Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Successful failures??

Yesterday was one of those days where the past came and haunted me. Here I sat in my self pity. We are in Ohio and yesterday I was home sick for the familiarity of home. I miss our church and I miss the comfort that I felt there. The thoughts crept into my head.. "If you hadn't made bad choices, you would still be home." Needless to say of battling with that all day and questioning God why Ohio, I was ready to go to bed. I had explained to my wife that I was just waiting on the next step and wondering what in the heck God had in store for us. I was getting impatient and wanted to get on with this thing we call our life. Needless to say I was depressed, frustrated, and discouraged.

I woke up today depressed and expected more of the same. So far that was happening. All three kids got up and were in less than wonderful moods. It made for a very miserable morning. Seriously if one child even looked at the other, there was a verbal altercation that followed. So my plan was to keep myself busy, try to block the worries of life and try my hardest to cast out the thoughts that yesterday had taken their toll on me. But God in his wisdom had something different for me this morning.

After dropping my two oldest kids off at school, Chuck Swindoll came on the radio and spoke about Saul. Saul was the first king of Israel. Saul was anointed by God. God inspired Saul and he was all about leading God's people and doing the Lord's will. If you remember Saul eventually disobeyed God and ultimately his life ended with failure. What a tragic ending of a life with such promise. One fatal mistake and it destroyed Saul's life. Because of Saul's disobedience he became selfish and became bitter at God. As I am hearing this on the radio, I am like wow that was me about nine months ago. I had failed in every way possible. I failed as a father, husband, friend, and child of God. Ultimately because of this, my reputation was gone. Any belief that people had in me was gone. I was known for my sins and that was that. My life was in ruins and in ashes. I was so deep in sin that I had started to drown. My life was headed to a very tragic ending. I had hit bottom.

Yesterday my wife called me as I was taking my youngest to school. God had used her to give someone some hope with our story. I have had a similar experience with a great friend of mine a few weeks ago. God had taken my failure and turned it into a story of hope and encouragement for others. Our story has started to help others in a way that we wouldn't have imagined. God has taken the ruins of my life and turned it into something beautiful to minister to others.

I came home and read my devotions. This was the first paragraph.

"There are times in your spiritual life when there is confusion, and the way out of it is not simply to say that you should not be confused. It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you."

That is exactly how I have been feeling the last couple of days. I openly admit that I am confused. I just want to get on with this life and serve God. I am very impatient and sometimes feel like I am not doing my part. It leads to frustration and lots of questioning. But I need to quiet myself and seek God and focus back on him. I don't want to step outside of God's will for my life. God is already using our story to touch other lives and marriages. There is not one life story that is exactly the same as ours, but God will be using certain aspects to touch others. I truly believe on the other side of this fog lies something that the Lord has in store for me. I know it will be awesome in the eyes of the Lord. 

What can I learn from Saul? Disobedience leads to the destruction of life. Live to be inspired by God, do his will with complete obedience. The reward is being used by God for his purpose and his glory.