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Monday, November 10, 2008

I’ve heard it said that difficult times provide a mirror to our soul.

I’ve heard it said that difficult times provide a mirror to our soul. It’s during the most difficult of times that we find out who we really are, what we really believe. But it’s those same difficult times that give God His best opportunities to shine and to really show us how much He cares.

I’ve already seen it a half dozen times in recent weeks. Like most of us, some of my Ridgies are feeling the squeeze of a poor economy. My family is doing like most of yours and taking more sack lunches, turning off our lights more frequently and cutting more coupons to insure that a down economy doesn’t catch us off guard. But some of my families are already being damaged by the financial woes. Let me tell you a tale of two families.

Family A has been hit by income too low to keep up their lifestyle. Their income has been driven lower than normal by the hit that his industry has taken. Since the day the news first became obvious to them, they have scrambled around with great effort to try and figure out how to stop the bleeding. When I spoke to them, the lengthy conversation never revealed one word of prayer, God, surrender or priority. Rather, there were apologies that they had cut back on their tithing to make sure they could make ends meet…God will understand.

Family B has been hit equally hard. Struggling with a low income that couldn’t get much lower. Just wanting to do the right thing for their kids. When they first mentioned this to me over lunch, we talked about some ideas for re-arranging priorities, dumping some debt and learning to live within their means. I knew they would be alright because the last request before we parted company was, “Would you pray with us, Ridley? We know with all our heart that God will take care of our needs. We simply have to surrender.” They got it right.

Now, the two families above aren’t real. Well, actually, they are. They are compilations of dozens of phone calls and meetings I have had with people in recent weeks. They are all families that have been struck by the aforementioned difficult times. And their character is showing. My prayer is that all of us would learn to trust God in ALL things—good and bad. Knowing God intimately in the best of times makes our confidence in Him more steadfast in the worst. Let me close with this encouragement from David.

“The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord; he is their stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 37:39 NIV

1 comment:

carterfsmith said...

I've spent time living in Family A, and cannot count the number of times that "I" did all "I" could to make things work. It was only after HE tapped me on the shoulder to see if I was smart enough to turn it over to HIM that I realized that I was incapable of making decisions that considered not only the past and present, but also the future (HE's got the inside scoop on that, right?).

It's counterintuitive for the human mind to consider it a demonstration of strength when we admit our weakness, but when our strength is compared to God, it's more of an IQ test, isn't it?