Faith tested under fire

November 19, 2023

Unexpected news

Last week was tough for our family. We got some news that struck at the heart of our future. Medical news. Nothing life threatening, but uncertainty hangs over us and it hurts.

There we were, happily motoring along, when a metaphorical car merged from a side road and took us out. As the dust settles, I can see that we are still running, but there is a lot of paint damage and the front wing is bent out of shape

When bad news strikes, how do you respond?

The only human reaction

Well, the immediate response was anxiety. There were moments when it felt like a dreaml. I’ve even had that moment, where I turned to God and said, “are you for real?” As in, how you could you let this happen to us?

I forced myself to read my Bible that day, which I really didn’t feel like. There was little consolation there. Psalm 44 was the appointed Psalm and you will see how my heart did NOT leap for joy as I read these words:

“All this has come upon us though we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant......yet you have broken us in the place of jackals...Awake! Why are you sleeping O Lord! Rouse yourself, Do not reject us forever,”

I’ve even had that moment, where I turned to God and said, “are you for real?”

With age comes wisdom and perspective

Age, however, is a wonderful filter. In my 20s and 30s, I would have buckled and got sucked down the plughole.

2 things are keeping my head above water now.

I have a job to do

I know my responsibility is to hold it together as the household head. I am the anchor. Regardless of how tough a situation is. My diligence over recent years is now being tested, and the household is taking a battering in the storm. We had rubbish news, but how will my leadership shape our response? With faith or with fear?

Past present and future

I’ve been here before! At 18, doctors gave me 10 years to live. I’m still here. Nothing is finished until God says it is. Ps 39 encourages us to know the measure of our days and know that God directs them.

We have a past, present and a future. The future is unknown. We’re wrestling to gain control of the present, but as we look back on the past, despite loss, trial and tragedy, my family can see His firm hand upon it all. Good has come from it. There has been growth in our blind spots and God has been faithful to restore what the “locust and cankerworm” has eaten. (Joel 2:25)

Do I know how things will work out? - NOPE - but I feel steel in my backbone because I worship a sovereign God who knows what he is doing.

A test has been set. I must not fail.

To fail means to take my eyes off Jesus and give up as the waves crash over the gunnels of the boat

I am not surprised that a friend sent me a series of short YouTube clips the day before the news broke.

Here is the one I needed to hear. While not Biblical per se, I can only say "Amen" to Jocko’s few words of wisdom.

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