks; it is simply that we know the Lord desires for my husband and I to step out in faith and continue on His path for us, and there is no doubt that we are on His path, no matter how perilous it may currently be.
The decision to trust God when it goes against every ounce of common sense in your body is somewhat of a thrill. I find myself lying awake at night and, instead of worrying, dreaming of the possibilities that God’s plan may hold for my family. I hope and pray that my husband and I will be rewarded for our faithfulness, even though our faithfulness regularly crumbles into panic. I also hope and pray that this reward will come within the next few days, rather than our suffering be prolonged much longer. No matter how long my husband and I will battle the uncertainty of his health or career, at the end of the day, I can take a deep breath and believe that God holds us in His hands. I am not always confident or even willing to admit this because my fear triumphs over God’s peace much of the time.
My fear most often triumphs over my peace in God when I start believing what the world is saying. To the world, I must return to work. To the world, only the few and the proud are blessed enough to survive off one income, and I am no longer the blessed. To the world, my husband and I have only a few months to go before our home becomes a box on the street.
For me, the world seems to be right, except for the fact that I live for God—not the world. I am more concerned about what God thinks, and He has told us time and time and time again that He is all the provision we need. He has provided for us in unimaginable ways, and I know He will continue to do so. He has shown us in the darkest hours of my husband’s sickness that we are already reconciled to Him, and because of this, we can rest safely in His arms, even when all seems lost.
I don’t know what God has planned for our family and our future is extremely uncertain. I have never handled uncertainty well, and I ask God each day to pull us out of our trials. It is in the moments that God does not pull us out, that I realize we are being refined by fire. I realize how far my faith has come in three short months of difficulty. I realize that even though I would give anything to go my own way, I am safest amid God’s plan, and God has never promised to make it a smooth ride. Someday, I know I will thank Him for that.
It is a great blessing when our Father asks us to blindly follow Him off a cliff. It is when He asks us to move aside and let Him show us what He can do that we get a glimpse of his majestic power. This is where we truly discover what it means to live for Christ. Trusting God above myself will take me to a new level in my walk with Him, and I know I will look back on this season of my life and thank God for it. Most of all, I will always be thankful that I was not standing in the way when God finally decided to reveal His plan.