As people walk away from homes that are in foreclosure, or are dismissed from jobs that they have enjoyed for years, some may be asking the question, “Why is God allowing this to happen to me?”
Some people are at a loss on how they will pay the bills, or put food on the table for their family.Make no mistake about it, when you have no means by which to meet your responsibilities it can add a tremendous amount of stress to your life.
9 years ago, to no fault of my own, I lost a good job that provided well for my family.I was informed about the layoff on Friday and on Sunday my wife informed me that we would be having our 3rd child in a few short months.
As a Christian I took this in stride, knowing that God would provide for us just as He always had.I would find another job and life would continue just as it always had.
3 months later, we were broke and I was still out of a job.I discovered later that when employers found out that I was on layoff and would be returning to my old job at a better salary that they had no interest in me…except for one company.
The local Hog Processing Plant would take nearly anyone who was willing to work.Reluctantly I took the job and began working on the “kill floor” on the maintenance crew.When I first started I wondered how I would ever get past the smell of death in the air, but soon found out that the smell was the least of my worries.
My first day on the job a “jaw pulling machine” got jammed with a hog jaw and it took 3 of us pulling on a pry bar for 10 minutes to unlock the machine.No sooner that we were done with that we had another call to a conveyor belt.
We literally had to run to the conveyor belt (sliding on “who-knows-what” on the floor), where we found that the belt was stuck because hog guts were jamming the line.Since it was my first day on the job I got the honor of crawling on my stomach under the belt where I pulled the innards out of the machine.Luckily it worked.
On breaks I changed bloody saw blades.When machines broke down I did whatever it took to get those machines up and running again.I learned to become a master plunger when blood and guts clogged the pipes.And I did it all for less then half of my former salary.
At home bill collectors were calling because we simply couldn’t pay our minimum payments.We struggled by, paid what we could and lived on next to nothing.Thankfully the Lord provided for us through the kindness of others.Around Christmas we received an anonymous envelope in the mail with money, a gift from a brother at our local church no doubt.Family members occasionally would provide groceries.This was very humbling and appreciated all at the same time.
Eventually God opened other doors and this time period in my life was over.When we were going through that time, it seemed as if it would never end.It was a painfully tough, pride swallowing time for me and my wife.However I thank God for that time in our life.
It was when we were struggling to make ends meet that we learned some very important lessons about life.We learned the value of a dollar.We learned about the pitfalls of debt.We learned that God does provide exactly what we need exactly when we need it, even if we don’t want it.
I also learned that God is sovereign.It didn’t matter what I wanted, it didn’t matter what I did.God’s will be done.It was His will for me to work at the Hog Processing Plant, and I had to just bow to the will of the King.
That brings me back to the question that we started with.“Why is God allowing this to happen to me?”Perhaps we are not asking the right question.
Perhaps the question should be something like this.“Why has God given me, a rotten sinner, anything?”The only thing that we sinners deserve is death, Hell, and destruction.
I am convinced that if I had not lost my job 9 years ago and went to work at the Hog Plant that I would be making the same foolish mistakes today that I made then.I would be spiritually stagnant and my relationship with Christ and my family would be infantile.
Why is God allowing this to happen to you?Who are we to question God?Consider what God says to Job in this passage from Job 38 1-4.
“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said, who is this that darkeneth counsel by words without knowledge?Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.Where was thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?declare, if thou hast understanding”