Perseverance Through Trials
There have been many times in my life when I was faced with trials. The following is only one of them.
Every time of trial is a time of testing, purging and decision. I think the Lord is really trying to teach us how to make
decisions. Often our trial may come through a bad decision made on our part.
I do believe that “All things work together to them that love God”, but sometimes all things could have worked
together even better if we had not jumped the gun and gone ahead to make a decision based on our own understanding instead
of first having acknowledged the Lord.
In this particular instance many years ago I was in the process of making a decision to return to the States with my family.
The visa situation in Japan did not look like it was going to come through, and we needed to make contingency plans.
Time was running out and we needed to decide one way or the other. I leaned to my own understanding and the false sense of
security of certainty of the flesh. After all, the U.S. was my home country and I had been gone for over 10 years.
I felt as though if anyone deserved a break from the constant life of giving out to others I certainly did. We let our spiritual
guard down by accepting the help of relatives to pay our way back to the States. Planning to repay them upon returning to
the States and finding a job, we went on that strength instead of the promises of the Lord’s supply.
Soon after our arrival we found ourselves in even more debt through credit, as that seemed to be the way everyone bought things
over there, and after all, we would not want to be out of fashion would we?
We had originally planned to stay in the States for a couple of months, but that got lengthened to a few, and then several,
as we struggled to pay back the relatives who lent us the money to return as well as pay for the credit we were building up.
We hit a spiritual all time low as the priority became to get a job to make money in order to get ourselves out of the debt
we carelessly fell into. We certainly could not return to the mission field without paying our debts, as that would not have
been a good Christian sample.
To make things worse, the relatives were not all that kind to me, as they were on my wife’s side of the family and were
not actually excited about her being a missionary and having our kids educated in a foreign country.
After spending a month trying to find a job, the outlook was very bleak. Pressure was building on us due to the demands of
the relatives that we pay them back for the airline tickets. So we had not only one thing to worry about, but several. How
was I to get a job when there was so much unemployment already and people were getting laid off by the dozens?
How were we to pay back our debt to our relatives? How were we going to finish paying for the things we bought on credit?
Also, how were we to raise our airfare and landing money to return to our mission field of Japan? This was not all. We were
still faced with the day to day perpetual needs that knocked at our door every morning upon wakening.
We finally decided that the only way we were going to get out of the mess we got ourselves into was to do what Daniel did,
Moses did, Abraham did, David did, and every man or woman of God did whenever they were faced with an impossible situation.
In that time of trial, in that time of Gethsemane, when you cry out to God with all of your heart He will answer above and
beyond your wildest dreams! So that is what we did as we repented of our lack of faith in asking Him for His unfailing direction.
He showed us the way up and over the mountain, but it still wasn’t going to be an easy climb.
I landed a job that more than supplied what we needed to pay off the debts, pay for our living expenses and our way back
to Japan. God had changed the relative’s hearts to let us pay them back in installments upon our return to Japan.
You may think that all of this could have been avoided and that may be true. Actually I am glad it turned out that way
as God sometimes get His greatest victories out of seeming defeats that come about along the neglected path of prayer and
Some of the most precious lessons of life are learned by going through some of the deepest darkest experiences. That’s
where they mine for jewels, you know, in the deep dark caves and caverns under the earth.
Persevering through that deep dark experience of trial and uncertainty of the future I was able to gain invaluable lessons
that were like precious stones to my life I would never forget.