It’s a bitter cold day here at the cabin. Early morning temperatures were right around 4 degrees, depending on who you ask, and the wind chill was well below zero. We woke up to a cold cabin. The furnace had quit during the night. With this being an antique radiator system, everything hinged on getting things up and going again quickly. God bless my dear father-in-law. He gets a call at 4:30 in the morning and leaves his warm bed to go out in this awful cold just to nurse this old monstrosity along once again. He acquired the basic furnace second-hand around 35 years ago when they built the cabin. He then designed the configuration of pipes, valves, and radiators that keeps hot water flowing through this place. I suspect that this old beast has outlived itself by at least 20 years. The idea of living in a rustic cabin high up in the mountains sounds very quaint and romantic. It makes for a good movie of the week; but in reality, it’s a struggle most every day. Our struggles are no better or worse than anyone else’s – just different in ways.
I’ve found that the struggles in life are what strengthen our faith. It’s easy to trust God when things are going good and you are relying on the fruits of your own labor to make it through each day. There was a time in my life when faith was easy. I’d go to work every day, draw my paycheck every couple of weeks, and stretch the dollars the best I could. Faith was easy because I was able to make things happen under my own power. But in looking back, was my faith in God or was it in my own abilities? Granted, God provided the avenue for me to work and helped me maintain our home. But I sure put a lot of stock in my own knowledge and abilities.
Nothing speaks “faith” to me more than farming. A farmer prepares his/her fields with the anticipated hope that God will provide abundantly. The farmer plants the seeds, nurtures the crops, and prepares for the harvest all summer long. Every morning, the farmer looks out across the fields expecting to see even the slightest evidence that his/her faith hasn’t been misplaced. Will it rain? Will it stop raining? Will it be warm enough? Will it be too hot? Every day there’s a wait and see anticipation. Quite literally they rely on God each and every day. In good seasons, that faith is sure easy to maintain. The work is still constant and often backbreaking, but there is evidence that their dreams for the harvest will be fulfilled. But what about during the years of drought? Faith is a little more difficult to maintain when you watch your efforts shriveling under the blazing sun with not a rain cloud in sight. To me, that’s when faith is really put to the test. On the years when the harvest doesn’t quite meet the desired goal, where’s faith then? Does the farmer cry to the heavens that God has failed him? Does she declare that faith was a waste of time and proceed to take matters into her own hands? At that point, true faith is knowing that in spite of the circumstances, God WILL provide. But God’s not a genie. He provides in His own way and in His own time.
I believe that we aren’t the only ones facing trials. Whether they are man-made, self-made, or circumstantial, everyone is wrestling with something in their life. Folks, this is where the rubber meets the road. Do you trust God? Do you truly believe in His perfect will for your life? Or do you believe that your faith has been misplaced? God teaches us through the trials. Just like the farmer, we need to get up each day, do the best we can, and leave the rest to Him. He will provide … in His own way and in His own time. This is the lesson He seems to be teaching me over and over again. The lessons of faith are the most difficult to learn, but absolutely the most awe-inspiring to behold.
God is going to get us through our trials. I have absolutely no doubts. And I don't know all the 'hows' or 'whys' in what He's doing. But I do know that it all boils down to just two words – Trust God.
Have a great night and may the Lord bless you.