“The Lord gives …takes away and restores. Blessed be His name”.
He was a wealthy rancher, stocked with houses, lands and cattle–7000 sheep, 3000 camels, and 500 pairs of oxen, 500 female donkeys and scores of servants, before the calamity. Family life was good with wife and children and lots of admiring friends. His reputation was solid and he was widely known. Then, in one fell swoop, four messengers came, bearing the bad news, like a black stallion of doom, riding out of nowhere—cattle destroyed, children perished in a storm, a life’s work disappeared and a disgusting pestilence atop all. It is at times like these when you know your friends and remember relatives. Job anguished, beset by admonitions of friends and family. “Just curse God and be done with it”. “I just can’t m’dear. He’s been so good to me”. The voices return–‘curse and die’; ‘not me’; “yes you”. A brighter day dawns; Job’s restored. Praise God and live.
Life is like a coin; it has two sides, adversity and prosperity. Sometimes, the coin rolls on the edge, so that both prosperity and adversity coexist, always moving and twirling this way and that. Where is God, friends and family in all this? How can a good, loving God permit all that happens? What do you do when adversity strikes, be it death, disease, devastation, destruction or disaster? Do you just bow in humble gait, roll over and die or just defensively prostrate? What does the Christian do when a coin made perfect faces down?
God protects, provides and provisions. Opportunity is the child of uncertainty. We plan for the roll and sway of the coin. Yet we are not like those without hope; we are called to still maintain a faith. “Oh for a faith that knows no end”. We plan knowing that life might not get better and that there will always be a new normal. We are called to act with confidence in the midst of uncertainty. The Christian must plan for all scenarios, knowing that whatever the setback, an opportunity for witnessing must exist through constant re-branding, renewal and resilience. The solutions: refocus on mission and vision—why do you exist and what are your doing; re-invent and rebuild programs for relevance to permit realignment with common goals toward outsized results. The coin will spin through periods of retribution and renewal, but one day Jesus will come to gather up His silver coins made pure through the fires of challenge and opportunity. Heads or tails? Neither—“Oh for a faith that knows no end”, Dear Greater Atlanta Adventist Academy. https://youtu.be/KveCBAqCO6E.