Monday, January 16, 2006

Contentment and testing

This past year has been very challenging for me. God has taught me so much. I am extremely grateful to him. It would seem that I am in the process of learning to be content. Paul talks about knowing the secret to being content whether in want or having plenty. Well this past year has been shy of plenty. We are sort of in the middle, or maybe slightly above being needy.

I want to snapshot what God has been teaching me in this journey.


My stove had some wierd heating troubles. The elements had a mind of their own. One day they would work, the next they wouldn't. One element accually would shut down the main breaker when we would turn it on. Back in October a freind of mine gave me a stove that he didnt need. We brought it home, put my old stove outside where it rained for two days straight, and installed the new stove. Three days after we had the stove, the oven quit and hasn't worked since. (At Christmas we put chicken nuggets in the oven at 11:00 AM and at 1:00 they were warm.)Needless to say we make a lot of stove top dinners. You sure notice it when you have no oven. Again I could get frustrated that we have no oven, but I am being challenged to see the positive and be content with a stove that 1/2 works. I don't know when we will replace it but I am trusting God to provide one. I will speak on that later. It is amazing how we get so caught up on things. God has promised that he will provide everything for me....and he will.

In September while at a housing co-op meeting someone smashed out the rear window of my van. At first sight, I really had no emotion. Yes I was dissapointed that it happenned, but my heart was at peace. I remember driving home saying to God "well God I guess we need to fix your van" (I always prayerfully give my vehicles to God to protect them and care for them when I purchase them). The next day I went out and replaced the window to the tune of $450. It was alot, but I knew that we needed to replace it so we did. (at that time I had some available credit to use) A few days later someone came to our door and put $400 in my wifes hands and said that it was toward the van we were prepared to withdraw some invested emergency $.

In early November while working someone again broke out my rear window. (I must have forgotten to tip someone) I had no extra money at the time so I said to God "Well I guess I need to cover it up and wait because I have no extra money to fix it. So I covered it up and waited to see how God was going to care for that need. I was already working an extra 24 hours per week to get caught up on a power bill that we got at our year end settlement. A good freind of our's talked to some people, who talked to some peolpe and they raised some funds to assist us. I tell you it was extremly humbling. I was so amazed that God was again taking car of our need. (I felt in my spirit that I was not to go into debt over it.)

I went almost two months without a window. We had the money by mid December but circumstances held us back from getting it fixed. Then the first week in January I called the autoglass place and got set up to get my van in. That very day I went out to my van which was parked in the parkade at work and my passenger window was smashed out and someone had stolen some item's. I felt numb. I had no emotion. I accually felt like crying. I was beginning to think that something was not right in my life. Maybe sin? Maybe judgement? It was a low moment but after talking with some wise friends I came to my senses. I wasnt angry though. I was just bewildered. The next day I went out and replaced the passenger window, then the following day the rear window. God is so good at taking care of us. I accually believe that he was testing our character. The following question entered my heart. "Am I still a good, kind and awsome God when trouble hits?" My answer...Yes you are!!!

These things could take a toll on a large family but we are trying as best that we can to seek God and trust him for things in our life.

Have I learned the secret of being content....not yet, but I thank God for the material troubles that we have been facing because he is getting the credit for getting us out, and for helping us through. Be it his Grace or mercy I do not know but he is faithful and will take care of things on our behalf as we trust in him.


carebear said...

it's testimonies like this that no one can argue with. It's when really crappy things like this happen and you can honestly say.....GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME. BLESSED BE YOUR NAME! That's when God is glorified.

Things like that happen to us all the time. How are we going to respond. Funny, I wonder, did these things happen when we were on week 6 of Transformations? The character lesson really sunk in for me.

God IS good. And His faithfulness and love endures forever. Thanks for sharing.

Nin said...

Wow, God is so funny. I'm sorry, I had to laugh out loud for the first half of your post. It reminded me of so many similar times growing up. (Like when there was a big hole in the trunk of our big beast, and all our soup cans fell out one day after grocery shopping and rolled all over the road!) And it's at those times where there's nothing left to do but laugh, laugh at the situation, laugh in joy knowing that God is bigger and that He's given you a wonderful family to share these times with, and laugh at the enemy when God comes in and shows Himself off. Love ya brother, looking forward to seeing you guys! :)

carebear said...

Yeah, that car was big enough to live in!

Or the times we had to park one of the many beasts we had growing up about 4 blocks away, so that the bank wouldn't tow our car away!

or the time we had one onion in the fridge and a bottle of mustard. So I fried it up and had an onion with a bit of mustard on it for a meal!

Nin said...

That's where it's at!

Brad the Dad said...

Hey we are living there to. Trying to bless when it's a mess. Go deep dude.

rene the rugrat said...

First I wish you had told me about your stove when you asked me to house sit

Second I might be able to help you. The one in my Mom's new place did the same thing, $80.00 and 2 hours later it was as good as new and $80.00 was @#$%^&*&^%$##@!@!!!!! expensive as I recall - yours should be a lot cheaper.

flowerlady said...

Don't forget about Mark the amazing appliance magician. He may be able to fix it for you over the phone, he did with our dryer - he's incredibly reasonable and knows his stuff.

Anyway, it's lovely to see you posting again, hearing what God's doing. I'm so glad that window is fixed, I was blessing it as I dropped your wife off this evening.

Princess Warrior said...

Hey CWG just wanted to let you know I am thinking and praying for your family in this tough time.

Anonymous said...

Here's some sobering thoughts on prayer and God's faithfulness - when you pray, at that VERY MOMENT a child is probobly being raped, or beaten, starved, blown up, losing body parts to leprosy, drowning, acquiring a tapeworm, or enduring any one of a multitude of atrocities. With 6 billion people on the planet it's a horrible fact of life. What kind of monster does this make your god out to be if he answers our prayers while ignoring the cries of children?

Princess Warrior said...

Apparently I didn't really read your blog the last time. Wow! you are a huge blessing to me, thanks for being a great boss. I think of you guys every time I pass by the office.