Sunday, August 26, 2012

Us Against the World

It’s tough being a Christian. Life is unfair, and many people including other Christians are unkind. Circumstances often don’t make sense, and so many prayers seem to go unanswered. As a believer, I sometimes wonder where God is and I wonder if the storm will ever pass.

These days, we are just trying to survive. Crystal and I are both working just to keep our tiny family boat afloat. I get to work in the middle of the night at the news station and between this and other freelance work, I often find myself working 12 hours a day to make half of what I used to make at the church where I worked as worship pastor. Crystal is up all hours of the night feeding and consoling little Joshua (who is now almost 5 months old!). She then turns around and goes to work the next morning. I wish she didn’t have to work, but she is carrying the benefits for the family, and we have more medical bills and doctor’s visits than we can keep track of. We are trying to save for a house payment as we are quickly running out of room. In general, we feel land locked. Just as Joshua sometimes arches his back in an attempt to get out of his bouncy seat, it feels as if we are likewise squirming to get out of some uncomfortable and binding circumstances that feel as if they will never change for the better. The reality is the best we can do is to pray and wait.

The band has had its ups and downs as well. So many shows have been cancelled. One was cancelled because of a power outage. Another was cancelled because the promoters came down with a nasty virus. A third church show was recently cancelled because they decided to start tearing down the sound system about the time we arrived. Apparently, there had been some miscommunication about our start time. A long time friend looked me in the face and told me they didn’t want us to play anymore. That really hurt. We also recently lost our bass player (due to difficult life situations), but fortunately, God has provided a replacement.

Some days, I feel like I have more enemies than ever. The flip side is that I am that much more thankful for real friends whose lives show they are truly believers. So often, it feels like trying to do something good only brings pain. I guess often good things don’t come without a lot of work and persistence. I often get down at night and Crystal and I talk about all the questions we’ll never be able to answer. I am slowly learning that entertaining the whys and what ifs is a useless exercise.

Joshua is such a bright spot in our lives. I don’t know how many times I look at him and just start crying. I am just so thankful for him. He almost died in the birthing room, but almost five months later, he has more life and personality than we could ever imagine. He inspires me every day. Now that I am a father, I understand more than ever that this life is not about me. I look at Joshua and Crystal and I realize being the father and husband they need is the best thing I could ever aspire to accomplish.

ColdPlay has a song that states “it’s us against the world.” Sometimes it feels like we are in fact in a war of dark exploding skies and relentless landmines where few people are sincere and few people really care. So often we feel alone, but we believe God our Father is here. Somehow He is working all things together for good, and though we at times feel abandoned, He has never taken His eyes off of us.

I lift up my eyes to the mountains—where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip—he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:1-8

Kitamu Coffee - 8/25/122

We had a fun time playing at Kitamu Coffee last night in Hilliard, OH. Thanks to owner Mo Muhidin for inviting us. Great job to Heather Evans who played before us. Pictured to the left of me is guitarist Matt Wooten. Read more about Kitamu here.