Trials into Gold

Super Bowl XLIV had a thrilling finish, a victorious underdog, and a great backstory, with the trials that the city of New Orleans and the Gulf Region have endured. This helped it to be the most watched TV program ever.

At the heart of this was New Orleans QB Drew Brees. He had his own hard-luck tale. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers, but struggled his first few years. The Chargers grew frustrated and drafted a replacement, Philip Rivers. Just as they did this, Brees became a good quarterback. He was undersized, but his intelligence, mobility, and competitive nature helped him keep his understudy on the bench.

The last game of the 2005 season was momentous for Brees. The Chargers were out of the playoffs, but he fought hard in the game. He lost a fumble in the end zone, and rather than staying out of the fray, he dove to try and save his mistake. Instead of getting the ball, his right throwing arm was crushed under huge bodies, and he had a terrible tear in his shoulder.

The Chargers were considering what to do with him, so the injury made it easy to say goodbye. Brees had surgery, but was looking for a team to pick him up. The Dolphins sorely needed one, but they felt he was too risky.

This opened the doors for him to become a Saint.

He spoke in interviews leading up to the Super Bowl that he and his wife felt like coming to New Orleans was “a calling.” The team was displaced during Katrina, and the owner thought about moving his team elsewhere, perhaps San Antonio. It was a risky place for players to go, but New Orleans took a chance on several people discarded by their prior teams.

Four years later, Drew Brees is a champion QB and MVP of the Super Bowl. It was hard to miss his teary eyed celebration with his young son after the game. I hadn’t heard whether Brees was a Christian or not prior to the game, but he started using the platform he won to give glory to God. As he says in the interview before (which was before the Super Bowl, but I hadn’t seen it), what was the worst thing that could happen to him actually turned out to be a huge blessing, considering it brought him to New Orleans. He is more than just an athelete. He and his wife are spearheading charity work to help rebuild a city that still needs lots to recover.

This made me think of a trial of my own. When I first started blogging in 2006, a couple of months into it I lost my job for fluke circumstances. The funny thing was, God set everything up. It was a hard time to be unemployed even though my bosses had said they liked me and couldn’t fault my work. I knew God would see things through, as He promises in the Word, but it wasn’t easy.

I don’t have a Super Bowl ring (and never will, unless I buy the Cowboys from Jerry Jones), but looking back, I am in a much better situation. I have a good, secure job with a great schedule for my family. Since then I have a new house and a wonderful daughter. I will soon have some financial flexibility, and I hope to be able to do some things for the Lord through this.

Trials will come. People who claim Bible promises don’t usually turn to the passage that talks about there *will* be suffering, but it happens to the best of God’s people. Hopefully, stories like mine and like Drew Brees can be an encouragement that God truly does work all things good to those He loves and has called according to His purpose.
Check out the interview with Drew Brees below for more insight. He’s a cool guy, and one of my new favorite NFL players.

Trials into Gold

Super Bowl XLIV had a thrilling finish, a victorious underdog, and a great backstory, with the trials that the city of New Orleans and the Gulf Region have endured. This helped it to be the most watched TV program ever.

At the heart of this was New Orleans QB Drew Brees. He had his own hard-luck tale. He was drafted by the San Diego Chargers, but struggled his first few years. The Chargers grew frustrated and drafted a replacement, Philip Rivers. Just as they did this, Brees became a good quarterback. He was undersized, but his intelligence, mobility, and competitive nature helped him keep his understudy on the bench.

The last game of the 2005 season was momentous for Brees. The Chargers were out of the playoffs, but he fought hard in the game. He lost a fumble in the end zone, and rather than staying out of the fray, he dove to try and save his mistake. Instead of getting the ball, his right throwing arm was crushed under huge bodies, and he had a terrible tear in his shoulder.

The Chargers were considering what to do with him, so the injury made it easy to say goodbye. Brees had surgery, but was looking for a team to pick him up. The Dolphins sorely needed one, but they felt he was too risky.

This opened the doors for him to become a Saint.

He spoke in interviews leading up to the Super Bowl that he and his wife felt like coming to New Orleans was “a calling.” The team was displaced during Katrina, and the owner thought about moving his team elsewhere, perhaps San Antonio. It was a risky place for players to go, but New Orleans took a chance on several people discarded by their prior teams.

