The big word is always TRUST.
We all know one of life's Big Questions is "where is God when bad things happen", or some variation of that. One of the things that has been pressing close to my heart this past week is from Romans 8.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (Romans 8. 35 NLT)
What I hear in this passage is that regardless of my circumstances, I am still God's beloved child (I John 3.2) and I will never be snatched out of His hand. (John 10.28) Unless I willingly choose to step out of His protection in pursuit of my own selfish pleasures of this world, unless I am turning my back on God's will for my life, I am and will be, forever firmly planted in His care.
It's been difficult to understand this long stretch of financial challenges Bruce and I have been traveling. If Life is a Road then there have been times when it feels like ours looks like this:
The hills and the valleys both bring challenges, the hairpin curves feel threatening, fog and rain make it difficult to navigate. There's been flat tires, engine failures and empty gas tanks. We've had to get out and push the car up the hill some days. (I'm speaking metaphorically, you understand) And it's been difficult to comprehend because it's not like we drive a clunker. In other words.... we are persistent in trying to follow what we believe is God's will.
What it comes down to in this life is this: Trust. It's so crucial isn't it? I have to trust other people in order to build real relationships with them. I have to trust that things we set out to do will yield positive results. And I have to trust that God's Word is true. Trusting that God has the best plan for my life. Trusting that whatever life brings, nothing can snatch me out of His hand.
This week we got the news about the job Bruce applied for. The answer was a disappointing no. I thought I would be crushed by this, based on how badly I was rooting for it. The funny thing is, I did feel sad and disappointed and yet ...not without hope. While my first thought was "noooooooo!!!", my second thought was "God has something else in mind."
There have been times I have wondered if we were somehow being punished for something we did--which I could accept being in dire straights if we were operating under illegal or immoral principles. I'd get it if we were lazy people who didn't want to work. But the God I know doesn't operate that way for people who follow Him. I don't follow the 'name it and claim it' theology but I do believe God wants to bless us. I am learning however that sometimes His blessings come in very different packages.
I have to trust that what we are living is all part of God's plan for our lives. That even when I can't see what the purpose of the moment is, there is a higher purpose. Whether it is to teach us or someone else a lesson, to develop something in our character that still needs refining, or to build up something in us that no one can tear down, I need to trust God.
I must choose to trust God. Because any other option will break me.
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8. 38-39 NLT)