"No Matter What"

November’s “Share Your Story” is by, 

Gail Burton Purath who blogs at

 

My husband and I aren’t savvy investors…

When my parents died, I inherited some money. It gave us an opportunity to do volunteer Christian work overseas after my husband retired from the military. My husband’s military pension paid our living expenses if we were careful, and my parent’s retirement paid for the extra expenses.

But we’d never invested my inheritance and decided we weren’t being good stewards. 

Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos

We prayed about what to do and felt like we should put the money into some safe investments. Our only condition was that the investments be morally and financially conservative. So we made the investment and flew back to Budapest.

That was a month before the stock market crash in fall 2008. 

Our hearts sank as we sat in our Budapest flat and realized we’d lost a huge hunk of our future. We didn’t know what to do, but everyone told us to hold on … things would get better.

But they didn’t. 

Our retirement savings just kept dropping … and dropping … and dropping.

When we came back to the States the following year, we felt it was time to do something. If we kept losing money, we could jeopardize our retirement years. We were in our late fifties and we’d been out of the job market for quite a while doing mission work. So we prayed again and felt we should remove what we had left in the stock market. This meant our loss was permanent, but we felt we couldn’t gamble anymore.

A few months later the stock market started to recover. Eventually it recovered to the point where we would have had much smaller losses had we left our money in the stocks.

I’ve had my share of difficulties and trials, and I wish I could say that they never faze me, that my immediate response is to trust the Lord. But sometimes I get stuck for a while in unbelief and self-pity, focusing on circumstances instead of on God.

Sometimes I still get a little sick feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about the chain of financial events during that time, but I’ve let it go for the most part, trusting that the Lord knows what is best for us, and He can use any circumstance for our good.

Maybe we hadn’t heard the Lord when we’d prayed about investing and/or removing the money, or maybe God wanted us to experience this loss. We don’t know.

But I know God is good.

I memorized the final half of Habakkuk 3 when I was a new Christian, and I’ve always had it “hidden in my heart” (Psalm 119:11). Eventually the principle in the verses impacts my thoughts and my heart, and I realize how incredibly blessed I am to be loved by the Lord.

I pray that I will always remember—no matter what happens in my life—that I can rejoice in my Savior for He is my strength and my joy.

“Though the fig tree does not blossom
and there be no fruit on the vine,
the produce of the olive fail,
And the fields yield no food,
Thought the flock be cut off from the fold
And there be no herds in the stall,
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord,
Yet will I rejoice in the Lord,
I will joy in the God of my salvation,
God the Lord is my strength!”
Amen!

(Hab. 3:17-19 paraphrased in a 1970 praise song)

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Linking up with NOBH, Playdates with God, Matrimonial Monday and Marital Oneness Monday

  • lorihatcher

    I remember a similar time in our married life when my daughters were 1 and 4, I was working only 1-1/2 days a week to earn grocery money, and my husband came home and said that he’d just been laid off. The next day he woke up with violent stomach pains that ushered in several months of expensive medical tests. And our car broke down. The mechanic told us it needed a new engine. I felt like Job, alternating between fearing that the roof would fall in and crush us all and wishing that it would.

    One day I reached a point where I prayed, “God, this is such a mess that I can’t even imagine how you could fix this.” The answers didn’t come overnight, but they did come. And they were all the more faith building because of the desperate, hopeless state we were in. Though I would never voluntarily walk that path again, the lessons we learned of God’s faithfulness and who is ultimately our provider have carried us through many lesser crises. Thanks, Gail, for sharing your story 🙂

    • GailBP

      Thanks, Lori, for sharing your personal story. Your experiences and insights are helpful, as usual, and your situation more difficult than ours. It’s always faith-building to hear of others who have found hope and purpose in difficult situations.

  • lorihatcher

    I remember a similar time in our married life when my daughters were 1 and 4, I was working only 1-1/2 days a week to earn grocery money, and my husband came home and said that he’d just been laid off. The next day he woke up with violent stomach pains that ushered in several months of expensive medical tests. And our car broke down. The mechanic told us it needed a new engine. I felt like Job, alternating between fearing that the roof would fall in and crush us all and wishing that it would.

    One day I reached a point where I prayed, “God, this is such a mess that I can’t even imagine how you could fix this.” The answers didn’t come overnight, but they did come. And they were all the more faith building because of the desperate, hopeless state we were in. Though I would never voluntarily walk that path again, the lessons we learned of God’s faithfulness and who is ultimately our provider have carried us through many lesser crises. Thanks, Gail, for sharing your story 🙂

  • GailBP

    Thanks, Lori, for sharing your personal story. Your experiences and insights are helpful, as usual, and your situation more difficult than ours. It’s always faith-building to hear of others who have found hope and purpose in difficult situations.

  • Christina

    I have always loved that passage and have prayed that I would have the same heart. Thanks for sharing this!

    • GailBP

      Yes, it’s a beautiful passage and such a good one to memorize and hide in our hearts. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Christina

    I have always loved that passage and have prayed that I would have the same heart. Thanks for sharing this!

  • GailBP

    Yes, it’s a beautiful passage and such a good one to memorize and hide in our hearts. Thanks for stopping by.

