You know, sometimes in life things don’t make much sense. You’re heading down the road God has called you to be on, yet more and more obstacles on the path make the trip more of a nightmare than a joy. Ever been there? on that path?
Caroline and I just went on vacation to the beach. And I remember very vividly our beach vacation from last year – a time where we thought we had LifeHouse Church ready to enter into our new location only to find out that we were shut down. And we would be shut down until we could get all the things necessary (the items of building code) in place to make a warehouse become a place of public worship.
We thought we had it all together, that we had followed all the steps and met protocol, only to find out that there was so much more to do, like add another bathroom, to bring the space up to code. And at that time, I thought, “Can it get any worse? We’re supposed to open our doors to the public this Sunday when we get home from vacation, and now I can’t even get in the building What are we going to do?”
So we did what God called us to do upon our return. We invited the church to come together and to pray in the secrecy of a room in the building, and then we met in homes until we could finally open the doors of “The House” on November 18, 2012. And so a season of uncertainty became a season of faithfulness – a season where God was still to be worshiped and adored even in the storms no matter what venue we were using to praise His name.
Well, as I said earlier, we just got back from vacation. But on this vacation, a time where I thought nothing like what happened last year could ever happen again, we once again received shocking news that rocked our world.
You see, Caroline and I have sacrificed greatly (financially and time) to start LifeHouse (to keep it alive and afloat), and so we finally thought we were seeing a blessing from God coming into fruition. Caroline had received an inheritance of mineral rights to some property in Ohio and a deal was being made with an energy company to sell those rights. Everything seemed to be falling into place, which would provide our household the opportunities to get out of debt and to invest back into the Kingdom. We were pretty excited that we would now have the opportunity to get ourselves out of the debt accrued in starting the church and that we could us the money to make money giving us more resources to put back into God’s Church.
Yet what seemed so real and plausible on Monday as we received word that things were moving forward came to an abrupt halt on Wednesday as we received the news that the deal was now off the table. And so we found ourselves in the same financial position with little hope of ever seeing the deal happen as the picture of what we are dealing with was becoming clearer.
And the feelings of peace and joy of being rewarded for our faithfulness became feelings of hopelessness, fear, struggle, and anger as none of this news now made any sense. “Where is God in all of this? Why does ‘God’s rain that falls on the righteous and unrighteous’ produce no bounty of financial fruit for us who give and give and give yet produces magnificent bounty for those who keep everything for themselves? How is this fair? And don’t tell me that God is trying to teach me something by taking this blessing away.’
These thoughts became real and evident over the remainder of our vacation. And yet with time, some prayers offered up on our behalf, and our willingness to be frank with God, we found some healing and an age old answer to faith: “God never leaves or forsakes us. He only promised to provide for our daily needs (Give us this day our daily bread) and to reward our faithfulness in the next life.”
So whether you have riches upon riches or barely have enough to rub two pennies together does not determine the blessing of God in your life. The blessing of God is only determined by how you live with what you have now, and not according to how easy life is for you.
So will Caroline and I ever receive this inheritance? Don’t know, and honestly don’t care. I think this time we would rather be totally surprised rather than have the rug pulled out from underneath us as it was this past week. In the meantime though, God has made it clear that we need to take the daily bread we are already given and use it wisely. We need to use it to get ourselves free from the bondage of the debt we have accrued in helping LifeHouse fulfill its cause.
Honestly, I’m not sure why God had me write this other than maybe it will encourage and inspire you who read it to remain faithful and stay the course despite how nothing seems fair or makes no sense.
God is faithful. He is just. He just doesn’t always do it the way we think He should.
Love you! Have a great day!