“Until the time came to fulfill his word, the Lord tested Joseph’s character.” -Psalm 105: 19 (New Living Translation)
Max Lucado begins Chapter 5 (“Oh, So This is Boot Camp”) of You’ll Get Through This with fighter pilot Howard Rutledge’s description of the “Heartbreak Hotel”- a prison in Hanoi. The austere conditions produced maximum sensory deprivation- nothing to read, no paper or pencils, “primary” colors of dark grey and dirty brown.
As the author notes, few of us ever will face such conditions, yet, to one degree or another, we’ll all spend time behind bars. Although Satan prowls around “like a roaring lion” (1 Peter 5: 8), his strategies always backfire. While there is nothing trivial about our ministry downsizing or vocation loss, Pastor Lucado points out that our loss is not random. God isn’t sometimes sovereign or occasionally victorious. Our season of downsizing may puzzle us, but it doesn’t bewilder God. What Satan uses for evil, God uses for testing, God has us right where He wants us, so that He can purify our hearts.
Max adds that when we see our troubles as tests used by God for His glory and our maturity, even the smallest incidents are significant. C. S. Lewis noted this in God in the Dock:
“If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable; think of it as a place of training and correction, and it’s not so bad.”
Today’s question: What have you learned about God and His faithful provision during your desert, transition time? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “God is fully engaged”