Hurrah! God Loves Us!

Hiking Diamond Head

Hiking Diamond Head to celebrate my husband’s recovery from surgery

Five years ago, I preached on the temptation of Jesus in Matthew 4, and how we sometimes treat life as a test for God. So…if my husband is healed of cancer, then hurrah!–God passes the test, and I know God cares for me. Or if everything goes well at work, then hurrah!–God passes that test, and I know God loves me.

At the time, I offered those two scenarios as general examples, and when I filed away my sermon notes, I filed away those examples too. But as I looked through my old sermon notes this weekend, I realized with a start that both cancer and work-related issues have become part of my life in ways that I never expected at that time.

Since that sermon, my husband has been diagnosed with cancer, underwent successful surgery, and was then told he needed no further treatment. Just as in my sermon, we can say, Hurrah! God cares for us! Since then, my husband has also been told his employment will be ending for financial reasons at the end of April. Hurr…uh, wait a minute…hello, God? This is actually the opposite of everything going well at work. If this were a test, you’re not exactly acing this one.

Yet even in our present circumstances, I remain convinced that God loves us. As God met Elijah in the wilderness at his lowest point (1 Kings 19:1-18), we take comfort in God’s presence in our low points too. God sent angels to minister to Jesus when he was tested in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), and we are grateful for every affirmation and word of thanks that minister to us during this time too. My hurrah might not be quite  as rah rah as usual, but hurrah, God loves us still. That’s the only test that really counts.

As part of our Lenten series at church, I’ve been reflecting on the question,”How do you acknowledge God as the author of your story?” In God’s story of my life, I know that what we’re going through now is just a chapter, or maybe even a footnote. There is more good to come. Our story is still being written, and God is still the author of our story.

Writing Prompt: How do you acknowledge God as the author of your story? (with thanks to the worship materials in Leader)

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8 replies

  1. I’m just letting you know that you and Gary are in my prayers. Tom and I have both been “let go” from jobs in our past…and like you say, “it is a small footnote” and we see that we were needed in other places. On the other hand, at the time it seemed like our world had ended, esp. since we are in a culture where financial security is important. It is difficult to “let go and let God” yet I think that is what discipleship is all about, at least as how I interpret the gospel of Mark’s stories. Love you both! .

    • Ah, Maria, – your words are balm for my soul! There are so many different layers to a job loss, as there is with any grief. And as word has gotten out about our situation, I’ve been hearing many more stories of painful job loss from others. It’s definitely a journey of discipleship as you describe, and we walk it by faith not sight. Thank you for your love and support!

  2. Beautiful encouragement. Thanks so very much for sharing. I will highlight this inspirational and encouraging post on the Christian Poets and Writers Website. Blessings to you and your family, always!

  3. April, we have been through the loss of my husband’s employment several years ago. Although he was nearing retirement age, he was not ready to stop. The financial aspect of the job loss wasn’t what hit the hardest. It was the emotional gouge he took as not being the “best provider” he could be. I thought at times I was living with a stranger, definitely not the man I’d married. The word “divorce” ran through my mind often, knowing this wasn’t the answer but still it ran. Thank heavens for God’s grace in our lives and the ingenuity that surfaced in my creative husband’s world. He started a small business on a shoestring, and it still survives on that same shoestring. However, he is creative, innovative, and industrious each and every day at almost 79 years of age. The change came about not so much like a storm at sea, but like a cool and balmy breeze across a lake on a lazy summer afternoon. God’s grace…like a breeze. I hope that things work out for you and your husband. Know I’m praying for your situation.

    • Sherrey, thank you so much for praying and for your comment. Your experience is a great comfort to me as we are still in a very tender time. There are so many layers to a job loss–financial, legal, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, physical….I am already looking forward to that cool and balmy breeze! In the meantime, we walk by faith and not by sight, holding on to hope.

  4. Your blog and readers’ comments reminded me of the job loss I experienced almost 7 years ago. Job loss is painful. Whether it occurs as a result of lack of need for services, economic downturn, “political maneuverings” beyond our control–it hurts. As one of the comments said, I would not be doing what I am now had it not happened, but you still have to walk through this time and it is not easy. Self-confidence can be deeply shaken. Some days without warning, I realize I can still be unnerved by this event. Thank you for the reminders and encouragement that God walks with us.