Deuteronomy 8:11-1811 Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees... 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God... 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness...to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth...
Wow, this echoes my life! As I look back at my life, God had led me through the desert of my childhood, through the neglect and abuse. He fed me manna (His love) so that it might go well with me. But, as I grew and overcame obstacles (being a single parent, working full-time, and going to school); I forgot that it was His strength that brought me through. I took pride in the fact that I, an under 30 single mom had graduated college, worked full-time, and had even bought a house for me and my daughter.
Then, the bottom fell out. I am not saying that all trials or bad things in this life are punishments. I am not even saying that losing my job three years ago was a punishment. I do, however, believe that difficult times are/can be used to bring you closer to God.
I still struggle day to day. Over the last three years, I have struggled with anger, I have struggled with feelings of inadequacy. I still do. But, I have also come home. God, I feel, is still working on humbling me. Unfortunately, I am too stubborn to give in. (And, yes, I know this, but it's something I don't usually recognize until it's in the rear view mirror.) But, it's wonderful to feel His love, even when I am falling apart.