As of today, it is exactly three weeks until I am going to be married. A lot of people have been asking me if I am excited. My answer is that it is one of the only bright spots in the current storm. I haven’t made a public statement, but if you pay attention on Facebook you may have noticed Trinity Academy is no longer listed as my employer. Due to budget cuts, I was let go as of last Wednesday. So exactly one month before I get married, I lose my job. I found this out a week before I left for Brazil, and it would be effective less than a week after I got back. Since then I have also had car trouble and stress from other areas of my life. Life is trying it’s best to take away any excitement I have.
We all know that storms in life will come (if you don’t, check out Matthew 7). A few years ago, someone gave me a word from God. It was very short and to the point. It was, “Don’t lose your zeal for life.” I wasn’t really sure why God was telling me that, but I wrote it down. I felt like I was a pretty positive person that loved life. There have even been times in my life where people said to me, “I’ve never met someone that is always happy like you, how is that possible?” But God does know a thing or two I don’t, so I wrote down the word in a note in my phone. As it turns out, God does know what He is doing, and not even a week later some things happened which made me apply the word to my life. That note is now something that I can remind myself of when things get tough.
Last Sunday, during worship, God reminded me of this word. I’d be lying if I told you the stress of life wasn’t getting to me. Unemployed was not how I had envisioned starting marriage. Going from a camp director back to a counselor isn’t exactly the career jump you think of. A car repair bill was not my favorite way to celebrate my cut in pay. Neither was a trip to the emergency room. At what should be one of the happiest moments in my life, it seemed like everything was going wrong. My zeal was walking out the door. I was trying my best to not let it show, but God knew. He was telling me, “Even now, don’t lose it. I know times are tough, but don’t give in now.”
According to Google, zeal is defined as having “great energy or enthusiasm in pursuit of a cause or an objective.” God began to show me that no matter how much other things would let me down, He never would. It is easy to lose your zeal when you have enthusiasm in the wrong things. Deuteronomy 31:6 says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” In a time where everything is changing, there is one thing that is constant. Even in the storm, there is something worth having zeal for. I may not know what my next full time job will be. I may not know how much longer my car will make it. I do know that no matter what happens with all that, God will be right there with me.
Chris August just released a CD called The Upside of Down. It is definitely worth getting. On the song “Center Of It” he sings, “In the dark, in the light, in the morning and night, in the good, in the hurt, in the places I hide, when I rise, when I fall, You’ll be there through it all, at the start, at the end, in the center of the center of it.” On his website, he explains the song and says, “Whether everything is going great or whether it feels like the world is against you, God is there at the start and at the end, in the center of it.” I’m not sure what God has in store for me, but that is not going to change how I approach my relationship with Him. Whether in a storm or the calm, I am going to be zealous for God. I have found that when I focus on that, it will spill over into the other areas of my life. Was I a counselor this past week at the Y? Yes, but did I have a blast being one? Absolutely. Did I spend some time in the emergency room a few weeks ago? Yeah, but I found out I just had a severe muscle strain and not a blood clot. Did my car break down last week? Yep, but now it is running and I was only without it for one day. The devil can try to rain on my parade, but I’m determined more than ever to keep on marching.
until next time…
Comment Question: What do you do to lift your spirits when things aren’t going your way?