In November I had a series of posts published in the CareOne Community discussing positive things that have resulted from my journey out of debt. This post was meant to be the last in that series, but I held back writing it because quite honestly I wasn’t sure if I was comfortable revealing this previously undisclosed part of me to my online friends. However, as the weeks have gone by, I have felt a growing desire to write this post.
As is typical of many young children, I gave my parents a hard time about having to get up on Sunday morning to go to church. We lived in a small town 15 miles from the slightly larger city where our church was, and I went to a private Lutheran grade school. My argument to my parents was that I felt like I went to church every weekday, so why couldn’t I just sleep in on the weekends?
As a college student I didn’t attend church services at all unless I went home for the weekend. As a married young adult, my wife and I went through phases of going frequently, and then not. However, even when I would attend services, I would rarely identify with the that day’s particular message. I’d often find my mind drifting away, thinking instead about the football game that would be on TV afterwards, or things that needed to be done that afternoon.
That all changed in June of 2009 when my family reached our financial breaking point, and we could no longer meet all our monthly obligations. While looking for answers, I found myself praying. A lot.
Suddenly the messages I heard on Sundays seemed aimed directly at me. Messages of trusting in God, how God will provide for me, and how no matter how bad things seem right now, they are only temporary. I also found that the hymns sung during the service had meaning to me and applied to my daily life.
Worshiping on Sunday mornings has become something that I look forward to. It gives me the strength to carry on through whatever troubles me – whether it be problems incurred due to being in debt, at work, or in my marriage.
For a long time, I wondered why God would allow me to struggle through this very difficult experience. Now, I think of it differently. Regardless of the fact that I continue to screw up time after time, I ask myself why God continues to provide me with solutions to each and every one of those mistakes. I don’t have an answer to that question, I can only be thankful that he does.
Recently, I heard a sermon on this subject that really hit home. The message was that God has a reason for everything that he allows to happen to us. There is a reason why I am going through this journey out of debt. Maybe it is the vehicle through which he is teaching me to be a better father, a better husband, or bringing me closer to him. Maybe through this journey I have, or will meet someone who was meant to inspire me or touch my life in a certain way – or possibly vice versa. Maybe it’s all of the above.
I don’t know the answer to that either, but I’ll ask God when I meet him.
Our church service always ends the same way: with the benediction. It is my favorite part of the service because it prepares my mind for the coming week. It reminds me that God is always present, always watching over me. I find that comforting and I hope it leaves you with a similar feeling.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious onto you. May the Lord look upon you with his favor and give you peace.