Saturday, May 15, 2010

Refiner's Fire and Abundant Life

Its been over a month since my update and its not for lack of news—time seems to be flying by and I'm just trying to keep up! From a distance our lives look unchanged since a month ago or even two months ago for that matter. But from my perspective we've been through a lot—I don't know how many times I've thought, "God, this is hard. Why is it so hard?" As I was praying and reading the Word this morning this is what I read,

Bless our God, O peoples,
and sound His praise abroad,
Who keeps us in life
and does not allow our
feet to slip.
For You have tried us,
O God;
You have refined us as
silver is refined.
You brought us into the net;
You laid an oppressive
burden upon our loins.
You made men ride over
our heads;
We went through fire
and through water,
Yet You brought us out
into a place of
Psalm 66:8-12

Two words caught my attention: life (vs. 9) and abundance (vs.12). This reminded me of what Jesus said in John 10, "The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it abundantly."

The next phrases that caught my attention was "For You have tried us, O God; You have refined us as silver is refined" and "Yet You brought us out into a place of abundance."

This passage lit up for me as I read through it a second time. It made sense. God's plan is for us to have life abundantly but I don't think we know how to experience that on our own. It has to come from Jesus. God is making us more into the people he wants us to be with each passing day—he's refining us, molding us, changing us inside and out to be more like Him. So, of course there will be hard days! Change is always difficult, even when you know its for the best.

But this passage also points to events that seemed like forms of punishment (oppressive burden, men riding over their heads, going through water and fire) that eventually brought about the abundant life. God is allowing us to go through struggles and tough situations because on the other side of it is His blessing.

So what sort of struggles have I been going through exactly?

Well, a few weeks ago, we found the perfect apartment and we could even afford it! We put in our application hopeful that we had found our new home. (I was dreaming of how to make it a home the minute we walked out.) A few days later they said it was denied because we didn't make enough money. I cannot describe to you the disappointment we both felt that day. I will say that it had us questioning our decision to move out to San Francisco.

The following week, I was told about a job in Colorado Springs that was exactly what I wanted to do (and had a good chance of getting) as well as offered a full time job as a Data Entry Operator at Jews for Jesus. I hated making this decision. I didn't want to have to choose between taking a job in San Francisco that I was good at but didn't fit into my long-term career goals and a potential dream job near my good friends in Colorado Springs. Even more importantly was how this decision affected my husband's career aspirations. I was in turmoil. What was God doing?

And still the constant struggle of job searching for Chris. We've been in California for six months and have not had any success in breaking into the film industry. This has been very discouraging again leaving us in a place of uncertainty.

The good news is that I accepted the job offer with Jews for Jesus! Although this was a tough decision, I do feel at complete peace that we need to be in San Francisco. And although it is not my dream job, it will hopefully allow us to move into the city and provide for our immediate needs as Chris looks for work. I did not expect to be working for another non-profit organization but this seems to be what God has in store for now.

So, although April/May has not been all that we hoped it would be in regards to our living situation, it has—to say the least—been a time of refining. Please continue to pray for us as we look at apartments and search for work for Chris.