For the last few months, maybe even as long as a year or so, I’ve been scrambling. Just going through the motions trying to put on a good face and keep the faith but to be honest I’m just at a loss for where to go next. I am trying to find the balance between doing the “will of God” and admitting that maybe I miscalculated a few faith leaps.
I’m in a really interesting place right now where insecurity and uncertainty are the kings of the day and anxiety and anger seems to be the emotions of choice. Before you tell me you’re going to pray for me and sheepishly conclude that I’m in error or somehow am no longer as spiritual as I ought to be, consider Abraham.
I imagine some of the same emotions and “feelings” plagued Abraham on the daily. Think about it. God calls Abraham to leave his homeland, family, religion and complete way of life to follow after an invisible God to whom Abraham had no prior knowledge or relationship. Wow, sounds scarily familiar to my life. When I try to get upset, impatient or discouraged I have to look at things in the context of reality. I’ve only been walking in faith as a Christian for around 5 years or so. I went headlong from a life of atheism into Christian ministry. I went from disbelief to leading bible studies, from cursing Christians to evangelizing the name of Christ.
I’ve never been a status quo guy. I’ve been a person after the truth my whole life and if somehow that disagreed with the elite in power then so be it. The same seems to be true in my walk with Jesus. I feel like the turmoil I often feel isn’t generated from God but more of an American commercialism version of Christianity. My main qualms typically seem to surround the fact that despite my best efforts financially I can’t seem to consistently “provide” for my wife and I. But the fact of the matter is, we aren’t in poverty, we have a house that we are able to pay for and our bills are paid and most of the time they’re on time. So if I’m living by faith, like I am, and the Lord is my provider, like He is; then what’s the big deal?
My real quandary lately is why, despite my best efforts to faithfully do what I feel called to do, is everything seeming to “dry up.” My ministry did fairly well and I stayed booked most of the year but it seems that I decided to jump into full time evangelistic ministry at the exact wrong time in our countries history. Post economic bust America when churches aren’t as focused anymore, sadly, on evangelistic programs as much as they are about tickling the ears of the faithful few that are currently keeping the lights on and doors open to their cathedrals built to American opulence. So in this environment how can I survive?
I understand that without faith it’s impossible to please God and before you lecture me on prayer, fasting and Bible reading let me interject that I understand the Christian “formula for success” and it just seems like I may be missing a piece of the equation. My heart is to love God and his people but the bigger picture is that if something doesn’t change soon my ministry will just be another statistic of Christian ventures closing their doors.
I know what you’re thinking, “why is this guy complaining, he should just go out and get a ‘real’ job.” I couldn’t agree more! But here is the problem, you see despite the fact that I’m college educated, Army trained and look decent on paper I can’t seem to find a job that’s hiring. I’ve spent the last couple months sending out resumes and applications and every time I doubt my calling, ministry and faith I resort to this. I’m not above working. I would love to find a job that would allow me to provide a stable income for my family and give us a sense of security that we have yet to have in our short marriage. The problem is deeper maybe. Perhaps I’m supposed to get over some residual pride I have from working for everything I’ve ever had, perhaps God is teaching me to truly trust him in this season of uncertainty. Maybe He is calling me to a place where dependency on him is my only option, and honestly that’s where I am. I just have a bad attitude about it right now.
How can we live in this land of in between and maintain our faith, sanity and composure even when all systems aren’t go. How can we have faith when the reality of the situation seems to dictate more distress than faithfulness? Here I stand at a crossroads of faith, do I stand firm and dig in deeper for one last hurrah in hopes that finally I can be successful? Do I throw in the towel and relegate myself back to the “normal” workforce and pray to have a positive Christian impact where I go, do I do both? Lord the simple prayer of “I need direction” is a wild understatement but that’s where I’m at. So what would YOU do?