I hate to sound like a whiner, but if you read my last couple of blogs, you would think differently. 2015 has been, well, unusual. I’m not sure the reason, but God has really been putting me through the ringer. The first month and a half of this year has been filled with blow after blow. Expensive car repairs, financial setbacks, emergency surgery, losing 15 lbs in ten days due to that surgery (as a bodybuilder, that’s horrific). I’ve had kids that I care about and mentored for years leave my youth ministry, people take shots at me, my family has been picked at and I’ve been cranky and argumentative with them because of it all. And then there was the “straw”. You know, the one that broke the camel’s back?

That thing that takes you to the edge of your sanity?

That “straw” came in the form of what seemed to be termites on the floor of my 4 year-old home. Keep in mind, this is all in 6 weeks. (and I’ve left out some personal stuff!)

I stared at the floor and just thought, “Really, God? Termites? You’re gonna hit me with termites right now?”

I laid in bed for a couple nights in a row and thought about my options. By that I mean my emotional options, how I want to respond to the 6-week war I’ve been in. I could get angry. We all know that if you get angry enough, termites run away and gallbladders come back. I could be depressed, which we know keeps cars from breaking down. A good pity-party would surely bring kids back to our ministry and make people like me again, right? I could just “give up” as people say, but what’s that supposed to mean anyway?

I could do all of those things or I could choose to grow. I could open my ears and in the fashion of Job (he’s that Bible guy who has all of the bad stuff happen), I could let God work. I could let Him teach me and strengthen me when I feel at my weakest.

I heard a quote many years ago that said, ” A soldier’s strength is never known at times of peace.” Well, if that’s true, we’re about to see what past bootcamps have taught me. It’s time to strap up, forge ahead and fight. That doesn’t mean I’m not concerned. It doesn’t mean I’m not challenged or even frustrated. It doesn’t mean I become Super-Christian and pretend nothing is happening because “I walk by faith and not by sight”. It simply means it’s war time.

As I said to someone the other night, life has seasons. Some seasons are better than others. Some northern winters will go down in history as crippling, yet spring always comes. Seasons. It’s a natural part of how the world works. Right now I feel like I’m waist deep in snow, trying to shovel my way to the driveway with a bad back. Even if I make it to the car, I can’t drive it due to the conditions of my path. But, I keep in mind…

spring is coming! So is yours. Keep shovelling!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ” There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

    a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
    a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
    a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
    a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
    a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,
    a time to tear and a time to mend,
    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
    a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.