When Life Happens

Trusting God by Jerry BridgesHave you ever had one of those weeks? I know it’s a cliche, but truly when it rains, it pours. At least it does for me.

Have I told you about my rather odd work situation? I guess it’s a “God thing.”

In 2006, I was laid off from my editing role at a Christian university in northeastern Wisconsin. Through various circumstances (which I’ve documented in other articles), God opened the door for me to start editing for various clients from home.

The interesting thing is, this venture has truly been one rocky road, a true faith journey. Some months, I frankly have no idea what I’ll be doing  for income. I just pray, and God provides. It’s almost mystical. Meanwhile, as my daughters get older, the more expensive their needs become.

Hence, the pressure. Hence the hot flash I get every few months when I see the bills, look at the checking account, and wonder how on earth we’re going to get by. But then my wife, the stalwart one with the big faith, reminds me, “God will get us through this. He always has before.”

And it’s true. When I look back, I can see how, in spite of the depths of the next valley, He has always led us to the other side and somehow kept us debt free.

So where does that take me? Over the last few months, God has sustained us, just as He always has. But instead of doing a few big jobs that pay the bills and leave me with some writing time, I’ve had to accept a lot of smaller projects that add up to needed income but eat up my writing time.

And that’s hard. Because I want to write. But providing for my family has to come before that.

Then over the last two weeks, life happened. I mean, really happened.

The “theft system” light started blinking in my car’s dashboard and treating me like a burglar; it literally kept me from starting my car. Then the garage door came off its track and became so bent I couldn’t close it. Then our 150-year-old oak tree dropped two massive limbs, barely missing our house. Thankfully, the girls weren’t in the yard when those limbs came crashing down.

Three phone calls: car dealership, garage door repairman, and tree service guy.

Three moments of inconvenience (we had to request a ride to church).

Three bills that amounted to a collective kick in the gut. But God will provide. He always has.

What have I learned? What I’ve learned so many times before. When life happens, all we really have left for stability is God. He is the safe rock to cling to. I know this is a simplistic message, but sometimes its the simple things I forget. There’s no way to predict when the car will break down or the dog will get hit by a truck or the kitchen stove will catch on fire.

Stuff. Just. Happens.

At the same time, God has opened the doors for some brand-new editing jobs. Maybe I can resume work on my next novel after all. Maybe.

I don’t believe life’s mishaps are as random as we are tempted to think. I believe God has a masterful sovereign plan that includes those trials, though at the time they are indeed hard to understand. A terrific book that has helped me deal with these challenges in the right spirit is Trusting God: Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges. If you haven’t read this book, I highly recommend it.

What about you? What major life challenge has smacked you upside the head over the last few weeks? What has God taught you as a result?

4 thoughts on “When Life Happens

  1. nancy and eldon timm

    How true that life happens. Eldon often says “life is what happens after we make other plans” . “But God”- He is aware of our circumstances, and that can give us encouragement. Thanks for your posts and I am looking forward to reading you new book.

  2. Adam Blumer

    Thanks, Nancy, for commenting. Yes, God is in control of all . . . even when stuff breaks down. The next book is out in January. Thanks for your support.

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