Last year at Allume, Phil Vischer, co-founder of Veggie Tales, gave his testimony – not of his salvation, but of God crushing a dream and making a man. It was powerful, encouraging, humbling…and I can’t help but think of him today. His example of humility when God took his success at its pinnacle and led him down a path of loss and bankruptcy.
You see, I’ve been silent here, because it’s been a tough season (and if you’ve been around these parts long, you know trials aren’t out-of-the-ordinary for me). Our current hardship has to do with my husband’s fence company.
Last year he joined a contractor’s association which allowed him to pursue more work in the commercial industry. With the economy, residential jobs haven’t been booming. In the spring, everything looked great on the books – a constant load of commercial work that would provide more than our needs. But as time progressed, jobs got delayed more and more, until all of sudden, he had six huge projects going at once and not enough money to float it all. But he’s persevered, working six days a week, from before sunup till sundown, and he’s exercised extraordinary faith. I’ve been proud of him, and emotionally, I’ve been with him though it all. Days where I’ve been discouraged and doubtful, but then overwhelmed with the peace and assurance of God. He’ll get us through.
And this season has been going strong since July…since I found out I was pregnant. And I had to laugh at God’s impeccable timing. When I’d be most needy in the first trimester with nausea, exhaustion, and depression my husband would be most absent and consumed with work. But God has given amazing peace, and I’ve found His Word true – “As thy days, so shall thy strength be,” (Deuteronomy 33:25).
Again, I can’t help but snicker at how our current life could read like Paul’s (in meter, not in the same types of suffering) when he recounts his trials in 2 Corinthians 11:26-28. Yes, I could say we’ve been in perils of a law-suit, in perils with shady business men, in perils of taking the loop-hole (as many others do) or act with integrity, in perils of threatening, in perils of fines and fees, in perils of others deception and being taken advantage of. Yes, in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often…besides the other things that come upon us daily.
And so, when my husband called with today’s news, I wasn’t completely shocked. We’ve been alert through these trials. We’ve seen many of them coming. And I really do think this news is the final mounting threat – the one that could do us in, leading to the bankruptcy of our business…that’s how I got to thinking about Phil Vischer.
Now, I trust the Lord. I know He’ll get us through, and I actually believe He’s not going to lead us to bankruptcy. Thus far, He’s been faithful to get us over each hurdle, and I can’t explain the peace I have, except for that still, small voice. I’m not saying that I know what the future holds, but I do know that even if God chooses to crush it all, we’d still see His power in the making of a man and a woman, and there’s no use worrying over tomorrow. Today’s enough trouble of its own – really, I’ve got sick kids at home; I’m sick myself, but we’ve got food in the pantry, a roof over our heads, and a family that loves one another. Most of all, we’ve got a faithful God.
When I hung up the phone with my husband, I looked at my five-year-old girl, and asked her if we could pray for daddy. Not wanting to worry her, but to teach her faith, I explained in kindergarten terms that daddy’s having problems at work and if he can’t solve them, he’s going to owe a lot of money that we don’t have. Daddy needs wisdom and God’s provision. And as she curled up in my lap, we brought our needs to Jesus.
Afterwards, she ran to her room, grabbed her piggy bank, and with beaming smile, offered it all – noting even the dollar grandma and grandpa just gave her. And I can’t help but break at seeing God build faith in our daughter. Doesn’t that make it worth it?
Our children are watching. Others are watching. And they’ll know if we’re carrying the worry and the fear, if we’re silent and clam up – they’ll see that example.
My husband, he’s been doing a good job. I know he doesn’t always think so, but our little sweetie’s a testimony; he’s leading our family well, and I’m proud of him.
So if you think of us, please pray that we’d have the wisdom needed to keep going (really, my husband needs it more) and the faith to keep trusting. We know – and we believe – in His time, He’s making all things beautiful. Today, I’m glad I can see that – especially as I remember the beauty of humility in the testimony of Phil Vischer.