Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rubber meeting the Road

21 days.

Thats all it took for 2009 to crush the idea of 2009 being a better year than 2008. Those first 21 days were filled with anticipation of this being a great year filled with hopes and dreams fullfilled.

Then life happened.

We have finally realized that the position Steph has had for 6 months today, was being eliminated. Her position that required legal certification and a college degree has been replaced by a new position filled by someone who will answer the phone, make coffee and make a little more than McDonalds pays counter help.
We both knew this was coming but because of promises made, we both were in denial that it was coming and hoping for the best. Well as of this post, the position has been offered to someone else and not to Steph.

Denial is over.

So yesterday, after I got the call informing me of this, I of course did the typical male things: stomped around the house, fussed, was in grouchy mood, mad, wished bad things upon her boss and her entire family, thought of how I could hurt her as much as she was hurting us. Really just completely threw my Christian walk out the second story window of our house.

And just then, God showed up.

It was almost audible. He asked, "Ok you talk a big game....now, do you really trust Me? Are you really going to praise Me in the good times and in the bad or is everything that you say, just words?"
Of course it didnt help much that earlier that day I got a call from my brother in law, who is in the same boat, but doesnt have an idea on where to turn. He seems almost to the point of giving up but continues to pray.
It really got me thinking. Its so easy to say "We will praise Him when we win and when we lose, (quote from Facing the Giants that immediately came to mind) when the score is in your favor, but do we really think to praise Him when we are not winning? Do we really praise Him when the waves are crashing against us? Do we really rejoice in the dark times?
Then, last night, Focus was on the 23rd Psalm.

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He maketh me lie down in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters, He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemes; thou annointest my headwith oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. and I will dwell in the house of The Lord forever."

That is scripture that I have often overlooked. Its God's promise to all of us that He, not us, is in charge and that even though, He has put us in the place that He allows, He chose, and we are surrounded by people who want nothing more than to bring us down, to hurt us and to take our testimony, He will pour out His blessing on us and our cups will overflow.

"God gives us the valleys, so that we can appreciate the mountain tops!" - Derrick Danner

Good times are so quickly forgotten when a little dark cloud comes into the picture. Sure, times "MAY" be tight for a little while but for the last 6 months, they havent been. Steph has had a job while others did not. I have been with my current job for 7 years while others work in jobs just to have a job.
God has really blessed me and I take this for granted. I have an incredible Christian woman for a wife, 2 great families, a great dog, new position at work, house, 2 trucks, and gadgets galor. Just this past year alone, we had a great Christmas and didnt charge a single thing. We went to Pigeon Forge on less money than we ever have and had one of the best times.

Right now, the score isnt even close but the game isnt over.

2008 was not one of my better years. It was tough financially and was an up and down roller coaster ride emotionally. But God brought us through it as He has always done and will continue to do.

He promised!

Dear God,
As I look around today at the valley You have chosen for us, I can look around and see its familiarity. This valley, we have been in before and You alone brought us out of it. You will be with us while we are here and lead us to the path out of it, as You have done before. Help me to never lose sight of this. Help me to know You are always there, good times and bad. Thank You for all You have done and are going to do in my life.

My cup truely runs over.....

Keith