A quick run of the numbers means that Tony will have to sell 4 average sized floors per week in order to maintain our frugral franny level of living. He's averaging 2. Tell me how that adds up? It doesn't and that's where the faith comes in. Because we don't have any other options. We aren't allowed the position of relying on our own knowledge, our own contacts, our own abilities to wisk ourselves out of this position, because there are none. There is simply complete submission to God's will.
As friend's do in times of crisis, Gina emailed me a devotional that she thought would be of encouragement. And by encouraging, I really mean "stuck in my head, completely challenging my every thought."
It's pretty short, so I'll just c&p.
We tend to think that if Jesus Christ compels us to do something and we are obedient to Him, He will lead us to great success. We should never have the thought that our dreams of success are God’s purpose for us. In fact, His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have the idea that God is leading us toward a particular end or a desired goal, but He is not. The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.
What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself. What He desires for me is that I see "Him walking on the sea" with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see "Him walking on the sea" ( Mark 6:49 ). It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.
God’s training is for now, not later. His purpose is for this very minute, not for sometime in the future. We have nothing to do with what will follow our obedience, and we are wrong to concern ourselves with it. What people call preparation, God sees as the goal itself.
God’s purpose is to enable me to see that He can walk on the storms of my life right now. If we have a further goal in mind, we are not paying enough attention to the present time. However, if we realize that moment-by-moment obedience is the goal, then each moment as it comes is precious.
Does this not challenge you to no end? It is so easy to warp Bible verses and truths until the final output is that God just wants us to be happy and that if we are faithful He will be faithful to provide that happiness. How do we miss the mark that badly?! God doesn't need us to be happy. He wants us to be fully reliant and obedient. That is the purpose and intent of our lives. My faith isn't being tested so that once we emerge on the other side of this fire God will lean down and give me a prize, my faith is being tested because that's the point! He wants me to show him my obedience. This train of thinking is further explored in an interview with Rick Warren.
In which I find this passage the most challenging:
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort. God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy. We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character–in Christ likeness.
So now the prayers will begin that Tony will consistently sell jobs and if he doesn't, we'll continue to be obedient. That is our option.