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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Rest (01/17/13)

TITLE: Our Fiscal Cliff
By Gail Burks


Recently, I spent time reviewing my past journals, dating back ten years or more. I haven't read them in quite a while, probably because I felt as if nothing much has changed--- so, why torture myself? However, an inner voice whispered, “Go back. It will help you understand.”

So, looking back many years ago, I was reminded how our own personal 'fiscal cliff' became a reality. Over a period of years, jobs were lost, mortgage payments became unmanageable, bills increased, funds waned, circumstances happened. Then, our personal savings plummeted, resulting in an early distribution of 401K funds. The college fund was compromised. Things got worse.

I remember, like it was yesterday, when a generous collection was taken up by several church members to help us pay utility bills. A couple of years later, a family friend helped by making a deposit on a rental home, when we lost ours.

This is not a sad story, as the Holy Spirit reminded me as I perused the countless journal entries made in the last decade. On the contrary. This time of reflection certainly encouraged and brought me to the realization that the trials and difficulties of life are often great opportunities for God to get the glory. Yes, glory, out of our lives.

Because of these events, my husband and I had to learn to rest in God's perfect timing, perfect provision and perfect will for our lives. We had to trust the Lord with our whole heart, not depending on either our own foolish thinking or wisdom of the world.

The love of God is so enormous. We experience it everyday, in spite of how things may appear. Yes, many families, like ours, have been dealt serious financial blows. Some have survived and some have not. We know situations in which the father has committed suicide over financial distress or the children have gone to prison for selling drugs. Some women, though not admitting it, have even decided to earn money through unscrupulous means.

But, Father God has brought my family to this new place, working in us a new heart, a more compassionate spirit, a joyful song. We have learned to trust and obey --- entering into HIS rest --- no matter what.

In the bible, Hebrews talks about entering into God's rest, and how the children of Israel learned hard lessons because of doubt, fear and unbelief. “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day. 9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; 10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. 11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.” (Heb 4: 8-11).

As I write this story, I am grateful for our laptop computer, our rental home, our church family, our community, and our finances that are improving daily. My family is growing in obedience by reading the Word, praying, paying tithes and sowing into God's kingdom.

Most importantly, I am grateful for the fact that through these trying times, our children remained healthy and have now developed into young (not perfect, mind you) adults, graduating from college, settling in careers and becoming more dependent on God, not man.

So, now, when people ask me questions like: “How are you guys doing?” Or “Is your husband working yet?” Or,“What are you doing now?”

I lovingly respond with phrases, such as: “Good, we're doing well.” Or, “We're learning to trust and obey God even more.” Or, simply, “I'm learning to get more rest.”

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This article has been read 234 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 01/24/13
Excellent devotional. Depending on Christ alone leads to real peace.
C D Swanson 01/26/13
A wonderful job with this multi layered piece.
Great message overall.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/27/13
You did a great job on this lovely devotion. You pulled me in right at the beginning with a true story that pretty much everyone can relate to. Your transition to your scriptural message was seamless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/31/13
Congratulations for ranking 6th in level one!