The Challenge to Change

The coronavirus pandemic has given many of us the opportunity to reassess our lives and make changes, whether we want to or not.  Some of us have viewed this uncertain time as a curse while others have taken advantage of this season to sit back, take stock, and reassess our lives in hopes of finding a better way to live going forward.

For many families the pandemic has resulted in financial difficulties they never saw coming.  With little warning, jobs have been lost, businesses have closed, and income has stopped. Bills have continued to arrive and savings accounts have been quickly depleted.  Difficult decisions are being made.  Do I pay the utility bill or feed my family?  If I don't pay the car note and my car is repossessed how will I look for a job or get to work after all this is over?  If this ever happens again, how can I do things differently so that the consequences won't be so devastating? 

Our family went through a financial reversal during the last recession after my husband lost his job.  We were sitting on a mountain of debt with absolutely nothing in savings.  Yet God met all our needs.  Some of his provision came in the form of food stamps and unemployment benefits, but much of it came from caring friends and our church family.  I believe that our obedience in the area of tithing to our church while we were both employed resulted in God's generous provision in our time of need.  We learned a lot of hard lessons about financial management during that time and determined to do everything in our power to more prudently handle money once the crisis had passed.  We changed habits, slowed our spending, paid off our debt, shared the lessons we learned, and positioned ourselves to not only be able to face the next crisis with greater financial stability but to also be able to help those in crisis.  As we reassessed our lives during that time of financial hardship, we changed our reality with God's guidance and the help of others.

I love the story of Job.  He was a righteous man who loved God wholeheartedly, yet suffered great loss in a very short period of time.  While God didn't cause Job's suffering, he allowed it.  He allowed Satan to have his way in Job's life -- to strip away everything of value, including Job's family, possessions, and health -- yet God forbade Satan from taking Job's life.  Job did not blame God (Job 1:22).  In fact, when his wife urged Job to curse God and die he said to her, "Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil" (2:10)?  Job experienced his own season of doubting, complaining, and questioning God.  After all, he was human.  His well-meaning friends fanned the flames of Job's disappointment and despair.  But in the course of time, as he continued to seek answers to the hard questions brought on by his calamity, God revealed himself to Job, perhaps in ways Job could never have experienced otherwise, and Job repented his sins of self-pity and doubt. Scripture tells us the LORD restored Job's fortunes and "blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning" (Job 42:12).  Don't you just love a happy ending?

As you take the time to reassess your life during this season of uncertainty, what are the lessons God would have you learn?  Are there changes you need to make in order to more fully live out the purposes God has for you? 

In chapter 23, verse 10, Job declares of God -- "But he knows the way that I take; when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold."  May we all allow God to use the challenges we face to fit us for his purposes and change us to be more like him.





Copyright © 2020 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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