All over the world, things are tough right now for a lot of people. If you have listened to the news at all, you have likely experienced discouragement with all the terrible things you may have heard or read. In fact, literally as I was typing this post I received word that a business colleague had taken his own life. Obviously, there is a lot of suffering right now all over the globe.
On a personal level, things been extremely difficult for my family over the last several years. In recent months, I have spoken to many people who are also experiencing great pain. I have come to the realization that every friend and family member I know, are dealing with some type of health issue, financial issue, or some other very difficult struggle.
Many years ago, it was laid on my heart the need for preparation. I left a great income and moved my family to North Carolina based on this call to prepare. Unfortunately, I’ve spent the majority of my last four years struggling and wondering “why” things have been so miserable.
For me, this “Preparation Call” has not at all been what I assumed it was going to be. I certainly knew there would be some difficulties, but I never imagined the extent of the pain (physical, financial, spiritual, and emotional) I would experience. I have always had a very high threshold for pain, so the struggles for have been even extremely confusing.
Many days, the pain has literally been unbearable. I have cried, and foolishly lost sight of hope. As a daddy and husband, my biggest daily difficulty has been my personal struggle of trying to keep my family from seeing my utter discouragement. To my shame, I have often allowed the weight of the things I see around me to take a greater toll on me than was necessary.
So, as I have gone through this most difficult time in my life and have cried out to the Lord for an understanding, I have come to the realization that – this IS, in fact, the preparation call. My assumptions of preparation was that I would have a nice homestead lifestyle, and would learn to garden. My assumptions, were wrong.
I’ve recently come to realize that preparation for me had to be painful, in order to get me ready for the difficulties that lie ahead. If it were an easy step-by-step process, I wouldn’t adequately learn the lessons that are necessary for future leadership and service. I had to have some things (dependencies, comforts, even friendships) purged from my life if I am to be effective in the kingdom. As painful as it has been, it makes sense. I simply can’t grow without the discomforts.
Looking back over the past four years, I can see great miracles that the Lord has accomplished. I have no idea how we have survived, as I have not had a stable income since I moved to my current location. I’ve spent many days just wondering how I would be able to provide for my family. But, the Lord is good – and many times we have been blessed with food that has grown from our own soil. We have learned, to really depend on the Lord. And He has always come through.
I will stay on course, and look to the Lord for strength. Although the Preparation call has not been what I thought, it has become so much more of what I need. I am not over the pain as yet, but I know the journey will produce good fruit. And… I will stay the course.