  • What a hard thing to go through… I will admit when it comes to trusting, I fall very short of the mark, and of course, I’m to scared to pray for greater faith, you know how that prayer gets answered 🙂

  • Heather C

    Wonderful reminder to trust in God. I enjoyed the post.

    • GailBP

      Thanks, Heather. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  • Heather C

    Wonderful reminder to trust in God. I enjoyed the post.

  • GailBP

    Thanks, Heather. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

  • My husband and I have lived through some slim years money-wise and it was often a double-edged sword. Sometimes we focused on the trouble and started to panic–turning on each other instead of tackling the problem. Other times we looked to God and found that He was all we needed–often providing in miraculous ways. It certainly has strengthened our faith as well as our marriage. Thanks so much for your authenticity and story of faith, Gail. It’s an inspiration to us all!

    • GailBP

      Thanks, Beth, for giving me this opportunity to share my story. You’re so right about these situations forcing us to trust God and gain a fuller perspective of who He is. We are so blessed in the U.S., that we (I) can easily begin thinking I deserve my blessings instead of realizing how much more I have than I truly deserve.

  • messymarriage

    My husband and I have lived through some slim years money-wise and it was often a double-edged sword. Sometimes we focused on the trouble and started to panic–turning on each other instead of tackling the problem. Other times we looked to God and found that He was all we needed–often providing in miraculous ways. It certainly has strengthened our faith as well as our marriage. Thanks so much for your authenticity and story of faith, Gail. It’s an inspiration to us all!

  • GailBP

    Thanks, Beth, for giving me this opportunity to share my story. You’re so right about these situations forcing us to trust God and gain a fuller perspective of who He is. We are so blessed in the U.S., that we (I) can easily begin thinking I deserve my blessings instead of realizing how much more I have than I truly deserve.

  • Thank you for this sharing. A great reminder for my husb and I in our ‘young marriage’. God is good, all the time! 🙂

    • GailBP

      So true! I always need these reminders and still find Habakkuk 3 a good one. I’m so grateful for Scripture songs memorized as a young Christian.

  • Jacinta Huang

    Thank you for this sharing. A great reminder for my husb and I in our ‘young marriage’. God is good, all the time! 🙂

  • JosephPote

    Gail, that passage in Habakkuk is one of my all-time favorites…and one I often quote in times of distress.
    I love how you put this, “But I know God is good.”
    I am so thankful that I am not reliant on my own savvy (Not!) decisions or immediate circumstances, but solely on Christ and His goodness!
    Thanks for sharing!

    • GailBP

      Yes, Joseph, that passage in Habakkuk is one of my favorites too, and I should sing it every morning on arising. And I agree: it is so wonderful to be able to depend on Christ’s goodness not our own wisdom.

  • JosephPote

    Gail, that passage in Habakkuk is one of my all-time favorites…and one I often quote in times of distress.
    I love how you put this, “But I know God is good.”
    I am so thankful that I am not reliant on my own savvy (Not!) decisions or immediate circumstances, but solely on Christ and His goodness!
    Thanks for sharing!

  • GailBP

    So true! I always need these reminders and still find Habakkuk 3 a good one. I’m so grateful for Scripture songs memorized as a young Christian.

  • GailBP

    Yes, Joseph, that passage in Habakkuk is one of my favorites too, and I should sing it every morning on arising. And I agree: it is so wonderful to be able to depend on Christ’s goodness not our own wisdom.

  • He will take care of you, one day at a time, moment by moment. You and your husband will be fine. I know it is worrisome, but rely on God’s love and faithfulness, you will never regret it.

    • GailBP

      Thanks, Ugochi. You are so right!

  • Ugochi Jolomi

    He will take care of you, one day at a time, moment by moment. You and your husband will be fine. I know it is worrisome, but rely on God’s love and faithfulness, you will never regret it.

  • It can be hard to be thankful and know that it all is in God’s hands when it feels like the world is crashing in. I am so thankful, too, for your story, Gail, and for Lori, sharing in the comments. It is easier to bear trials knowing others have walked the valley before you.

    • GailBP

      Amen! Thanks Kim for your encouragement.

  • It can be hard to be thankful and know that it all is in God’s hands when it feels like the world is crashing in. I am so thankful, too, for your story, Gail, and for Lori, sharing in the comments. It is easier to bear trials knowing others have walked the valley before you.

  • What a beautiful scripture passage to hide in your heart, Beth. Thank you for sharing this lesson. My husband and I have been through some similar places–still making some of those decisions in need of discernment. I think I’ll retake this verse with me thought he process.

    • GailBP

      Yes, Laura, it’s so comforting to know that God is bigger than our mistakes and confusion. And this passage in Habakkuk is such a comfort.

  • What a beautiful scripture passage to hide in your heart, Beth. Thank you for sharing this lesson. My husband and I have been through some similar places–still making some of those decisions in need of discernment. I think I’ll retake this verse with me thought he process.

  • GailBP

    Thanks, Ugochi. You are so right!

  • GailBP

    Amen! Thanks Kim for your encouragement.

  • GailBP

    Yes, Laura, it’s so comforting to know that God is bigger than our mistakes and confusion. And this passage in Habakkuk is such a comfort.