My husband has been unemployed for several weeks.
It has been one of the most challenging times of our lives, causing us to ask a lot of questions – questions that have easy answers when life is good and things are fine and all is well.
But the answers come harder when times are tough and the future is uncertain and we just don’t know what comes next.
Who are we, exactly?
What do we value?
What constitutes our value?
Who are our friends?
Who are our enemies?
What is important?
For the first few weeks, I approached this season as a trial.
I searched the Scriptures for guidance, searching for words of encouragement for troubled times, seeking to always grasp the hand of the One who was allowing this season of difficulty.
Believing in His faithful provision for us, His children, now and forevermore.
Praying for God’s will to be accomplished in us and through us, and letting our Master know we were willing to take whatever step He wanted us to take next, in His time.
And to (try to) wait patiently until He showed us what that looked like.
It was a trial. That was one thing I didn’t question.
But one day as I rocked on my front porch and gazed on the mountains which I love and pondered my Master Whom I so love, He brought this little phrase to my mind. Perhaps you’ll recognize it:
“Give us this day our daily bread…”
I had my daily bread. In fact, if I applied this verse literally in reference to enough food for our household for one day, I had dozens of days’ worth of “bread” in my pantry, cabinets, refrigerator, and freezers.
Even if I applied the term broadly, to include all our household needs and bills for one day, we had (by God’s grace) an emergency system in place that would provide for these needs for multiple dozens of days.
No matter how I defined it, my Savior had already provided for us far beyond what I deserve and far beyond what I had any right to expect. And I called my husband’s unemployment a trial? I had to ask myself: What if…?
What if my husband’s time at home wasn’t a trial at all, but rather a remarkable gift for our family?
What if many weeks of having him with us was actually an extended vacation, a time to bring enjoyment and enhance our family bond?
What if my use of the word “trial” in defining this period in our lives made me into a spoiled child who receives a carefully chosen gift from her loving Parent, only to open it and cast it aside disgustedly, proclaiming it to be not what she wanted at all and may she please have another?
What if this space of time was only a “trial” of my own making – because I was too wrapped up in my temporal, fleshly perspective to consider for even a moment how my Master viewed my life?
What if I had exchanged God’s definition of “daily bread” for an alluring but oh-so-deceptive worldly substitute: security in circumstance?
I wasn’t content with God’s liberal provision of daily bread. I wanted my husband to have a job that would promise our own version of daily bread indefinitely. And when that worldly desire wasn’t met, I created a trial for myself.
It makes me wonder…
How many other things have I thought I knew, never even questioning, that I got so completely wrong because I never even tried to see them the way He does?
How many trials have I created for myself simply by not having His perspective, and not bothering to seek it?
How about you? How has God helped you “unwrap” a trial to discover a beautiful, unexpected gift tucked secretly inside? I would love you hear your story. Please feel free to share below.
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