Sometimes when times are rough and our troubles pile up we often feel forsaken. But the problem is we tend to pile our problems between us and God instead of bringing our troubles to Him and allowing Him to guide us through them. Sometimes what we perceive as troubles or problems are often pieces of God’s plan being worked out in our life, but because we have built the pile so high, we have a hard time seeing him at work in our life.
For example; our family’s primary vehicle recently broke down. Now, it has been “breaking” down for the past couple of years but it made it through till now. It just so happens that it broke down right after my wife had back surgery. Back surgery that resulted from bending poorly and herniating a disc so severely that the doctor was surprised she was still walking. This happens at a time when I am in a great deal of pain from a still unresolved back injury that is getting worse rather than better over time. The result of my injury is I am not working, I am fighting through a disability claim and we are living on a single income and truly relying on God’s grace and bounty to survive from day to day. Many people would see this and say we have the worst luck. Some would even say “Where’s your God now?!?” My answer to that would be, “He’s right where He’s been all along.” He’s still in control, He’s still protecting and perfecting us, but we simply forget to give Him credit for what He is doing. When I sat down and dug through the pile of problems I began to see the timing that God had going. Our car had been breaking down for a long time, but why now? Well, with Barbie injured, there would be no better time to be without our primary vehicle for an extended period than now when she is unable to go to work. But that left us with another problem. Our second vehicle is an old truck that gets 7.5 miles to the gallon and I travel from the valley to Simi every day. This too was in God’s plan. You see, this gave my sister a chance to offer her car in trade temporarily for my truck, allowing her to not only put her new found faith into action, but to give her girls a chance to ride around in a big old truck for a while…lol. Also, after Barbie’s first follow-up, it became clear that if we had 2 vehicles at our disposal she would be going back to the office, against doctors orders, so since I have the only working car she is stuck following the doctors instructions to only go to the office a couple of days a week and to only be there for a limited amount of time, since I have to take her..lol. Then, the first Sunday after we switched vehicles I was getting ready to head to church and because I had gone to Saturday service at Shepherd, I decided I would go to Discovery Church in Simi to visit my sister and it turned out that they had a guest speaker, Carey Nieuwhof, who did a wonderful sermon on “How to have a Family Fight” and this is something we have been trying to work through in our family. So again, another part of God’s plan and timing. So, once we had the cars all sorted out it took us some time to get the funds together to get the repair job started. This too was all part of God’s timing, because by the time we got the car to our mechanic, the transmission that was originally lined up had been sold, but this too was a blessing, because God had a better transmission waiting that our mechanic found and while it is going to cost more, it’s a much better unit and is going to be much more reliable than what we were going to have to settle for. So again, God is in control.
Many times, if we step back and look at the pile we have heaped up and called “problems”, we can often see that there is a divine plan at work. Sometimes instead of saying, “Good grief…WHAT NEXT?!” why not anticipate what challenge God has to put before us next. God often gives us more than we believe we can handle, but he promises us that he will never give us more than he knows we can bear and he also promises that he will be there with us. It’s also these trials that purify us.
“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” Isaiah 43:2
Remember that Jesus himself cried out upon the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), and he knew the plan. We are simple humans and because of this we need a savior and that’s why it’s such an amazing gift that God has given us in His son Jesus Christ. He has also given us His Word, so that when we can’t see Him in the details of our lives, we can open up the instruction manual and figure out where we are missing a step. If you are feeling overwhelmed and you are thinking “Good Grief, WHAT NEXT?!?” Turn that around, and ask God…”Yes, What next…Please?”
So instead of sitting at the base of the pile, wondering why God is letting all these things happen to you. Have faith in Him that He has a plan and a purpose for you and meet Him atop that pile and together you can move mountains.
Love in Christ,