When I was in high school I sat down with my mom a number of different times to discuss possibly switching high schools. There was nothing wrong with my high school and nothing particularly special about the other schools in my area. To be honest it was just simply too easy. And I don’t necessarily mean academically or socially. I mean spiritually. I went to a Christian school and valued my education there and the tight-knit community with my teachers and classmates. But I wasn’t being challenged in the least. I wanted my faith to be stretched. I wanted to be in an environment that wasn’t made entirely of Christians or hypocrites. I would rather have been in an environment full of sinners where my life would stand out, and maybe God would have used my testimony to change some lives at school. I never ended up switching schools, but we seriously considered it (or at least I did) more than once. Turns out, I was able to be a witness in my Christian school without my being aware of it.
I tell you that to get at something a little deeper. How many times have you heard someone say that it’s harder to trust God when times get tough? I’ve heard it so many times that I couldn’t even give you a good rough estimate. But I beg to differ. My experiences have only confirmed this theory.
When Jason and I moved to PA we had nowhere to live. When we got married I was working full-time and Jason was working part-time. We were not satisfied and felt the same kind of angst I felt in high school – that God wanted more from us. Our faith needed to be stretched in order that we could be a better witness for Him. In February we interviewed for the position that we are in now, in the midst of many other resumes that Jason sent out. While waiting to hear back I applied for and was given a higher paying position, knowing that we would probably be leaving within a month or so. We left within two. We moved to PA and stayed in someone’s guest house, who doesn’t even go to our church, for two months. We moved into a house we thought we were going to buy for two months. Then we found out our loan fell through and had a month to leave. We found out someone in our church was selling a house that cost less and was twice the size. As of a week ago tomorrow, we are now first time homebuyers!
Needless to say, Jason and I have been on quite an adventurous journey. If it were true that it’s harder to trust God in the hard times, then these past 5-9 months would have been the most horrible months of my adult life. However, I feel our lives have been quite the contrary. Our human nature would even agree that it must have been horrible. But God used these last months to show us so much more of Him – His provision most of all. I could go on and on about the things God showed us in the little and bigger pictures of our story. But my point of these two stories is to express how much harder it is to trust God when things are going well.
This past weekend was difficult for me. I couldn’t explain it but I just felt dry. I was missing passion most of all. I didn’t know the reason and I didn’t know how to change it. The only thing I could reason through was that because everything was going “our way”, so to speak, it was easy to lose sight of all God has done and rely on myself. Pride has a way of doing that. When we seriously consider all God has done, is doing, and will do for us, it’s difficult to fathom that we could possibly lose sight of that or slip in our faith. Yet we do. We are children of a sinful nature – a sinful nature that is like a disease laying dormant in our lives waiting for the moment we take our eyes off Jesus. And then it attacks.
Maybe you’re not like me and it really is harder for you to trust God in the hard times. But for me, I find it so much easier because He is the only thing I have in those times. I can’t survive without Him. When things are going well Satan likes to deceive us into thinking that we can do it on our own, and you don’t realize it until that mindset has already started to creep in and take control of your day-to-day life.
All I can say is stay diligent. No matter how dry you feel or how distant you may feel from God or anyone that cares. No matter how inexplicable your times in the valley may seem. Stand firm, even when you’re weak in the knees. Keep reading Scripture and keep talking with God, even if you have no desire to and feel like your thoughts and words are falling silent. It may seem cold and dry but God will always ALWAYS break through and draw you close to Him. Sometimes the most complacent times in our lives are the most testing of our faith. Don’t let the enemy get the best of you – in ministry, in life, in love. Keep pressing on!
Posted on November 2, 2011, in Christian Living and tagged Christianity, Church, Church Ministry, Desert, Dried Out, Family Ministry, Pastor, Religion, Student Ministry, Youth Ministry, Youth Pastor, Youth Work. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.