Here is the post that I started working on last Friday.
The unexpected journey continues. As I write this I am sitting at the airline gate waiting the call to board the plane. After nearly two-years in storage we are finally going to retrieve our personal belongings. We will, yet again, discover things we could not live without. We will undoubtedly have things that will make their way into someone else’s loving care. I am certain there will even be items that will be discarded. This is the weekend that we begin to get situated in a new—in the sense of it being where we live—home. The flight will be followed by several hours of loading the truck followed by 12-hours of driving. That of course will be followed by hours of unpacking, sorting, organizing and placing into just the right spot. On the other hand, a very interesting challenge is unfolding concerning our finances. Everything the previous three-weeks were, this past week wasn’t. Everything that flowed so smoothly suddenly came to a crashing halt. The week ended—a day early—a full week short of where it needs to be in order to hit the mark I spoke about last week. I had mixed emotions all week long. I knew I heard the voice of the Lord and this wasn’t supposed to be happening. I struggled with doing what I was supposed to do and resting in the Father’s trust to do what he said he would do. My mind screamed at me while my emotions attempted to run wild. Each morning driving into work I prayed; each evening driving home, I prayed. Nothing seemed to work. The joy of the previous weeks ran as fast as it could to get away from me. The awaiting depression was all too eager to step in and take its place. The accusations were hurled at me like professional grade fastballs. It was a full-on battle. I knew better than to give into any of it. But what I couldn’t understand is why there was no relief when I prayed. Let me be clear, I knew this was an attack. I could liken it to a Hollywood fight scene where the hero is facing overwhelming odds; but valiantly fights on unwilling to surrender. Then it happened! Thursday morning—the last opportunity of the month—began the same way each preceding morning began. My wife needed some school assistance, which caused me to later than usual. While in-route my coffee decided it would be better running down the front of my shirt and pants than down my throat. “This is great!,” I thought, “Now I will be even later.” I cannot explain it, but something happened while I was turning the car around to return home to change clothes. Nothing had changed, and yet everything was all right. I arrived at work and had an incredible day. However, I am still short of the goal that I believe the Lord said I would have for the month. It remains to be seen what the Father will do!
The call to board came and I shut it down to get on the plane fully expecting to “write-on” once on board. That did not happen. The guy next to me was so large—he must have been a body builder—that all I could do was look out the window. I did the next best thing; I slept. The connecting flight had me running to the opposite side of the airport to find my gate. I only had time to grab a cup of coffee before boarding began. The flight only lasted 20-minutes which was enough time for the coffee to reach my bladder—I had to go! Once back in my seat the captain announces our initial descent into the airport. The game was on. For the next 60—hours I was either driving a 22-foot diesel truck, unloading a 22-foot diesel truck or reloading/unloading at 22-diesel truck. I slept a total of about10-hours during that time.
Back at work several things happened that both challenged my heart and opened my understanding about our walk with Father God. I ended the month $12,000 short of the goal that the Lord told me I would reach, but exceeded a threshold to receive a bonus. There was a family that was supposed to come in while I was away that would have placed me where I needed to be. I struggled with that all week. I wasn’t the least bit upset with the family or the manager who was going to take care of things in my absence. I was upset with God. “You said, I would make this much this month. You said I would make this much each week,” I said to him through tears. “Had that family come in, it would have been there. I thought sure that you were there working everything into place; but you didn’t! Why,” I screamed? The Father’s voice was nowhere to be heard. The comfort of the Holy Spirit was nowhere to be found. The reassuring love of Jesus was only vaguely felt. I couldn’t understand. I wanted to understand. I have committed my life to following the godhead; this wasn’t supposed to be happening and yet it was. WHY? Please understand that I wasn’t blaming God. I was hurt and not understanding how something he said did not turn out the way he said it would turn out. I have experienced far too much to point a finger of accusation at the godhead. Our relationship is way to secure for me to pack my bags and leave. I was hurt and wanted answers—answers he was not willing to give me. After my initial vomiting of raw emotions, I began to thank him for the blessings that had taken place during the 72-hours to retrieve our belongings. Everything went like clockwork. The weather could not have been better. My wife and I never even had a cross-word. My mother-in-law and I never had a cross-word. For the most part, the children were compliant! At some point during this time I heard the still small voice of the Lord speak to me. “You lied,” he said. “What are you talking about,” responded? “You attributed something to me that I never told you.” With that I knew—it is just an internal knowing that permeates your body—what he meant. I realized that I was the one who came up with the figures of what each week and month needed in order to make the necessary numbers. I saw how the grace of the Father had allowed the first three-weeks to go the way they did. I then understood that the last week was the Father’s mercy at work despite my troubled emotions and lack of trusting him. Then I wondered how often this scenario has played out in the lives of people throughout Christendom. How many times has something been attributed something to God only to have his children get angry and walk away when it doesn’t happen that way? Relationship is about building trust and trust is about resting in the midst of adversity because of the strength of the relationship. This goes deep. Perhaps I will be able to put a separate writing on the site about it. The journey is far from over. You do not walk out of the forest onto the yellow-brick road of sunshine and lollipops. Both relationships and trust are forged in adversity. This is how Abraham could tie up his son, place him on an altar of sacrifice and raise a knife to slay him. This is how David could hide in caves fleeing for his life. This is how Jesus could endure such suffering to die on a criminal’s cross.