Saturday, September 11, 2010

No Matter What by Gail Purath

My husband and I aren’t savvy investors...

When my parents died, I inherited some money. It gave us an opportunity to do volunteer Christian work overseas after my husband retired from the military. My husband’s military pension paid our living expenses if we were careful, and my parent’s retirement paid for the extra expenses and travel costs and gave us a retirement nest egg.

But for many years after my parents died, we just let the money sit in the bank where it was earning very little interest.

So last year, while on furlough from Budapest, we decided we weren’t being good stewards with the money. We prayed about what to do and felt like we should put the money in some safe investments. Our only condition was that the investments be morally and financially conservative. A few days later, we flew back to Budapest.

That was a month before the stock market crash last fall. Our hearts sank as we sat in our Budapest flat and realized we’d lost a huge hunk of our future. We didn’t know what to do, but everyone told us to hold on…things would get better. But they didn’t. Our retirement savings just kept dropping….and dropping…and dropping.

When we came back to the States the following year, we felt it was time to do something. If we kept losing money, we could jeopardize our retirement years. After all, we were in our late fifties and we’d been out of the job market for quite a while due to our mission work. So we prayed some more and felt we should remove what we had left in the stock market. We knew this meant our loss was permanent, but we felt we couldn’t gamble anymore with our future.

A few months later the stock market started to recover. Eventually it recovered to the point where we would have had much smaller losses had we left our money in the stocks.

I've had my share of difficulties and trials, and I wish I could say that they never faze me, that my immediate response is to trust the Lord. But sometimes I get stuck for a while in unbelief and self-pity, focusing on circumstances instead of on God.

Sometimes I still get a little sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about the chain of financial events during that time, but I’ve let it go for the most part, trusting that the Lord knows what is best for us, and He can use any circumstance for our good.

Maybe we hadn’t heard the Lord when we’d prayed about investing and/or removing the money, or maybe God wanted us to experience this loss. We don't know.

But one thing I do know is that God is good.

I’ve always loved the final half of Habakkuk 3. I memorized it as a new Christian when it was a popular praise song (that was in the 1970’s!), and I’ve always had it “hidden in my heart” as the psalmist says in Psalm 119:11. Eventually the principle in the verses impacts my thoughts and my heart, and I realize how incredibly blessed I am to be saved and loved by the Lord.

I pray that I will always remember—no matter what happens in my life—that I can rejoice in my Savior for He is my strength and my joy.

This is how the 1970’s praise song paraphrased Hab. 3:17-19:

“Though the fig tree does not blossom
and there be no fruit on the vine,
the produce of the olive fail,
And the fields yield no food,
Thought the flock be cut off from the fold
And there be no herds in the stall,
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord,
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation,
God the Lord is my strength!”


Read Gail's other blog postings by putting her name in the search box in the upper left of the blog.

Week 37--September 12-18: Scripture Reading: Amos 7-9; Obadiah; Jonah; Micah; Nahum; Habakkuk; Psalm 128-130; Key passage for devotion: Habakkuk 3:17-19

1 comment:

  1. Sometimes I think that we are just supposed to go through a certain trial so that we can understand how other people feel in that situation. I, like you, trust God to provide but I often have to remind myself that it may not be like I think it will be. I shouldn't spend so much time in trying to imagine the future, but live presently for Him. God is in control! We are praying for you in your mission to Budapest!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...