If you are looking for my blog titled, The Contemplative Catholic Convert, you are at the right spot.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Turning Point

I published this before. It bears repeating.
This incident happened to me somewhere around 1978. Thirty-three years ago. As I get ready to post this to the blog, I can still see myself sitting in the driveway, staring at the clouds.
Thirty three years. Has it really been that long?
Nancy and I struggled through many other low points in our lives together after this incident. And yet, thirty-three years later, I can still say, our “heavenly Father knows our name, and He knows our address. And that alone is enough to sustain me.”
Please, trust Him. Thought the earth should shake; Though the mountains fall into the depth of the sea, He will never forget His child.
In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid. What can mere man do to me? (Psalm 56:4).
I tried in vain to control the tears. But without a job, two small children at home and a third on the way, despair settled over me like a thundercloud.
"God," I wept aloud. "What am I going to do?" I wiped my eyes with my sleeve and glanced quickly at the traffic around me. It was bad enough if someone would see a grown man crying, but I didn't want to also be seen talking to myself.
Following what I believed to be His guidance several years earlier, I took my family and left the security of military life to attend college. But after graduation, as opportunities for jobs evaporated, I could only wonder if I had misunderstood His call. And now, after suffering another lay‑off from my job, I faced an ever growing pile of over‑due bills.
"For I know the plans that I have for you," I reminded the Lord of the Scripture which years earlier encouraged me, ". . . to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). Then I repeated a litany of reasons why I thought He had not lived up to His part of the bargain.
But it was no use. My throat ached from the lump still stuck in its midst. Heaven seemed glazed over with concrete.
As I pulled into our driveway, I absently scanned the sky toward the horizon. Wisps of cirrus clouds hung lazily across the light blue expanse. I sat nearly motionless for a few minutes, drained and worn out from crying. And then I did the only thing left open to do. I breathed in quiet surrender: "Lord, I still trust you."
Nothing changed overnight. We continued to eke out enough money to keep food on the table, the rent paid and the electricity turned on. But something felt different. Inexplicably different. Without understanding how or why, I sensed my confidence in Him grow.
I suppose I had reached a turning point.
Some weeks later the phone rang. My former employer needed me back to work. Could I report that evening for the night shift?
In a world of ever shifting plans and programs, where the only thing constant is change, the Biblical message stands as unshakable as God Himself:  "He shall be the stability of [our] times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge" (Isaiah 33:6). When heaven appears brass and the ear of the Lord seems dull, God ever remains faithful and "intimately acquainted with all [our] ways" (Psalm 139:3).
Sometimes through life's angry thrashings we may forget that. And it is to our disadvantage when we do, for it is often just those times of turmoil which drag us face to face with ourselves, forcing our resolve to trust God despite . . .  and in spite . . .  of circumstances.
Sort of like our personal turning point. 
I have learned it time and again . . . and re-learned the lesson more times than I should have needed: though the earth may quake and mountains are cast into the sea, the heavenly Father knows our name and He knows our address. And that alone is enough to sustain me.

I pray it is enough to sustain you.

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