Yes, it’s a serious question? Do I scare you? Is there something in my life that challenges you profoundly? That makes you very nervous?
I don’t have an infectious disease. Nor do I have some major flaw that is difficult to look upon. I speak the same language, live in a similar house to yours, drive a minivan, and share a house with my husband if 33 years and several dogs. I believe marriage is for life, and people are more valuable than things. I have a profound faith in a God.
What I do have is a faith that has been tested by the hot fires of adversity. I have been stripped of so much. I had the American dream, and in a sudden economic downturn I hit the rocks. Yes, I wonder how you would handle having almost everything you worked for taken away. Had a wonderful job I loved and was great at that was yanked from my grasp… And the silent lack of ability to find work for the first time in my life. Oh, yeah, it was over 3 years of rejection. And the market has never quite adjusted back to pre-crash days. We had to give up a car because there was no money to repair it. Kept our house only by God’s grace. Felt like Job of Old Testament fame as wave after wave of bad news came. Have you ever felt like there could be no more bad news happening to you but then…bam. I told anyone that would listen that it seemed like at one moment I was safe on the banks of a rushing wild river, and the next I was being swept down river in an angry current, with no control. That’s right – we don’t really have a control over our life! Oh, maybe that is what scares you so… be very afraid. For if you believe you control any aspect of your life you are mistaken… there is no control really!
You may have even been a bit like one of Jobs friends, saying things that assuaged your anxiety, but did nothing for me. You said all the right things… not realizing that you had no idea of what was really going on. You probably never were in a place to see your world totally turned upside down… no, i bet you never were.
And yes, we are over educated and under employed. Finding work for income, not for career building purpose. Doing tasks i once had assistants to do… but grateful for the scaled down wages… because it is income.
But you say we scare you. Right…what really scares you is not us. It is the fear that financial reversal might creep into your life, or our good God may ask you to step into the rapid current of floodwater that sweeps you from your mooring. Or calls you to the crucible of the refiners fire where you are forever changed, never to be quite the same. Having witnessed the great love and keeping power of our Great God, and seeing the tender compassion of his grace reach right to where we are.
You fear that such a change of “status” in your life will force you to really acknowlege how little you can control. You are afraid of us because you see that God took us out into deep places, tested parts of our faith that you dont want to know about.
Its ok that I scare you. I know what it really is that frightens you is the vast and all powerful weight of the authority of God. It is his desire to prepare a people that are set apart for his glory, prepared to be holy.
It is regretable that you feel this way, or that you even have given voice to it. But now that it is out know that I am praying for you. I am asking God to show you his grace, and insight into the work of faith he is doing in people like me. People who he as stripped away the American Middle Class Normalicy. People he has called to stretching places of faith, believing that God almighty will make a way.
You see, I believe that a part of our view is based on expectations. Like any relationship we choose what we want to believe about the relationship. It is unreasonable and false expectations to think that any of us deserve a life that is padded with a fat wallet, and a peaceful existance free of trials and pain. This world is scarred with sin… and that means that periodically something breaks, wears out, dies, or is lost. I can tell you that my expectation is not in a life free of trials, but in a grand adventure with a Great God. Like Job i can say that yet though he slay me yet will i praise him.
Consider John the Baptist, considered the greatest man of faith by Jesus, yet he died having his head served on a platter. How about Moses – he desired to see the promised land and he did, from a mountain in the distance of it. David was the man after God’s own heart, yet he died never having the right to raise up a temple to the Glory of God. And there is the end of Hebrews Chapter 11 – not everyone has a smooth life… some are martyred, live in caves, are sawed in half.
But the expectation is that God will see us through wherever we are.
Long before the economy crashed the lord called me out of darkeness, and into his marvelous light. He taught me his word, washed me with it, renews my mind daily with it, and challenges me to live it out.
Long before i imagined that any form of stability would flee I asked God to take this life and use it for his Glory. And i believe he is answering it in ways that are not comfortable for those around me. Honestly they are not safe or comfortable places… butI would rather be in the stormy seas where God has called me and i know he is with me, than safe on the shore and holding him at a distance.