The past several months have been challenging for our family. It seems like each "challenge" on it's own has been manageable, and yet when we've had them all happening at once, it has led to a hard season.
One of my husband's co-workers left the company and left an unfilled position in the process. The company is reorganizing, so they are not hiring right now--which means my husband has two people's jobs while only getting paid for the one. To say this is stressful for him feels like an understatement because of the amount of extra work it has added to his life (and the amount of sleep it has taken away from his life!). And I don't know about your house, but in my house, one person's stress can cause an unbalanced household pretty quickly.
Besides his job stuff, we have now been on the wait list for our adoption for ten months. (That is longer than a pregnancy in case you were wondering--ha!) We anticipate possibly another year of waiting. This in and of itself is hard as we long for a daughter we don't yet know, and our biological children pray daily for us to get our call soon (aka our referral). It is difficult enough as an adult to understand why this process takes so long--try explaining it to a 5 and 7 year old as they want their sister here now.
We also have had to deal with the fact that the financial piece of the adoption has left money tighter than it's been since I first became a stay-at-home mom. We know it's all worth it, and we trust God to provide, but it is challenging.
(Aren't you glad you're reading this right now?! Don't you feel encouraged?!)
In the midst of these challenges (and I won't list anymore, as I fear that I will just depress those reading it), God is at work. Let me say it again, God is at work.
We may not see the whole picture (and right now we don't), but God uses trials to mature us and develop us (I love how James 1:2-4 says it in the Message version quoted above.) He does see the whole picture, and He knows the beautiful outcome.
In the midst of our trials, God reminds me:
*Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
*The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. (Exodus 14:14)
*The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me. (Psalm 138:8)
*Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. (Joshua 1:9)
*We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned, struck down but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
I recently heard a quote from Hudson Taylor that says this, "I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God: first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done." And though I have no idea what all God is up to in our lives right now, I know that as His children, we are a great work of God. So, though it sometimes feels impossible, and oftentimes feels difficult, we are on our way toward "done." And when I am done, I pray that I have fought the good fight and finished the race in a way such that my Lord will tell me, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."
It may be hard; it may feel almost impossible, but I don't want to get out of life's challenges prematurely. I want to grow and mature in the Lord until the end of my days. Let's fight the good fight together. As believers, we know we win in the end. These momentary trials are nothing compared to the eternal glory we will one day see.
My hope is in the Lord--no matter what. Will you, too, rest in Him today?