Monday, June 13, 2011


A few days ago, I had the following thought going through my head: "Those whose hope is in the Lord will not be put to shame."

I'm no Bible scholar, but I thought it seemed like something that was probably in the Bible. (Those of you who ARE Bible scholars have permission to roll your eyes and shake your head in dismay.) The thought wouldn't go away, so I decided to look it up and see if it was in there. Sure enough. There it was:

"No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame." (Psalm 25:3)

It wasn't worded exactly the way it was going through my brain, but it was close enough to make me think that maybe the Lord was giving me something to hold on to, a promise that He wants me to remember in this time.

I've continued to mull this over in such a way that a Bible scholar might say I'm actually meditating on it. I asked myself, "Is my hope REALLY in the Lord?"

There are lots of things that I can say I hope for. I hope this baby comes early and in one push. I hope our next house is the perfect size, one where we can open the dishwasher and the refrigerator at the same time if we want. I hope our next vehicle has air conditioning so cold, we get goose bumps and have to turn it down. But I don't really have my hope IN those things. They're just things I'm hoping for, almost like a wish list.

That's different than my hope for our future, and this is where it gets trickier.

Steven is currently in the application process with a couple of different churches, one we are particularly hopeful about. The danger I face is putting my hope in that job or in that church, thinking that they are the ones who are determining our future, rather than remembering that the Lord is the one in charge of our destiny.

I know it may seem like it's just semantics, but it's a real issue to me. It's hard to remember in tough times that no job or individual is my provider.  I may have to keep reminding myself of that, especially as seemingly bad news comes or setbacks occur. When disappointments come, I may have to refocus that hope; it's easy to let hope in something else uproot my hope in the Lord.

But, as of today, anyway, my hope is in the Lord.  He's not going to let us be put to shame.

By the way, if you are in a situation similar to ours, the rest of Psalm 25 is loaded with good stuff.  You should take a look at it... maybe even meditate a bit.


Steven here.

As a husband and father, the issue of trusting the Lord for provision strikes me a little differently than it does Sarah.  (Pardon my dangling modifier)  I view myself as the one who bares responsibility to provide for my family.  After all, I'm the man of the house, and it is my God-given duty to do whatever I need to do to make sure my wife and kids have the shelter, food, clothing and chocolate they need. 

Now with this last point, some may disagree.  You may have issue with the whole man-of-the-house thing, or you may have issue with the God-given duty thing.  If so, let me put it in a way I believe even the most "progressive" person will understand my view, if not agree with it.

I am a (fairly) healthy, (somewhat) intelligent, socially-adjusted man, who has recently acquired a Bachelors degree (cum laude, I might add).  Moreover, many years ago I vowed before God to love, and provide for my wife.  Therefore, if I were to sit around ignoring our bills and tummy grumblings, would not even the most socialist minded person consider me worthless.  Even if one's ideology said this behavior is acceptable, their personal opinion of me would be some degree of scorn.

So the issue to me is not a question of my sense of responsibility nor is it a lack of desire.  Believe me, after staying at home with four kids for the last 10 months, I'm ready to get out and work.  I mean easy work like roofing, digging ditches, managing teenagers at McDonalds, running a multi-billion dollar international business, anything easier than being a stay-at-home dad.  The issue for me is finding that place of balance between me doing my part and trusting God to do His.  Yes, I'm provider for my family. But wait!  Isn't God the provider for my family?  Of course He is.  So does that mean I'm not the provider?  No.  Well... yes and no.  Yes, God is the provider and No, that doesn't mean I'm not the one who should provide.  Am I making this too complicated?  Of course I am.

There are nuances to my particular situation that most men probably don't deal with, but in general I suppose that most unemployed family men struggle with the same dilemma.  I.e., should I apply for and accept a job that I know I'll hate and that won't pay enough to make ends meet or should I stay unemployed and hold out for a position that actually suits me?  It's a tough place and I know that men with faith in God as well as those without faith in God are both experiencing this.  Personally, I can't imagine going through this without faith.  For it is God who is my hope, and with or without a job, I will not be put to shame.


  1. I enjoyed this...especially as I have found my way back to God, recently lost my job, and my husband started his own business..I am constantly struggling with am I putting my faith in God or putting my faith a response to a resume. Thanks for the meditation!

  2. Amen. Hope in God is a good place to be. Not an easy place, but a good place. He will meet you there.

    So does this mean you're not teaching this fall?


  3. No, Linda, I'm not teaching (except homeschooling) in the fall. We knew that my teaching and Steven staying home was a temporary situation; at my heart of hearts, I'm a stay-at-home mom. I can't even imagine going back to work after just having a baby in August. In my mind it's not even an option. I have, however, applied at a couple of on-line schools. I'm certainly open to working, just under very specific terms. :)