Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Encouraging Thoughts

During the weekdays I receive an email each morning from Proverbs 31 Ministries. The email contains these wonderful devotionals geared towards women of all ages and life experiences. It's interesting that though their ministry is a broad based one, I find myself relating to the messages more often than not.

This morning's devotional for instance really got me thinking about recent events in my life. I thought I'd take the time to share with each of you my story (and then the devotional just for reference).

What I've been struggling with recently was actually something that started well over a year ago (more like a year and a half). I had come the decision after much prayerful discernment that God was leading me out of Utah and back to Virginia (where I had grown up). At the time of that decision I believe God put several events into motion that lead me to a job opportunity in Virginia. The only problem with that job was I would need qualifications that went beyond what I received in college. It would require me to pass several licensing exams. I didn't have a problem with studying and taking tests, I mean how hard could they be?

It turns out they were VERY difficult. Over a year after taking the first licensing exams and failing, I passed the Series 7 financial exam on my fourth try yesterday. Had I known all the suffering and hundred's of hours of studying that it would take for me to accomplish this feet I might have given up before I even started. Well, I take that back I wouldn't have said an outright "NO" on God's leading, but like an Israelite child of old I would have done some major grumbling.

As part of my story to share I'd say the Series 7 exam became what the following devotional calls a G.F.I. (God Faith Interrupter). I would study and work diligently toward passing, but then each failure threw my faith momentarily. I couldn't understand why God would lead me in a certain direction only to allow me to fail continuously.

The whole experience was discouraging, humbling and now worth every moment. My encouraging word for you all today is never stopping following faithfully and obediently where God leads you despite how difficult it might become.

Like I mentioned the following is from the devotional sent from Proverbs 31 Ministries:

I pulled in the driveway grateful to be home after a five-day conference. I pressed the remote and the garage door rolled open. Bloodied water trickled toward me as I stepped from my car. I knew immediately what had happened - the freezer had gone out. All the meat had thawed and the bloody, watery juices had drained out of the freezer into a maroon stream that slowly ran toward the driveway. Yuck.

Mark, my husband, was out of town. I stood in my garage disgusted and slightly freaked out. Of course, I called my husband for help. I didn’t care if it was late and there was a three-hour time difference between us.

He patiently said, “Check the G.F.I.”

“The what?”

“The ground fault interrupter. It’s in the electrical outlet where the freezer is plugged in.”

Sure enough, the G.F.I. had tripped and in response the freezer shut down. Nothing was technically wrong with the freezer, except now it had hundreds of dollars of rotting food sitting inside it. Because of a tripped G.F.I., my evening turned from one of anticipated relaxation to hours of vexing cleanup.

Isn’t our faith sometimes like that, too? We are believing and trusting the Lord, when all of a sudden something unexpected happens – our own G.F.I (God Faith Interrupter) gets tripped. In response, our faith shuts down and we melt like a gallon of vanilla ice cream in a hot garage.

It’s certainly difficult to understand the twists and turns in our journey of faith. When a God Faith Interrupter occurs, we grope in the darkness for something to reassure us that regardless of our circumstance, the Lord is loving, merciful, and He will guide us. God Faith Interrupters might shake our faith. They can be scary. They certainly will be unexpected and uncomfortable, but the Lord holds the charge of power to uphold our faith even when it shuts down temporarily. We must turn to Him.

Express to the Lord your fear of a “God Faith Interrupter” tripping you up. Then thank Him that He will be with you, showing you mercy and loving-kindness, no matter what happens in the days ahead. Then resolve to stay plugged into Him, no matter what.


Stacey said...

Congrats on passing the exam Jen!!!!!
I am so happy for you!!!!

And thanks for that post I really needed it. What an encouraging word.

Stacey said...

Jen You have not posted in a while and I am missing your posts....