Letting It Grow

7 Aug

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Trials.

They seem to be everywhere.

What follows is the story of another set of trials. It’s a true story too, in fact it’s my story this last month and a half. It all started with a move, a move not just of God, but of a man to and perhaps even away from Him for a moment.

Here is how the story goes…

It’s been a month and half (almost two) of separation for me from my family. From the family vacation to Washington from Texas I couldn’t get off of work for, to three days we did have together before I had to leave again for a month and a half to start a new job.

Moving for our family isn’t a new area of life; in fact this is location number six for me in our 15 year marriage and location number five for the wife and kids. Yet for the last month and a half, we have been in different states. In this time I found myself going through a multitude of emotions and right on that same roller coaster has been Father, Son and Holy Spirit right along with me.

Funny though how many times I shut Him out, in some subtle ways.

There were times when I felt like I was trying to push Him away from me. Time when the trials of life seemed too great. Now mind you my circumstances aren’t too dire (nor have they been in the past). I am living in a rented, finished basement eating and doing basically whatever I want when I want outside of my Monday-Friday work schedule. The wife and kids are at our previous home waiting for the house to sell and living life there doing everything else to get ready for the move. We are in effect, together in spirit, but apart in body.

And we both feel incomplete… It really is not good for man to be alone.

Yet in this really, seemingly small trial, I have found that stress has approached like a velociraptor in a 3D Jurassic Park remake. As I have gotten exactly what I asked for, trials have come on us both. My educational path has been more stressful, being apart from her and the kids has been stressful… stress felt in ways that I haven’t ever before.

It’s like the older I get, the more co-dependent on my relationships I am. The new job? Turns out they didn’t shower me with roses when I walked in to the door; they did analyze, judge and try to figure out if they could trust me with the workplace secrets. My wife and I? We’ve been reminded that whenever were apart, we both feel like half of ourselves.

The lesson here is this: Trials will come. When we press into what God has planned for us, the enemy of our soul will come at us. It is so important to remember that God is with us in the trials. With us on the roller coaster we call life. Without a purpose we will certainly perish, but without God’s purpose first in our lives, we will expire. Trials should be expected, no matter your path or who you marry…the Mona Lisa remains a mystery, there will always be another road, another “what if”.

God can only be found on one of them. Faith is putting what you believe into action.

Which will you choose?

“Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4

 

-Brandon Pachey

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Brandon Pachey is the husband of an amazing wife and father of three awesome kids, hoping to adopt for the first time soon. He has lived all over the United States in six different states and Germany. He has worked in Youth Ministry as a volunteer for 13 years (3 as a full time volunteer youth pastor) and done ministry in Germany with military students and US Military Men’s Ministry. He looks periodically at the funny things the church does and faith in day to day life on For the Love of God Too. He also has a passion for off-roading as a family sport.

 

photo credit: SimonQ錫濛譙 via photopin cc

7 Responses to “Letting It Grow”

  1. Dave Scott August 7, 2013 at 14:17 #

    I think using the scripture that “to find it all joy”, in the context of struggle, is unbiblical. It’s kind of like telling someone who just got their hand smashed in a door, “suck it up, you’ll be o.k.” Which of course is a terrible communication skill. Sometimes, there isn’t joy in what we are going through and we need, as humans, to stew in emotion, be sad, be hurt or feel angry. That doesn’t mean that God isn’t with us, it simply means that we are human and created in God’s likeness. Jesus was emotional. Look at the garden, where He literally sweat blood. He cried out to the Father for strength and was obedient. All that said, I loved what you said when you said we need to remember that God IS with us when we encounter trials. Well said.

    • More Than A Beard August 7, 2013 at 14:33 #

      I think we need to understand that joy is not the same as happiness. Happiness comes and goes sometimes as often as waves hitting the shore. Happiness isn’t something you can cling to when you’ve lost a loved one, or are facing bankruptcy. Joy, on the other hand can stay with you for the long haul. The reason? Real joy is from God. For the believer, it is like a bottomless well of water—always an abundant supply. Even in the darkest days, when sadness, grief, and loss may threaten to overwhelm you, God’s joy is there.

