It’s very much a part of life that we struggle daily to cope with and comprehend many difficult aspects of living in a “fallen” world. We watch the news daily and reel with horror sometimes at some of the atrocities committed by other human beings and constantly hear the great cry of the aethiests and agnostics of “Where is God” or “There can’t be a God or He wouldn’t allow these things to happen.”
Like many others, I equally struggle to deal with even some minor situation, wondering why God has allowed it to happen to me, but the one awesome thing I have absolutely learnt through my half-decade of life or so, and that’s that there absolutely is a reason for everything!
In my 30’s I was very happily married to my wonderful but alcoholic husband, and working away quite happily. But then this “dream” job (for me at least) came up in a local brand new cattery, which was going to involve me learning to drive rather rapidly (in 2 wks) in order to be eligible for it, and also a house move to “tied accommodation” where the job provided a house. When I got the job I was ecstatic and Stephen more than supported me through it all, and helped me out as much as possible, and we were fairly happy. I fully expected to be in that job for years, but it lasted just 2 wks short of 6 months as my bosses sacked me just before the end of my probation period knowing I’d then have no means of comeback. Their only reason being that I couldn’t “work with the local Branch” who were a lot of older ladies whose methods of cat care I vehmently disagreed with as I was a trained Veterinary Nurse, and so certainly we disagreed on a lot of things, but I didn’t think so many that required them to sack me without any warning. And of course it also meant losing the house, but we were hugely fortunate in that while Stephen had wanted to sell our old house, he’d instead agreed to rent it out to a close friend who didn’t mind in the least when we suddenly returned and he had to move on again. But I was utterly gutted by that job loss – not just the loss of it, but the manner in which it was done and many other aspects of the whole situation. And suddenly once again we were thrust into a situation where neither of us were working, and had to revert back on to benefits until I got into college to start another training course. I remember spending many hours crying my eyes out as I could see no reason under the sun for it to happen and feeling that God was preventing me from enjoying my life as I’d truly enjoyed the job.
However, only 2 years later I would come to discover how the Lord in His wisdom knew exactly what He was doing. By that time, I would have found myself a new (much better) job, lost it through becoming disabled after only 6 months, and Stephen would have started succumbing to his disease, the upshot of which was that if we’d still been in the previous situation it would have been dreadful – I’d have still lost the job, but we’d have, by then, most likely also have lost the house and would have been basically homeless. Instead when I took ill, Stephen was working as a benefits advisor so was able to organise my benefit application which was successful first time (unlike many others) and which then provided me with a “free” car (wasn’t really, but felt like it) and I was able to stay at home and be with him during his last 2 years of life which I really appreciated. I learnt that year to trust God’s Will implicitly in the knowledge that He knows the future and I just need to allow Him to walk me into it as He pleases.
When it comes to coping with any of life’s difficulties, I think it’s one of the greatest comforts in the Christian faith, to know that God is absolutely in control and that there is indeed absolutely a reason for everything.
Proverbs 16:9: A man’s heart plans his way, but Jehovah directs his steps.
It also reminds me of that wonderful tapestry quote:
“Life is a network of invisible threads in God’s rich tapestry
remember we see from below what He sees from above!”
The one thing about such tapestries is that from the underside everything looks chaotic and jumbled with different colours of threads all intertwining – if you use an analogy of those thread colours being different strands of your life, it’s easy to see how the good intertwines with the bad (dark threads with light), and how it truly does take you to be above the picture to see it clearly and appreciate that you have to have the various strands woven together to make sense of the picture – if all the strands were light (e.g. good times) you’d end up with a blank boring canvas – but when you weave in all the various shades, it’s a different story entirely. So when tough times come your way, just remember they are a vital part to teaching and strengthening your character and training you for heaven – we’ve work to do there too don’t forget!
So keep in mind, the next time things go utterly pear-shaped in your life, God absolutely knows what He is doing and if you’re submitted to Him and His Will, He will ensure you are kept where He wants you to be and you can walk into each day contented that He is fully in control.
And given how little I’m managing to write just now, I’m going to wish you all a Blessed Saviour’s Season, esp Timbob and my regular visitors :).