Friday, October 08, 2010

Flashback Friday: Our Money Says "In God We Trust"

***Originally posted February 3, 2009. I linked to this Tuesday, but wanted to bring it back up to the front page. Ann Spangler's book, "Praying the Names of God" has been a great encouragement to me, delving into God's character through the names He was called in the Old Testament. In trying times, it's worth remembering who God is.***

This story breaks my heart. I can’t imagine what must have been going through his mind while looking at his children and committing these heinous acts. I’m sad that we live in a society that is so driven by wealth and status that not only motivated our present economic crisis, but also has left so many hopeless in its wake. I consider myself blessed. Both my wife and I are gainfully employed with relative job security. Our children are healthy and our mortgage isn’t totally screwed up (only just a little). But I do worry about what would happen to my family if something were to happen to me. To some degree I worry about the loss of income, but I worry more about the emotional pain of loss. If both my wife and I lost our jobs would I feel completely hopeless to the extent that I have no hope, even for the future of my children? That’s the part of this story I just don’t understand.

I’m also sad that we live in a culture that is overly self-focused. I’m guilty of this myself. I don’t know my neighbors like I should. I’m sad though that others feel they can’t turn to family or friends for support even if their neighbors are strangers. At least through my extended family and my spiritual family I believe I could manage through the hard times. Catastrophic loss of income? I don’t really know. I know many families in my church are hurting right now. I’ve had several neighbors move because they can no longer afford their homes. My heart goes out to them, but I also know that a loving God will take care of them, even if not in the ways they hope.

El Roi, Yahweh Yireh, the "God who sees” and “the LORD Provides” encourages me through His word: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (James 1:2-3) And "we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." (Rom 5:3-5) I pray that my circumstances may be a blessing to someone in greater need, be they family, friend, neighbor or stranger.

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