New to Refiner’s Fire? I encourage you to read the FORWARD.
We returned from China and settled back into the routine of “normal” life.
Sure enough, God had more change in mind.
Normal for Him… HUGE FOR US.
After dinner one evening, Joe gathered all five of us to ask a life-changing question. “Who would like to return to California?”
A loud cheer could easily be heard by our next door neighbors. As good as Oregon had been, each of us still felt California was our “true home.”
While on the road, Joe had been offered a new position, Director of Development for Open Doors/North America .
Our goal: Find an inexpensive place to live in Orange County, the home office for OD. Has the word inexpensive ever applied to OC?
Two years before, the drive north was in a full-size station wagon. But the return had to be in a less expensive and, much smaller 1980 Chevette. That part of our return was not something any of us looked forward to.
For me, riding in a car for over a thousand miles, without a clue where a close-by bathroom might be, was an enormous stressor.
Gathering some Christian music to play while we drove, I hoped it would calm my body. It was on that trip that I was convinced I would lose my sanity. The terror engulfing my body was winning and I didn’t know what to do.
Since this began, one of my fears was how I could lose control, doing something to embarrass myself and my family. I couldn’t imagine what I would do.
The music was on. Why didn’t the praise music soothe my body and my soul? Was Satan stronger than God? Was Satan doing this to me? I remember internally crying out to the Triune God asking for help.
One way He helped was that my three children, ages 11, 10, 8, were amazing on the entire trip. They didn’t have much room to move and I’m sure they thought the other one was in their space, but I don’t remember one spat. That was a God Sighting.
Friends from Oregon also hired by Open Doors had moved to California before we did. They found a church they loved and encouraged us to attend.
Our first Sunday at the new church was overwhelming as we drove into the parking lot. Someone in the car said, “Oh no, our little Chevette is going to sit here and cry in this parking lot of Mercedes, Ferraris, and BMWs.” We all laughed.
We had just moved into a totally new culture for us.
Joe and I had met and fallen in love while living in a migrant labor camp serving as VISTA Volunteers in President Johnson’s War on Poverty. Then Joe had become a Boy’s Club director serving in inner city and barrio communities. Our lives had been focused on the poor and needy.
Now God seemed to be placing us in the midst of wealth.
A big question in my mind was – would I be accepted in this new culture?
My CHALLENGE to you —
Grab a cup of coffee … and imagine we are chatting.
While in midst of doubt, it is easy to go to man’s way of thinking rather than cling to the Sovereign God.
David in Psalm 10:1 cried out to God…
Why, O LORD, do you stand far away?
Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?
John Calvin says regarding David’s cry, “It is to be observed, that although David here complains that God kept himself afar off, he was, notwithstanding, fully persuaded of his presence with him, otherwise it would have been in vain to have called upon him for aid.”
My cry to Almighty God in the story above was similar to David’s. I had no doubt who the Triune God is. I KNOW that Satan cannot do anything but what God allows him to.
George Beverly Shea, I’d Rather Have Jesus
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