The last four years have been years of loss. Over and over and over again. Loss of physical capabilities with a severed tendon and surgery and two difficult pregnancies; loss of dreams and dignity through slander and persecution in the workplace; eventual loss of employment due to the workplace issues and Todd's insistence on applying the very hard words of Christ in relation to our enemies (check out Matthew 5:38-48...easy to read, immensely painful to do); loss of all things comfortable and familiar as we left behind our lives and moved across the country to a new job and home; loss of a sweet baby boy at 12 weeks gestation; loss of our basement to a flood; loss of two vehicles through accidents; and now this week, our bathroom has literally fallen apart, and one of our (new) vehicles has been rendered undriveable and needing repairs that will cost more than the value of the car. The losses have been staggering, and this list is not exhaustive. The timeline of calamity has accelerated, from once every couple of years, to several times a year, to where we are now: just about every six weeks, we are hit with a new blow. Seriously, around the five week mark, just as things are getting back to "normal," I start inwardly wondering what the next thing is going to be. We have reached the point of crying out with Job:
I will say unto God, Do not condemn me;
shew me wherefore thou contendest with me.
Is it good unto thee that thou shouldest oppress,
that thou shouldest despise the work of thine hands,
and shine upon the counsel of the wicked?
Hast thou eyes of flesh? or seest thou as man seest?
Are thy days as the days of man?
are thy years as man's days, that thou inquirest after mine iniquity,
and searchest after my sin?
Thou knowest that I am not wicked; and there is none that can deliver out of thine hand.
Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about;
yet thou dost destroy me...
And these things hast thou hid in thine heart:
I know that this is with thee.
I am full of confusion;
therefore see thou mine affliction; for it increaseth.
~ Job 10:2-8,13,16
Yes, this is where we are. Full of confusion. Wondering if the affliction has any end of increase.
And then we come to this:
Though he slay me,
yet will I trust in him:
but I will maintain mine own ways before him.
He also shall be my salvation.
~ Job 13:15-16
But he knoweth the way that I take;
when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.
My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.
Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips;
I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food.
~ Job 23:10-12This is our only comfort:
His mercies have proven new every morning.
Because of his great love we have not been consumed.
His power has been made manifest in his provision.
His grace has carried us.
His power has sustained us.
So as we face yet another loss, and wonder
I KNOW that we can sing with David:
I will love thee, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer;
my God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower.
I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised!
He sent from above, he took me, he drew me out of many waters.
He delivered me from my strong enemy, and from them which hated me:
for they were too strong for me.
They prevented me in the day of my calamity:
but the LORD was my stay.
He brought me forth also into a large place;
he delivered me, because he delighted in me.
As for God, his way is perfect:
the word of the LORD is tried:
he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.
For who is God save our LORD?
or who is a rock save our God?
It is God that girdeth me with strength, and maketh my way perfect.
He maketh my feet like hinds' feet,
and setteth me upon my high places.
~ Psalm 18:1-4,16-20,30-33
So will you watch and wait with me as we cast ourselves completely upon the provision of our great Provider? As we stand with expectancy before His throne of grace? As we wait with quietness and confidence to see His great deliverance? For
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee:
because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye in the LORD forever:
for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.
~ Isaiah 26:3