Four years later, Drew Brees is a champion QB and MVP of the Super Bowl. It was hard to miss his teary eyed celebration with his young son after the game. I hadn’t heard whether Brees was a Christian or not prior to the game, but he started using the platform he won to give glory to God. As he says in the interview before (which was before the Super Bowl, but I hadn’t seen it), what was the worst thing that could happen to him actually turned out to be a huge blessing, considering it brought him to New Orleans. He is more than just an athelete. He and his wife are spearheading charity work to help rebuild a city that still needs lots to recover.

This made me think of a trial of my own. When I first started blogging in 2006, a couple of months into it I lost my job for fluke circumstances. The funny thing was, God set everything up. It was a hard time to be unemployed even though my bosses had said they liked me and couldn’t fault my work. I knew God would see things through, as He promises in the Word, but it wasn’t easy.

I don’t have a Super Bowl ring (and never will, unless I buy the Cowboys from Jerry Jones), but looking back, I am in a much better situation. I have a good, secure job with a great schedule for my family. Since then I have a new house and a wonderful daughter. I will soon have some financial flexibility, and I hope to be able to do some things for the Lord through this.

Trials will come. People who claim Bible promises don’t usually turn to the passage that talks about there *will* be suffering, but it happens to the best of God’s people. Hopefully, stories like mine and like Drew Brees can be an encouragement that God truly does work all things good to those He loves and has called according to His purpose.
Check out the interview with Drew Brees below for more insight. He’s a cool guy, and one of my new favorite NFL players.

The Short and Long of It

I have a friend who is going through a crisis right now with her baby. My heart breaks for her as she asks for prayer and shares her family’s struggle in keeping strong. She has great faith and has been an admirable testimony through it all, and I know that all the prayers people are offering for her, and especially her own cries to the Lord, are offering a deep source of strength for her that she can’t fully realize at this time.

It got me thinking about our response to crisis times, and the long term effects of such times. I’ve had two events in the last 5 years that have been major upheavals in my life. Four years ago my mother succumbed to COPD (basically emphysema). Then two years ago I was laid off from a job when my contract wasn’t renewed, under some interesting circumstances (you can read all about it on this blog even…whee).

I know I relied heavily on the Lord for strength during those times. In one sense my mom’s death was easier, because she had taught us that death was a natural part of life and she didn’t fear it. We knew she didn’t want to suffer anymore, and in that way it was a blessing. Still, my father died when I was 5, so she was essentially both parents to me through my life, and it was still hard. God brought a lot of peace into the situation.

When I lost my job, that was a little incredible because there wasn’t a really good reason for it. There were lots of circumstances in the background that made it a difficult road, and I didn’t get a job right away. It took four months to start my current job from when I finished at the old clinic, and I spent three months at the job I was losing the way my contract was written (90 days notice). It was a real battle to go to work each day to a place I knew didn’t want me, but again, God moved in my life during that time, and He proved Himself extremely faithful.

So where is this babbling going?

In the short term, I really turned to Jesus and received strength, grace, whatever you want to call it. I spent time with Him, and I felt like the tree in Psalm 1, with roots planted by streams of water. Especially in the job situation, where I had reason to be very bitter and angry, I can say I had a supernatural enabling to walk in pretty good attitudes (hey – I wasn’t perfect).

Today as I was thinking about my friend’s trial, I thought about the long-term position I was in regarding my big crises. I was dealing with anger at my mom that she missed out on our new little girl, because she chose to smoke. I still deal with anger and bitterness over my former employers. A couple of people were gossiping about one of the doctors, and part of me didn’t want to hear at all, but part of me delighted in hearing about his problems since I left.

What happened to the good responses?

I can testify that it wasn’t God’s fault how my spirit, my response has darkened. It was fully my lack of endurance in seeking His will in all of these areas. As time passed and the busyness of life took over, I no longer spent time with Jesus regarding these events and attitudes. I focused on what was immediately in front of me, without fully submitting all of my life-past, present, and future-to Him.

I think my point in all this is that the Christian walk is a long-term marathon. I thought that the problems were over just because things had moved on. I stopped actively asking for His Word and light to help in those areas. Therefore a root of bitterness, starting small, was able to take hold. These events are affecting me years down the road. Now, the death of a parent is supposed to do that. The loss of a job is also one of the major life stressors someone can endure. Yet, with the grace that was given me during those times, it seems out of line that I reacted this way.

