I love the stories I get to hear and be a part of as people grow in the Father’s love, even through the most unexpected changes. I met Daryl years ago when we were both vocational pastors in Visalia, CA. We’ve stayed in touch through the years and have even crossed paths at a number of different locations around the US. I have walked with him through his wife’s unfaithfulness and then divorce. Watched him start a new business venture and then his business partner betray him. I watched him pass over some pretty shaky theological ground, and yet Daryl kept coming back to an unrelenting desire to follow Jesus and to find his security in the Father’s love.
This has not been an easy journey and it didn’t end up where either of us thought it would, but it has ended up in real freedom and life. This is part of an email he sent to me the other day:
Father is so good as I can sense that through His love and patience he taught me about just relaxing in to His love. I really can’t explain it, but through this long and sometimes seemingly brutal process, I have experienced His faithfulness and love. I’m okay each day, and enjoy each day.
Over these last 10 years I’ve been kinda expecting Father to bring restoration. A restoration of a new wife and family, a home, my finances, job, etc. Well, He hasn’t done that, but I believe He has brought a spiritual restoration. Now this is what I can’t really explain. In the simplicity of my life—-one day at a time, one moment at a time–it is filled with laughter and the security of His love and faithfulness.
I have been working part time at Home Depot now for almost a year now. Father has provided this job and I know it is what He has for me now. I am renting a room fairly close to work, and have been blessed with some amazing friends who are “church” to me. It makes me laugh, because I see many things differently than they do as we are quite diverse. I understand that Father is pulling me into being with those who passionately love Him and seek Him, even as they are at different places in their journey. I mean really, Father? I know I’m supposed to be with them right now and it just makes me laugh. They are passionately studying the “Torah”, and doing the Messianic Jewish thing. Really??? Yes… really.
Right now my life consists of going to work and coming back to my room and getting to spend time with Father. Very restful. A reclusive hermit (smile). I’m getting the sense that a lot of things are happening around us, and some amazing things are about to happen. In fact the sense is very strong. And a lot of what I’m seeing and experiencing seem to support this. However I reserve the right to be totally wrong. I’m comfortable to wait and watch what unfolds.
There are a lot of things I would like to do other than being a part-time flooring assistant at Home Depot, but Father will reveal what His agenda for my life is in time. I’m thinking all that I’ve gone through is getting me preparing me for the next step in His plans. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying each day that He gives me, rejoicing in the simple things. this has been very humbling, but freeing. I find I don’t have to prove anything anymore. So I’m a “failure” in life. Yes, and so what? I’m poor, yes, and your point is? I no longer have to compete. I can just be me. Beloved son of my Abba. No one fights to be least and last. It’s freedom. Really gaining my identity as the adopted beloved child of God. I used to talk about this but it becomes more of a reality when all the other things that I could base my identity were gone. Status, career, reputation, education, intellectualism, and being a “spiritual kind of guy”. When I come to the end of myself, I’m free to be just “His Beloved Child”.
Not sure what tomorrow brings, other than I go to work, allow the Holy Spirit to live in me, love those around me, and do what He has put in front of me–one day at a time. He is faithful. Deep down I used to wonder what I was doing wrong that my life has been the way it has. Maybe when I get “it”, then I’ll get all the stuff that will make me satisfied and happy. I think I’m finally beginning to get that when you know His love, it can be enough. One day at a time. I can trust His leading, because He is faithful. I sure enjoyed the interview with Mike Steele. Really related to it.
Anyway…. I’m looking forward to where He leads next, and who I get to see next. Looking forward to when Abba crosses our paths. It’s always fun.
No, you don’t have to lose everything to learn to live loved, but when you do lose everything, isn’t it nice to know a love deeper than our circumstances. I’m so blessed at where this friend has landed through a very rocky journey.
I heard from another old friend a few days ago. He told a very painful story of the last few years of their journey, which involved some legal hassles and starting a new business and then losing it. He went back to school in his late 50s to learn a new vocation and now works at a hospital. As I commiserated with him about all he had lost and could not even imagine how he was coping with his new job, he said, “You know, with all we’ve been through and how unfair it was, I know today that I am exactly where God wants me and I couldn’t be happier.”
Wow! Love that! Joy rarely resides in getting what we want, but in finding his purposes unfolding in the reality of our lives. If we look for him in our unfolding lives rather than withdrawing into the cocoon of our own frustration or bitterness, God has some extraordinary things under his sleeve.