Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Little Did We Know...

Ever heard of Adonijah and King David? I came across the story in 1 Kings chapter 1, and I'm stunned at how much it relates to our story right now. Read it if you'd like, and you'll see what I'm talking about. Adonijah had himself a plan. It sounded good to others. It may not have hurt anyone...at least not immediately. He thought he would make himself King.

Little did he know...

I'm just 26 years into this life, and if I've learned nothing else, I have learned that learning is hard. Know what I mean?

Matt has been working a certain job for about 6 months, and it's really been the hardest 6 months on our family for various reasons--mostly time away from each other. Very recently, it began to look impossible, like something we could not endure for much longer at all. To sum up a fairly long story, Matt had worked at a company for 3 years where he got to do something he very much loves--video--but the pay was not high, and it wasn't going to get much better. The commute was long, and if you've seen our gas prices...well, you know. So, he left.

That brings us to the here and now...where we were panicking about whether we'd made a monumental mistake in our lives and whether a repair was even possible. He had been told that he could have his job back if the new one wasn't working out. So, we thought we'd give that a shot. Honestly, I guess I didn't really expect the answer we got. And that's why it hit me so hard.

Little did we know...

Our economy is in a recession, for anyone who's been living under a rock. Guess what part of businesses no longer becomes a "necessity" in a recession. That's right. Video. If you know Dave Ramsey, he'd say it's been moved below the line. Way below.

So, there simply isn't enough work for Matt to be hired back on as a video production editor. I'd like to insert that he is exceptionally talented in this field, and I deeply miss seeing him use his creativity and design. And the market around here simply won't support much free lancing in this field.

I have to be honest and admit that I cried when our hopes of returning to the old job were snuffed out. The hours were pretty regular, and I was looking forward to having my husband back home more often, seeing the kids with their daddy more. Who knows--maybe I'd have a reason to cook dinner again!

Okay, I cried a lot.

But Matt took it really well. I'm so glad he did, because I needed to hear what he had to say about it. God showed him (fairly quickly) that He was indeed in control, and this was a raw, true-to-life example of His sovereignty. Remember what I said about our economy? Well, what if Matt had stayed there while the company brought in less and less business (which it has)? Although he had been there over 3 years, he still was the last guy hired, so...you get the idea.

Where would we have been then?

God knew. When we didn't, God knew. While I still don't know, He does. And even though this is not the easiest stretch our lives have encountered, it's still easier than many, many other people's roads. I'm hearing a hymn dance around in my head right now: "Count your blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done."

Now that I can stop and actually look at the situation, what I see humbles me...and it amazes me that God loves us this much. That He doesn't give us everything we want and think we need. That God can and does use people who don't even know Him or serve Him in order to work in His children's lives is, well...astounding. This is God's sovereignty at its loudest for me. So maybe we didn't make the "mistake" we thought we had. Maybe this was all part of the plan. Maybe we're learning something we never would've been afforded had we not stepped out of the other job that was comfortable. Maybe we needed to be shaped, molded.

I'm not sure into what, but you guessed it: God does.

Peace of Christ to you,
Cara

Saturday, May 2, 2009

"Sarah Have I Loved"

There are countless books out there on "how to be a good wife." I'm guilty of grabbing as many books as I can get my hands on, in search of "The Answer" to this question and the litany of other questions I have concerning being a wife. But God has been reminding me lately (in really subtle ways) that the answers are in HIS book alone.

Just yesterday I was wrestling silently with fully supporting my husband on a certain issue, and when I read my bible, I happened to be in Genesis, reading about Abraham and Sarah.

I like Sarah. She messed up a few times, no doubt, but over all, she was a "Stand By Your Man" kind of woman. In chapter 21 right after she birthed Isaac (who, you may recall, was a medical mystery), she spoke about the miracle that had been given to her. Her words surprised me...not the actual words, but her heart behind the words.

"And she said, 'Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have borne him a son in his old age'" (Genesis 21:7 ESV).

Sarah could have gone on and on, relishing in the fact that she now would have a tiny person to snuggle against her bosom, someone to call her "mommy", someone to depend on her every move...she would now have purpose.

But she didn't.

She instead focused on her husband and how this affected him. Now HE would have purpose and be the father of many nations. She didn't focus on her own old age but on Abraham's.

Later on in chapter 23, the fruit of her obedience and love toward her husband blossomed to its fullest. Sarah died. The scripture doesn't tell us how she died--I assume just from old age--nor does it tell us the details of her final moments. What it does tell us, though, goes much deeper than the event itself.

"...and Abraham went in to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her" (Genesis 23:2b ESV).

For whatever reason God saw fit, the story directly before Sarah's death--that of Abraham being tested to sacrifice Isaac--there is no mention at all of Abraham's emotions toward losing his son. Now, I'm not suggesting that he felt no sadness at the prospect of Isaac's death, but the bible does not record any such emotion.

But it does so very clearly in this one.

Abraham immediately began searching for a place to bury his wife...and it could not be just any ol' place. No, it had to be perfect. He decided on a cave that he knew of, but there was one problem: It didn't belong to him. He spoke to Ephron, who owned the land, and asked him to sell the cave of Machpelah to him so that he could give his wife a place of rest. Ephron sought to honor Abraham and give the cave to him as a gift. For free. No cost.

But Abraham refused.

And he refused again and again...until Ephron finally conceded and accepted the silver as payment from Abraham.

See, Abraham wasn't just burying anyone; he was burying his wife. This woman had been his best friend and close companion for years. Together, they had longed and dreamed of having a family, yet year after year passed without such a blessing. But finally one day, together they rejoiced in the birth of Isaac, and (you'll recall) Sarah counted it as a blessing even more so to her husband than to herself. Because she was a selfless wife. She did not do him harm, but she did him good...all the days of her life.

And it shows in his tears, in his persistence on paying for the place he would lay his bride to rest. No cheap plot would do...no, she was worth much more than that.

I want to be that kind of wife for my husband. I want to bring him good, not harm...all the days of my life.

I want to be his Sarah.

Peace of Christ to you,
Cara