Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Sandpaper and Chisels

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Today I had some thoughts come to mind concerning the situation we are going through, namely, too many expenses and too little income. To a large extent, we've been living this way for all of our nearly sixteen years of marriage. This week was especially frightening with all the bills coming due and very little income while the cabinets and fridge sat empty. On top of all of that, my tourist permit expires and I'm obligated to leave the country for three days before requesting a new one. So, as we were about to compare ourselves to other pastors who are living much more comfortably, a thought occurred to me.

Everyone has problems of one sort or another. Would we rather a different set? Some of those ministers suffer with illness in the family. Others have older children that are rebellious or even addicted to drugs. At least one was abandoned by his wife last year. While they are together now, how intimate could we suppose their relationship to be? 

If we must be shaped and smoothed by rough circumstances, experiences or people, would we choose something other than our current agent? For my family, it seems that the agent used in leading us to a deeper level of knowing and trusting our Father is financial insecurity. Of all the things in the world that our Father could use to do His work in our life, how bad do we have it?

Suppose that like with Job, God tells Satan which areas he may touch. If we could see things from Heaven's side, we might be in awe of all He has protected us from. We may feel that we're poor and that we never have enough. And yet we have never missed paying rent, electricity, phone or other essential bills. What if the truth is that God has commited to providing each and every need, but reserves the right to know the source and the timing? What if He reserves the right to keep the petty cash balance quite low, and yet the account that funds it is limitless?

Perhaps you, too, are being brought into a new and deeper knowlegde of Christ by the very things you pray God would remove from your life. If they are indeed the sandpaper and chisel He has chosen to shape His masterpiece, would you really have them removed? What if God agrees to lay those agents aside? Would you suggest to Him a wiser option?

These are largely unedited thoughts and I would like to invite discussion on the topic.

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