"So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Memorize his laws and tell them to your children over and over again. Talk about them all the time, whether you're at home or walking along the road or going to bed at night, or getting up in the morning. (Deuteronomy 6:5-7 CEV)"
My son broke down when he overheard me talking to a friend about the lay-off, the 'not-fired, but no longer employed' term that has left me and my family a week away from utter poverty. He cried because he saw the dream of not living in my sister's basement but having his own room in a house of our own evaporate like the morning dew under a hot sun. Bitterness, coming from a long year of disappointments, allowed those tears to flow and each sob crushed my heart even as I wrapped him in my arms and told him we would be okay, we would be together and Dad would find another job. I reminded him about all the times that God has provided for us; money from friends, gifts from others….we haven't had much in the last year to claim as our own, but what we have has come from those who care and love the Lord….and passed blessings on to us.
My daughter sat in the back seat and said nothing. She is too much like me, quietly observing a world that seems bent on opposing this little band and defiantly staring it down in the face. She began to echo my words to her older brother…"Casey, Dad said it will be alright….Casey, its okay, Dad said so." She has had her own rough year, spent with her mother instead of with us….and she has a longer road back to the peace and comfort that family once meant in this life.
I believe what I tell my children. God has proven Himself a respecter of no man, but a loving Father to His children. He does not utter simplistic things to pacify His children but moves in the most effective and logical way towards the delivery of the promises He has made throughout the generations. He, more than I have ever been able to deliver, comes through each and every time. He blesses both the righteous and the wicked; not because He doesn't care whether you are His or not…but because He has a plan for each. He will never demand our obedience or our lives…but will continue to knock at the door to our hearts until we open it with our own free will and invite Him inside.
Another day has passed, tomorrow at 4:30pm it will officially be a week since I received the news that no longer would I be working at the job I've known for five and a half years…..day in and day out, through the marriage and divorce, through the custody and the allowing my daughter to live with her mother. The friends who have come and gone, some of their own free will and others because they had no choice. Another day will be spent filling out applications for positions that I know I can do, but I have no degree for…another day trying to find the funds to maybe go back to school and get that degree…another day of taking my daughter and my niece to school….another day closer to the end of the severance I was given.
I tell my children each day that God is going to provide….because I can hear Him whispering through the tears I have cried in the worry that sometimes creeps in to the heart when I get distracted by the Enemy's attacks and fall back..."Jim, it will be okay. Your Dad said so."
I know that I am not the only one facing these problems in these perilous times…some 4,000 alone in the building I once worked in were summarily let go after years and years of working when they showed up in the morning one day….the funds for 'no worker left behind' are running out because people are using them to return to school for hope….obtaining state/federal aid for food and shelter are three months awaiting time….and the demand for higher degrees are hidden in the simplest of job descriptions…
My son thinks it's funny that his 'old man' needs to take a math course before he can go back to school, if the funding and the provisioning come through for that…He no longer worries about when Dad will get a job but how much time Dad can spend maybe coming to school and volunteering….the same with my daughter. She said, in the solemn voice of an eleven year old, that I should become a police officer or a homeland security officer….failing that, I should become a teacher. And then her ten-year old niece said in equally solemn tones "I didn't know Christians could be police officers." As I read stories of children dying from cancer, of families torn asunder by divorce and job loss and look into my daughter's confident smile and see my son's bright, gentle glance, I thank the Lord that I can have this time, even with the prospects growing smaller and smaller, to spend in the delight of my children.
And I go outside each night and spend my time with my Heavenly Father…..crying out my heart to Him that I not 'screw-up' the blessings that He has given me with my children, that I can have more time with them, to show them that even in the midst of the enemy's arrows flying like a blanket of death around me, that I will stand faithfully with my sword and shield and rely on my Father's strength, promise and mercy to see me through….
Shouting His praises even in the midst of the storm……confidently daring the waves and shaking my fist at the enemy……because my duty to my children, to show them God and teach them the way of living as a child of His doesn't end like the job did…..there are no budget cuts in the coffers of God's treasure house, there is 'no longer a position for you' in the ledgers of His accounting. My duty is to show my children a real and living God…….and my confident faith in His word, His deeds and His promises. So I look at going back to school, and continue to fill out the resumes for the secular jobs that I think I can at least have a chance for as my heart longs to be in the church as a pastor or on my way to Australia to be a men's pastor to the men of the outback……
Because my children have faith in their father….and their father has faith in the Heavenly Father…….
"It will be okay….because my DADDY tells me so…….."