“The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all.” ― Brennan Manning
|Lichens growing from the stump of a dead tree. Life goes on...|
I placed a bid on some sensory alphabet blocks for the grand baby earlier this week. We had seen them in a doctor’s office and she was hooked. When I discovered they are out of production, I turned to an online auction and found several offers. Last night at bedtime I was the high bidder on one set for a very reasonable $23.00 including shipping.
This morning there was no announcement of winning. No notification of losing. No items on my watch list. The blocks seemed to have disappeared. Then, I discovered the very same set, listed just last night by the very same seller, with a “Buy it Now” price of $49.95 including shipping.
There’s something about a game change that makes the offer less appealing. And there’s something about having the same thing happen three times in the same week that can cause you to wonder about your sanity.
As most weeks do, this one started on Monday. That’s when I learned that one of the two classes I was scheduled to teach had cancelled for lack of enrollment. At the end of the day, I was teaching in a different program and making $2,000 less.
As Tuesday ended, I had decided to look for a more stable source of (steady) supplemental income.
By Thursday, I thought I had found a perfect fit and while I still had two weeks to apply, I seized the opportunity, sent my résumé, and received an automated response.
On Friday, I returned to the website to refer to the job description and could not even find the posting.
All things considered, I knew the events of the week were merely echoes of another game change earlier in the summer that had flattened me. I was just beginning to get back on my feet. What is up with this? I reflected.
Our first inclination when things go wrong, and one thing after another continues to go wrong, is to think we have made a wrong turn. We were just merrily sailing along with a smile, thinking how good it was, and suddenly…
We begin to think we may have missed His voice somewhere, as we get pounded by one wave of circumstances after another and become disoriented.
We wonder if we have prayed for His guidance enough. After all, He wouldn’t lead us astray. But, if we have trusted Him to guide us each day, this is really just re-purposed doubt.
We think that maybe it’s just God’s way of changing our direction and changing us. And we might be getting close. But in this walk of faith, all the wondering and thinking and possibilities don’t give us solid answers. Those can only come from being still…from letting go and letting Him guide us to the truth… from waiting. Patiently. To hear His voice.
“What, then?” I asked.
“Faithfulness.” He replied. “When the game changes, will your faithfulness fail?”
The game will change. People will disappoint you with broken promises, the open market is bursting with bait and switch. Organizations will be more interested in making money than in making you feel secure.
When things don’t go as you expect them to but you're there by faith, will you keep on trusting that He is with you and in you, guiding you and planning your good future?
The good news is that the fruit called faithfulness is not developed by things going well all the time. Nor is it developed by your determination to be faithful. It is developed as you and I hang by our white-knuckled, weary hands, from the side of the rough-hewn, slippery remains of a shipwreck. When the winds calm down and the sun finally reappears on the horizon, you feel like you may have lost everything else but your relationship with the God who saved you.
How can a loving God allow all this to happen to one of his faithful followers? For that matter, how can a loving father allow His son to be bullied and crucified?
He knows it’s in there because He put it there. He knows what it takes to develop it. He, Himself, is faithful and His desire is to reveal Himself in us. Against the odds. Against the circumstances. Against the tide, the traditions, and the trends.
The game will change. But His faithfulness will not. In fact, it will be revealed through it all, in us.
22 The Holy Spirit produces a different kind of fruit: unconditional love, joy, peace, patience, kindheartedness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. You won’t find any law opposed to fruit like this (The Voice).
17 Every good gift bestowed, every perfect gift received comes to us from above, courtesy of the Father of lights. He is consistent. He won’t change His mind or play tricks in the shadows. 18 We have a special role in His plan. He calls us to life by His message of truth so that we will show the rest of His creatures His goodness and love (The Voice).
Let us hold strong to the confession of our hope, never wavering, since the One who promised it to us is faithful (The Voice).
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Eternal, “plans for peace, not evil, to give you a future and hope—never forget that (The Voice).
While it Is Called Today
a 30-day photo devotional for the believer
by Dee Marvin Emeigh