We all know the Lord’s ways are not ours and His decision making processes and determinations are beyond our knowledge or comprehension and we have well established in previous chapters that moving ahead without answers is going to be necessary to Dancing with the Scars no matter what caused them. If He allowed you to lose your home and another kept theirs, if He allowed you to lose your job and another kept theirs, as hard as that is, and it is very hard, we must come to the place where we can say; The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. I must add this before we go any further; Getting you to the place where you you can say that may be the lesson during the trial in the first place. That thing about “You shall have no other God’s before me,” He meant that. I say this because I do not want you to have in your mind that Gods decisions are arbitrary. God is not sitting in heaven thinking: “I wonder what Bob and Nancy would do if I took all their stuff?” God does not operate capriciously, all of His actions are calculated and purposeful, even the ones that are hard for us. I cannot think of a better way to come to grips with the loss of material things and to move forward in your thinking than to recognize that God is good and if He allowed it, there is a purpose.
We all understand the ebb and flow and cyclical nature of the economy and that some seasons of life are better than others. Keeping a loose grip on material things however they come, be it much or little, will keep us from learning discontentment should the Lord allow a season of economic downturn for you and your family.
As with all our subject the starting line begins with our thinking and therefore it is essential to establish a proper mindset toward shifts in economic status. With the right mindset the practical steps now come into play. Having unlearned discontentment and relearned contentment how do you move forward into, and hopefully through, this season of change.
For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. –Hebrews 13:14-16
One of the things we all become vulnerable to when negative lifestyle changes happen is being consumed by the change and what we can do to change things back. Having it fixed in our minds that what we had and when it may return is in the Lord’s hands, we need to be careful about being fixated on the cause or the cure to the point of ignoring normal Christian thinking and practices. Most of us have heard of the widow In Mark 12 who gave her two copper coins, equaling less than half a penny together, to the temple treasury and Jesus commended this woman’s gift above those who gave out of their abundance. He said to His watching disciples, this women put in more than all the others for they gave little out of their plenty and she gave all she had. (Don’t worry, I’m not going to talk about tithing.) The story makes a point though: Don’t allow a financial downturn to turn into a spiritual one. Keep doing the things we are supposed to do as Christians. Keep praising God and giving thanks, keep doing good things and being generous, even though that has a new scale by which it is measured for you.
Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.