A Story from the Downturn

I remember a conversation I had with a good friend about 5 years ago concerning the status of his employment. We had decided to meet at a fast food restaurant and simply take time to catch up on each other’s lives. At the time, he was on staff at a rather large church, and our country was at the beginning of the economic downturn. This fact affected the finances of the church.

As we were talking he revealed to me that it looks like he will be losing his job. At this point, it was a position that he had for several years. I was surprised how peaceful he seemed about the prospect of being unemployed. His wife had a job, but didn’t make enough to take on the all the bills. They were going to have to cut back on several line items in order to make it. “We will survive”, he said “God has always been good to us”.

Still, the elephant remained in the room. Why would God allow such a passionate man of God to lose a job that is supporting his family?

Then…this amazingly faithful man of God said something that has affected my life since I heard it. As I was pushing the issue about the obvious concern that this circumstance would induce, he said “you know…God doesn’t owe me a job.” This caught me off guard, because at first I wasn’t sure what he was getting at. “God doesn’t owe me anything….I think that whatever God gives me, for whatever season He gives it to me, it is a tool to use for Him…and only Him. Yes, my family is going to struggle financially, but we are not called to have more than we need but to serve Him.”

Honestly…how can anyone REALLY have this type of attitude? Well, in my experience, when we say yes to God, we are putting the responsibility of provision back into His lap.

God owes us nothing, but He chooses to bless us each at different levels. It is our choice to give everything we have back to Him. We may get no visible reward, but praise God that He uses us.

-Landon DeCrastos

Getting in Trouble

Is it appropriate to reveal a long held hidden secret in this type of blog? I am not sure, but today I am going to do just that. This secret is one that my brother and I have been holding on to since the late 80’s. In fact, he may object to the fact that I am revealing this secret. Okay, here it goes…

When we were younger, my brother and I were playing in the field behind our house.  Like normal boys who didn’t listen to the voice of reason (and ironically had a firefighter for a father), after jumping ramps with our bikes we became bored and decided to light small things on fire (leaves, trash, etc). Well as you could imagine this got out of hand quickly and soon a large fire erupted and engulfed a significant portion of the field. The next few minutes felt like an eternity. All we had were cardboard boxes that we had brought some things in so we thought it would be a great idea to somehow try to put the fire out with these boxes. This was a bad idea. Eventually, after kicking sand on the fire everything was fine. From then on we vowed to not reveal our secret until we were adults and were guaranteed not to get in trouble.

We are brothers, so you already know that we used this event to blackmail each other, and force each other to do the other’s chores. All we had to do was look at each other and say “I will tell Mom and Dad about the matches”…and all arguments would cease. The truth was always kept hidden to control the other sibling.

As humans, our tendency in life is to attempt to make our situation look better than it is. We try to hide or even ignore the truth when it is inconvenient because we feel like people will look down on us or we will even get “in trouble” if we are transparent.

If all truth belongs to God then it stands to reason that living a life that embraces truth will lead to blessing. Doing the right thing will never return void…it may hurt at first, but it will always benefit.

Trust in God today. Do what is right.

-Landon DeCrastos