My old blog, "Musings Of A Reformed Youth" has been dormant for years, and I think that blog represented an older time in my life. I was much more dogmatic back then about much different matters. Hopefully the last few years of my life have been a time of growth and change, a metamorphosis into something better than I was toward something better than I could ever dream. I decided a new blog and a fresh start at writing out my thoughts would be fitting for this time in my life. Perhaps one day it will be resurrected, but until then this is my current outlet for my musings.
I recently became a member at the church I attend, and during the process of membership we took a spiritual gifts test. My 3rd highest gift was the gift of faith, which reflection upon seemed to ratify. It has usually been easier for me to have a sense of peace about the future regardless of how bleak it looked at the time. There are times when I stumble and doubt, but overall God has proven Himself to me from my youth, and has freshly reestablished his faithfulness (verifying his timeless covenant with his people) in my mind from time to time. It humbles me to admit that my time in Colorado has been more of a reestablishment of his providencial grace, than a shining example of my faith.
Since I have moved out to Colorado, God has proven Himself time and time again. My job with Chick Fil A has been filled with ups and downs, but as I look back on it, God gave me exactly what I needed when I needed it. I was down to a few dollars left to my name a few times, and down to 46 cents in the bank when I deposited my first paycheck. And as I have been at Chick Fil A, there has been adversity, but I do believe God has grown me through that to the point where i have an even greater relationship with my boss than I could have ever imagined. I had been looking for new work, and in God's timing he saw fit to give me a new job, not a glorious job to boast in, quite the opposite really. But it is a job that will allow me to be able to breathe and with the help from staying at Chick Fil A for the immediate future, everything has lined up for the expediting of my life getting on a path to put me on my feet and moving steadily toward a Career. There have been a great amount of obstacles toward that end the past year and a half. Everything from my own stupidity to unforeseeable and unfortunate circumstances to things that I could not avoid. Whether in be lack of food or gas money, large sums of unavoidable more debt accumulated in the course of a few hours, complications and problems with my job, strained relationships, periods of spiritual drought and depression since I have moved I have seen a nice share of obstacles toward being able to "get on with life". There are some truths that God has proven before in my life and always seems to be quick to reaffirm in my life when I am on the brink of giving up.
First of all, I really don't have it that hard at all, and often times the biggest influence in my hard times happens to be me. There are Christians all over this world who are legitimately starving to death, and they trust on the Lord for sustenance. Others who are being hunted down and beaten raped and murdered, and they trust on the Lord for protection. Christians all over this world are being exploited and misused and betrayed by people they have trusted and by people who share their blood and they trust on the Lord for comfort and belonging. I am a weak and fragile creature and have a staggering amount left to learn and grow to be the Christian I am called to be. I fold to easily, I suffer hardly at all, and I lack almost nothing. Speaking of temptation, the apostle Paul said "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it. (1 Cor. 10.13)" Oh what a fleshly man I am that I want to blame God and want to take the advice of Jobs wife "Curse God and die (Job 2.9)". I have it so easy on this earth being born into America, and yet I am so quick to have a sense of entitlement to luxury (a post for later).
Secondly, God has brought upon me another lesson in humility as well as the necessity of doing everything for the glory of God. The complications at Chick Fil A had me very upset and I felt very cheated. I recall telling my boss that I could not work well for him, and I couldn't work for the good of Chick Fil A, but I would do my best to work as unto the Lord because thats what I was called to do, and he was my brother in Christ, and a fellow church member. At the time it took a lot of humbling to go through a demotion for me...despite my terrible self image I am a terribly prideful arrogant man. God put me in that position, and there are those who can attest to the fact I was miserable going to work, and miserable at work. God saw fit to humble me, and little did I know that I would wind up being blessed more from the demotion than I would have had I still been a team lead. I would not have the relationship with my brother in Christ I do now, I would have still been putting off looking for something better, and I would probably still have no light at the end of the tunnel of my dead end life. When I leave Chick Fil A, I will be leaving on so much better terms than I could have imagined before.
Another thing God has taught again me is that he will always provide and meet our needs, not so much when we think He should, but precisely when he knows it is best for us. Be warned, that may include periods of discomfort and pains, but that God is always faithful to his Children. "My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights (Prov. 3.11-12)". The sufferings we endure on this earth serve a double purpose. They cause use to grow in our reliance on Christ alone by slowly breaking our dependence on everything else we cling to for safety security and identity. Secondly they allow us to feel the minute portion of the sufferings Christ endured in order to redeem us -- not so that we can carry our share of the suffering itself, but so that we can have a greater understanding and appreciation for what Christ did to procure our salvation! At the perfect moment for His perfect plans he will meet our need. As humans we have a gift, for lack of a better term, at screwing everything up, wanting everything now, and missing out on greater blessings. Our heavenly father knows our shortcomings, and while he may give you the desires of your carnal heart (though do not put your hope and trust in the longevity of such a gift), he wants to shape us into children who have the desires of His heart. But he will provide as He provided manna in the desert and water from a stone. He provided for His children then and He will continue to provide for Hid children now! This promise stands as true now as ever, "Be strong and courageous and do it. Do not be afraid and do not be dismayed, for the Lord God, even my God, is with you. He will not leave you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished (1 Chr. 28.20)". God will never leave you, and he will never forsake you, remembering and actualizing this promise would do our churches some good as we are blessed with comfort, but this comfort is not deserved and can never be counted on enduring. God alone endures, and we must learn to trust his loving providencial hand now while it is easy. Doing so will make the hard times difficult when we endure them.
These are just a few things I quickly drew from my experiences at this point in my Colorado adventure. God is good! He loves me, protects me and continues to bless me despite all of my shortcomings and failures. I look forward to the day when I see my savior face to face, but until that day I pray I learn to doubt less and trust more. The One who conquered death has secured victory for us! The battle is won, regardless of how bleak the odds look now. Have faith in your God! This is an introduction to the new blog, and Lord willing more provocative posts will be forthcoming... :)