It has been very strange- the way I have been feeling encouraged by God at a time when things are more than discouraging. Nationally, things are a bit depressing. Personally and economically, things have been tight. Very tight. Come to think of it, I haven't run into anyone, lately, who- when asked how they are- replies "Fantastic! Never better! Things are wonderful."
But that doesn't mean that things are worse for me. They're not. I've never been better. There's wind at my back, now- and that is something I haven't had in a long time.
I'm not sure where that phrase exactly comes from but I expect it is a maritime term, and any boat sailing along on a long journey wants wind at their back- not in their face. We all want support from behind us and open doors ahead of us. And surprisingly, I think that's exactly what I have right now.
I do also have problems. Or let's call them challenges or hurdles. My son, away at college, has been sick again with a bad cold and struggling with Asthma. My husband is temporarily between remodeling jobs. Issues about insurance, security, income, dwindling accounts- these are all real issues for us, and probably for many of you as well.
But there is a source of wealth (and I do mean wealth) that has recently appeared to me. Without this kind of wealth, you are in a real pickle. Some call it the favor of God. Some call it an inner knowing that everything will be okay. I call it a turnaround. And it's not ahead of me. It's now. Right now.
I had to look up this post I wrote, and I knew it was sometime last year that I wrote it. But I didn't know it was almost exactly a year ago that I wrote this. When I wrote about Your Turnaround is Just Ahead I had no idea that I needed to hang with this thought, marinate it for a year, and then "see" it come to pass.
It's not that I see fruitful fields right now and everything I have is multiplying. I don't see that yet. But I did hear God. And I keep hearing Him. He's speaking to my heart, and there doesn't seem to be a gray murky screen between us anymore. I'm not sure why He had to sort of keep me in the dark for so long. I knew He was real. I knew He was God, all these years. But I just didn't feel like I was in a vibrant personal relationship with Him where He was longing to chat with me as much as I was longing to talk with Him.
Who knows- maybe I knew too much about God, knew too much Scripture and too much about church life and even the M word (ministry)- for my own good. It's sometimes good to to get reduced to the absolute God-honest facts. It's sometimes good to get whittled down and pared down- if it means the rebuilding will be a more solid promising thing.
When Job's turnaround occurred, after he was whittled down and reduced to some desperate means, we think of what lay ahead of him: green fertile fields, livestock multiplying, more children, his wealth increased. But I think this true wealth began- this turnaround began- precisely at a point that Job chapter 38:1 indicates- "Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said...".
During Job's trial of misery and questions, he wasn't hearing God speak to his soul. He had no idea what his trial was all about. Friends tried to answer that question but they were only simple humans with a tiny, tiny bit of insight compared to the whole picture that God sees and God knows. During this awful time for Job, he was trying to declare some good things- as I was trying to declare good things myself, these past dry dusty years. That's where we get Job's famous "though he slay me, yet will I trust Him" phrase that has become a rallying cry for the disheartened and despairing when things are going all wrong and you don't know why and what's worse- you can't see or hear God. But you still believe in Him.
But if God starts talking to you out of the whirlwind, you have now begun your turnaround. Before you see good things happen, the best of all things has already occurred: God has spoken to you. You are not in the dark anymore. You are not alone- because you can hear God whisper to your soul or speak to your mind or however you hear Him best. This is good. It's a good thing when the God of the heavens is chatting with you, talking to you, girding you with encouragement and His perspective of things.
So if you're in a whirlwind of some type of catastrophe or financial distress or emotional upheaval, even though you want answers and you want relief, I think you may want, even more so, that God speaks to you. I know that when I can hear Him, I am suddenly sailing onward with the wind at my back, an oar in my hand, and an expectancy of good things to come.