The past 6 months have been a complete walk of faith for my family.
When my husband unexpectedly said he had to come home NOW – that he had spent too much time away from his family after 12 years in Iraq & Afghanistan – I was fearful instead of excited. He earned more than 3/4 of our income and we had bills that would not be able to be paid – we were living paycheck to paycheck as it was – but I also knew the toll his work was taking on him, so I did what any wife would say, okay, come on home.
Every Christian knows that a life of following Christ is not easy, it’s actually more difficult simply because you walk around with a target on your back.
8 Be well balanced and always alert, because your enemy,[a] the devil, roams around incessantly, like a roaring lion looking for its prey to devour.[b]1 Peter 5:8
- 1 Peter 5:8 The Greek word antidikos is a legal term for one who presses a lawsuit that must be defended.
- 1 Peter 5:8 The implication in the context is that if you do not bring your worries and cares to God, the devil will use depression and discouragement to devour you. Just as lions go after the feeble, the young, and the stragglers, so the enemy of our souls will always seek out those who are isolated, alone, or depressed to devour them.
Trials and tests are just a part of the faith walk that we must go through. God allows these difficult times for a reason, He created us with a specific purpose. He has a path for us and sometimes through the course of our freewill – we make unwise choices and stray from that path – but that doesn’t alter God’s plan for us. He knew the bad choices we would make, before we made them and He will guide us where we need to be with the trials we brought on ourselves. When my husband came home, we knew it would be tough, we knew that we got ourselves into a financial mess; we confessed our sins before Him and prayed for His mercy and grace to cover us as we walked through this refining fire.
6 So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.1 Peter 1:6-7 NLT
Somedays the refining process felt like we would never make it to the other side, it became more frequent that I would spend my commute crying my eyes out on my drive to & from work. I would get frustrated knowing that family members with excess, knew that we were struggling and were completely apathetic to our plight – but God showed me that I was the one who was wrong and I needed to ask for forgiveness! God is so merciful, His Holy Spirit would gently nudge me, remind me of what Jesus has already done for me and I would always end up in worship – somedays it sounded more like terrible heavy sobbing than anything, but I promise, I was worshipping God.
Most weeks, I made enough to pay for groceries, gas, and my prescriptions – I can’t tell you how many times I would jump out of bed worried that a tow truck was repossessing our vehicles, or our phones were going to be cut off. I’m still in awe of how that hasn’t happened, yes – I still have fleshly moments where I give into fear – that’s why it’s a constant battle to remember who God is! This is why, we must daily: read His Word, spend time with God in prayer and in worship! Until recently, I didn’t realize the benefit of meeting with fellow Believers either – I can’t tell you how much the fellowship and prayer from friends have encouraged our family! Our trials and tests are a testament to God’s faithfulness, there is no doubt that Jehovah Jireh has been our provider!
Through this fiery trial we have truly learned to live one day at a time – wholly dependent on God. We have learned what it means to be humble, what it means to worship God – even when it seemed like our lives were crumbling around us – this is something that the Bible or your Pastor can’t teach you. You have to walk through and experience yourself – it is humbling and at the same time, it is a blessing.