“She’s…adjusting,” Brent commented when I asked how his wife was enjoying their new home in Georgia.
I laughed and said, “Yes, my husband is adjusting to my adjusting too.”
It’s been a season of transition and all the uprooting, upheaval, and uncertainty which can attend a cross-country move. This season, encompassing the last two years, includes my retirement from thirty years of work in radio, an empty nest after launching our youngest in the month before we moved, and the death of both of my parents. Add to all these changes living in a new home, without a job, friends, or family nearby.
A good friend from my old home, who always finds something positive to say, told me, “Well, gee at least you’re free of self-pity!”
Of course, she caught me on a good day.
I have had my moments when Poor Pitiful moped and wondered what in the world God has planned for me. I have experienced a pain so hard to pinpoint that there’s no use trying to talk it over with anyone. I have resorted to chips and cookies and I have the un-flat belly to show for it. No pun, but I do believe I was being sifted like wheat because I did not want to be working on the book that I have now returned to writing. I didn’t want to spend all my time thinking and writing about recovering from the spiritual problems that plague us after abortion.
But I have gotten back on track, and I am even filled with joy to have the freedom to dig deep in God’s Word to write down all the material that I’ve been teaching with Ruth Graham and in other settings for the last seven or eight years. I hope the actual writing will be complete in a few months, and I’m praying for the Lord to provide a publisher so that women and men who are suffering who read the book can be helped to find their faith as I have despite the pain that abortion brings.
So I am excited sensing a new phase as I realized I have returned to fervently praying for others. My spiritual mentor once reminded me that in Job 42:10, the Bible says, “After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.”
Everyone knows about Job’s trials and afflictions, but few of us have pressed through his saga to get to the moral of the story: things got better for Job when he began to pray for his friends. The bigger theme, of course is that Job (and by inference Satan, who picked the fight leading to Job’s troubles) recognizes that God is sovereign and deserves to be. But the victory of God over Satan is in rewarding Job’s faith—when Job settled things with God he was finally able to offer his prayers for others.
Satan challenged God that Job had been his faithful servant only because of God’s blessing. With this, he sought to tie God’s hands, which love to bless. Satan’s charge was that people only love God because He exhibits good to us. Job learned that he had true faith, because he had faith which acknowledged God apart from His work for us. God’s brilliant twist ending to the story is that, when Job acknowledged God’s absolute right to take away everything in life—God showed Himself strong to bless! Job 42:12 says explicitly, “The Lord blessed the latter part of his life more than the first.”
No matter how low life has brought you, there is always someone lower who could use your help. If you don’t see the need, you’re just not paying attention! Since those early months of feeling down, God has provided a strong group of new friends, and my old friends from home have been faithful and patient to keep in touch through my storms. I’m praying for them all. Sifting like Job experienced is a spiritual reality that can be as painful as pruning and as humiliating as God’s blessed chastening. But God is faithful–and all He requires is the same of you.
Just submit! Then get busy praying for others.