I have grown quite tired of our situation – and this day was more heartbreaking than most days. Like I wrote, it started with my daughter so excited about us moving into our new home – a let down not just for her but Karen as well. The day progressed with Karen and I brainstorming about where we would stay and what we’re going to do. I quickly calculated we would need about $500 to survive – paying Mugesh what we already owe and make it to Friday – hopefully by Friday we would have enough traction/cash flow to move into our new home. But, ideas to $500 were fleeting.
At 11:15am, 45 minutes before move out, no closer to a solution I decided I’d just take a shower… perhaps my last in awhile. Also, I seem to do my best praying in the shower… While I was in the shower, Karen called around to a few places to see if they’d buy our roof top tent (still attached to our SUV) – no go. Without any other ideas, she then decided she would pawn her wedding ring. Hearing Karen’s plan took an already shattered heart and dashed the remaining pieces; all I could muster out at the time was, “no. I don’t like this idea.” The thought of losing her ring, on top of everything else we’ve already lost was difficult for my mind to grasp – we’ve just entered an all time low past our already all time low. I had no other solution to offer.
They loaned us the $500; start the timer again – we’re okay until Friday.
That evening we had our marriage bible group – I was somber. This day, this week, this month has taken a toll on me. I’m losing at every turn. I haven’t had a clear victory in so long I don’t remember what it feels like. I hate admitting this but I’m defeated and I’m depressed – two emotions I don’t relate too very well.
At the end of our group, while helping to clean up, my wife outed my feelings to Dr. Barry; our table facilitator, a former pastor, and a professional counselor. I don’t know what they talked about but the looks between them towards me were obvious that they were talking about me and they were concerned. I wandered into the conversation and Karen admitted she outed me.
Dr. Barry and I spoke a little about the situation. I expressed how tired I am – tired of being broke, tired of the uncertainty, tired of poor results, just tired… I relayed that my faith in God is unwavering. I do not for a single moment doubt God’s presence and hand in our life – I just don’t understand what I’m supposed to be doing. Do I abandon everything, reorganize my life and time differently, get a job, what in the world am I supposed to be doing? I expressed frustration that it would be so much easier if the Bible had stories of quick success and quick failures – but instead the Bible is full of long trials, struggle, and that was God’s plan from the beginning.
I asked Dr. Barry if I am a victim of my own pride and stubbornness? I want to serve God – but perhaps he doesn’t want me too. The month I volunteered to rebuild a popular apologist website I lost one of my longest clients. When I share the gospel with people I face even more struggles the next day. Between my own mess ups and what may be spiritual attacks I just don’t see how I can do this. Does it get easier? I asked. How do pastors do it?!?
Dr. Barry shared a number of bible passages with me that I need to find so I can share them here:
We got back to our home-tel room and I thought about the conversation Dr. Barry and I shared; his wisdom and the verses were quite comforting. Later that night, as I continued my study in Mark, I reread Mark 4, the parable of the sower. This message stuck close to my heart tonight as it made me realize that I could easily be the seed thrown in among the thorns. Do I long for earthly possessions more than God? Do I let financial hardship beat me – how would I fair against real spiritual assault if something as small as money can send me to my knees?
These lessons God is driving into my heart are amazing. And I’ll end it with this: Hebrews 12:4-17. To summarize, (most presume) Paul is telling us that God , as our father, chastises, corrects, and teaches his children – if he does not, we are not his children.