I don’t want to take God’s grace for granted anymore. I don’t want to let things from my past rule my present. I feel like I enjoyed His grace for a season and left it behind when things turned and started going “my way” again. How terrible to disregard such a gift.

Ugh. I didn’t mean to get so maudlin. But it is an important point I want to make: we keep going to the well of the Lord, whether good times or bad. We don’t stop when times get good. We turn to Him in the short term and when things go well, we leave Him in the long term.

Thankfully these are heart attitudes that aren’t huge. I haven’t lost my faith or anything near it. But He deserves better from me, and I’m not happy with where my heart is in these areas.

Here’s to the short and the long of it.

The Short and Long of It

I have a friend who is going through a crisis right now with her baby. My heart breaks for her as she asks for prayer and shares her family’s struggle in keeping strong. She has great faith and has been an admirable testimony through it all, and I know that all the prayers people are offering for her, and especially her own cries to the Lord, are offering a deep source of strength for her that she can’t fully realize at this time.

It got me thinking about our response to crisis times, and the long term effects of such times. I’ve had two events in the last 5 years that have been major upheavals in my life. Four years ago my mother succumbed to COPD (basically emphysema). Then two years ago I was laid off from a job when my contract wasn’t renewed, under some interesting circumstances (you can read all about it on this blog even…whee).

I know I relied heavily on the Lord for strength during those times. In one sense my mom’s death was easier, because she had taught us that death was a natural part of life and she didn’t fear it. We knew she didn’t want to suffer anymore, and in that way it was a blessing. Still, my father died when I was 5, so she was essentially both parents to me through my life, and it was still hard. God brought a lot of peace into the situation.

When I lost my job, that was a little incredible because there wasn’t a really good reason for it. There were lots of circumstances in the background that made it a difficult road, and I didn’t get a job right away. It took four months to start my current job from when I finished at the old clinic, and I spent three months at the job I was losing the way my contract was written (90 days notice). It was a real battle to go to work each day to a place I knew didn’t want me, but again, God moved in my life during that time, and He proved Himself extremely faithful.

So where is this babbling going?

In the short term, I really turned to Jesus and received strength, grace, whatever you want to call it. I spent time with Him, and I felt like the tree in Psalm 1, with roots planted by streams of water. Especially in the job situation, where I had reason to be very bitter and angry, I can say I had a supernatural enabling to walk in pretty good attitudes (hey – I wasn’t perfect).

Today as I was thinking about my friend’s trial, I thought about the long-term position I was in regarding my big crises. I was dealing with anger at my mom that she missed out on our new little girl, because she chose to smoke. I still deal with anger and bitterness over my former employers. A couple of people were gossiping about one of the doctors, and part of me didn’t want to hear at all, but part of me delighted in hearing about his problems since I left.

What happened to the good responses?

I can testify that it wasn’t God’s fault how my spirit, my response has darkened. It was fully my lack of endurance in seeking His will in all of these areas. As time passed and the busyness of life took over, I no longer spent time with Jesus regarding these events and attitudes. I focused on what was immediately in front of me, without fully submitting all of my life-past, present, and future-to Him.

I think my point in all this is that the Christian walk is a long-term marathon. I thought that the problems were over just because things had moved on. I stopped actively asking for His Word and light to help in those areas. Therefore a root of bitterness, starting small, was able to take hold. These events are affecting me years down the road. Now, the death of a parent is supposed to do that. The loss of a job is also one of the major life stressors someone can endure. Yet, with the grace that was given me during those times, it seems out of line that I reacted this way.

I don’t want to take God’s grace for granted anymore. I don’t want to let things from my past rule my present. I feel like I enjoyed His grace for a season and left it behind when things turned and started going “my way” again. How terrible to disregard such a gift.

Ugh. I didn’t mean to get so maudlin. But it is an important point I want to make: we keep going to the well of the Lord, whether good times or bad. We don’t stop when times get good. We turn to Him in the short term and when things go well, we leave Him in the long term.

Thankfully these are heart attitudes that aren’t huge. I haven’t lost my faith or anything near it. But He deserves better from me, and I’m not happy with where my heart is in these areas.

Here’s to the short and the long of it.