Romans 8:28; “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
If my current life were a house and one were on the outside looking in the window; a glimpse inside would reveal a family whose life has just been flipped upside down. In order to tell you more about this current view, let me back up just a few years to give you the bigger picture. Two years ago, Jeff and I both had normal paying jobs, three young children who were in elementary and preschool and as the saying goes, “life was good.” We were settled in life and were comfortable. As soon as we got really comfortable, the Lord began speaking and everything that looked “normal” changed for us when we went out on a leap of faith as an act of obedience to God.
We felt the Lord desired for us to quit our jobs and open a small family business. It would be an indoor play and party center for children and seemed like the perfect idea. We loved children, enjoyed hanging out with them and had three of our own who would have a blast at our new job. This would be a wonderful new adventure that would allow our family to work together and spend quality time together on a daily basis. Was this business successful? Well, if you weigh success by smiles on children’s faces, laughter, friendships and making a difference in the lives of many children, then we were by far, wealthy. As far as it being a business that paid the bills, well, that’s a different story. Our financial status and many other aspects of our lives took drastic changes during this brief period of being small business owners.
As previously mentioned, my husband and I both quit our normal, good paying jobs in order to start a business out of complete faith in Jesus. It ended up being a business that was never successful by financial means and one that we had to close down after much prayer and obedience to the Lord. During this time, we also miscarried our fourth child (which you can read about in a previous post), started home schooling all three of our children (which is a major life change and adjustment for everyone) and now face a future that is very uncertain. And this is where I fast forward you to the beginning of the blog when you were glancing into the “window” of our life.
Life as we knew it two years ago no longer exists. When we fervently prayed and felt the Lord gave us discernment to close down our business, we obeyed but were in such a state of shock and disarray. My husband and I had cry fests with the Lord and each other. We complained to, questioned decisions and even told the Lord that we had no idea what He was doing in our lives nor did we understand why. We have three young children to provide for and it was as if we were seniors in college about to start out in life again for the second time around. What in the world were we to do?
After our pathetic month-long pity party, a plethora of tears and a mound of complaints, Jesus stepped in with his elegant grace and mercy. He led me to complete peace and joy in Himself. Only the Lord could give such things in the midst of all the chaos. He revealed Himself to me through Romans 8:28; “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” For the past several months, I have clung ever so tightly to that scripture. I love the explanation that I received from my friend Ashley as I shared it with her. She said “God tells us that he works ALL things to come together for our good. It doesn’t say just the things that make sense in life, that are good or that we want to happen. He makes everything work together for our good… even what may seem to be a not so good situation.” I loved that! There was so much truth in every word she spoke to me.
I knew and had to believe that our lives had been turned completely upside down, our business had closed but that God was using all of these circumstances for our own good. When I began to sit and bask in that truth, I recklessly abandoned myself into the hands of the one who turned all chaos and confusion into peace and joy. Just last week I told Jeff that if one were to take a glance at our lives, there would not be much room for happiness. Our finances are down to a minimal of nothing, Jeff was on a hunt for a job that would provide for our family and we had no idea what the future looked like.
However, because of Jesus, in the midst of all of that… there was JOY. Complete JOY! No, at times there is not happiness… when I want to go to Target and buy whatever I want, when I want to go to the grocery store and get more than just the bare essentials to feed the children, when I want to get in my car and drive to Nashville and see my best friend’s new baby but can’t because of high gas prices…. Yes there are times when I am not happy… but JOY fills my soul. Joy is everlasting. Joy exists even when the circumstances seem grim. Joy exists in the midst of darkness. Joy comes when you have complete reliance on a living Savior; not just any savior but THE one and only Savior Jesus Christ. God sent His son, Jesus to live on earth, to die a sacrificial death for the sins of this world, for my sins… who am I to not think that for even a second that He wouldn’t have a perfect plan for my life, that He wouldn’t work ALL things out for my good.
The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21; KJV). Complete peace and joy can be found in ALL circumstances when you rest in Jesus, the ONE who has called you to one amazing purpose!