      Look at these great examples in Scripture:

      “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability” (2 Corinthians 8:2-3).

      “You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 1:6).

      “You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions” (Hebrews 10:34)

      And the best illustration of all,

      “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:2).

      • For the Love of God August 7, 2013 at 16:44 #

        Dave, and Dave, thanks for your comments gentleman!

        I do believe the scripture is often misunderstood here, but I agree with DW here that joy isn’t what we equate to happiness. I certainly haven’t had a lot of happiness, but rather struggle pushing God away when I knew better, during my times of trial and stress.

        If the church as a whole would read the entire scripture in context we are to face to trial with the understanding of its benefits….

        Faith tested+ Let it grow (most of us will see this after the trial mind you) = Fully Developed Faith (Perfect, Complete, Needing nothing)

        I believe the sum of it all as shown above there is that we are called in this life to recognize our faith is and will be tested, especially when we seek God (before, during and after the trials of life) and that we will only get the sum at His second coming. Scripture is certainly clear elsewhere that Gods thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways, not our ways. Perhaps we need to stop attempting to understand His joy and take action to prepare for the trials.

        For me? Definitely easier said than done.

        Thanks for the comments and great discussion, I think that’s what this ministry is all about! Something MANY men are lacking from their local churches as well.

      • Dave Scott August 7, 2013 at 16:55 #

        I agree with your verses and also agree about how you explained joy versus happiness, but we’re not arguing joy v happiness. What I’m referring to is when someone is going through trials, or the valley so-to-speak, it’s ok to accept the circumstance we are in and it’s ok to mourn. While there is always spiritual joy, as believers, we don’t have to jump up and down with artificial joy when that’s not the emotion we’re struggling with. Telling someone who’s just lost their husband in a car accident to find joy isn’t helpful. Telling someone who’s just lost their job, with a mortgage, kids and family to provide for, to find joy and that God has a plan isn’t helpful. It’s cliche and surface and cruel. I’d also argue it’s not biblical. See previous post. Read Marriage Forecasting by Tim Muehloff, to understand what I mean about communicating through affirmation. You are very correct in stating the verses to support your point. I can understand where you’re coming from. As believers, we must be careful to not focus on the “Sunday school” answer as to possibly miss an opportunity to share Christ with someone by remembering Ecclesiastes 3. “There is a time to mourn and a time to dance.” In trials we are called to seek strength from God and carry one another burdens. I can see the authors point, but it’s also important to remember the above. What you said is also right and good and I completely understand what you meant.

  2. For the Love of God August 7, 2013 at 16:59 #

    Dave, thanks again!

    I agree wholeheartedly! As one who believes in some modern church reform, I think this is a foundational truth as you have spelled it out!

    Good word!

  3. Dave Scott August 7, 2013 at 17:02 #

    Brandon-you are correct as well, especially when you talk about faith tested. The point I’m trying to make, albeit online which is always difficult, is when we are in that season of trial it’s important to affirm those in that and seek strength to get through it. God doesn’t promise that we will be happy. That’s not what I am advocating for. God calls us to be more like his Son. Trials produce this. Seasons of great joy and great pain produce this. I’d be curious Brandon, what things did you do to get through those trials? Was it prayer, conversation with your wife or another close guy friend, certain scripture perhaps?

    • For the Love of God August 7, 2013 at 17:07 #

      Well I would say I am coming out of them now, but prayer, scripture and being receptive to the Holy Spirits prodding’s and conviction. I’ve been saved for a minute now, so I really know better. Repentance also has played a key part.

      Affirmation for the hurting is definitely important, I believe that’s one of many reasons the local church can and needs to recognize its role, and not just within the four walls of the church.

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