Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Bright Side of the Down Economy

*names have been changed to protect individual privacy

Two friends of mine, Diane & Ken, were hit pretty hard by the economic downturn. They were fortunate that Ken did not lose his job, but he did take a pretty significant reduction in compensation, including reduced work hours.
This meant that Ken went from working 70+ hours every single week, plus travelling heavily, to working a straight 40 hours per week, and rarely travelling at all.
Which yes, meant that they couldn't go on vacation, and Diane had to go back to work.
But it also meant that Ken had a lot more time home with the family. More time with his wife. More time with their new daughter. More time to grow closer together.
And more time for church. A greater willingness to attend church with his family on Sundays, since he no longer felt like that was his only "me" time. A greater willingness for him to join a small group, since now he had more free time.
The result? A few months ago, Ken accepted Christ as his personal Saviour. Hallelujah!
From what I know personally about Ken, and from what Diane has told me in private conversation, Ken had basically made his job his "god". Once his place of employment was forced to make cuts, Ken was in turn forced to review his life, his priorities. And Ken found Christ.

Let's move on to family #2: Kate and Zach. Zach worked in the auto industry, which has been hit incredibly hard by the downturn in the economy. He went thru four jobs in two years, struggling to make ends meet. He & Kate both worked 6-7 days a week, just to make it. They rarely had time for each other, let alone for their kids, or anything else. Then Zach gets a job offer out of state. They feel they have no other option, other than to try it.
Fast forward: Zach loves his new job. Besides loving it, and having loving coworkers, he is making more money than he has in three years.
Kate found a new job in her new neigborhood making the same money in five days that she used to make in 6-7 days. And it's a shorter commute.
The kids are flourishing in their new school.
And Zach finally started going to church. They found a church nearby, and are settling in to their new church home.
Zach not only started going to church, he started paying attention. He opened his heart to what God had for him. He started praying. He started serving. He started tithing. He started witnessing to others.
And God has blessed them richly, in many, many ways. They are closer as a family than I have ever seen them. They are reprioritizing their lives, and it is working. As a couple they are fighting less, and loving more. The children have better attitudes, and are thriving in their new neighborhood and schools.

These economic difficulties have hit home for a lot of us. They have made things really hard for many of us. They have changed our lives. But if we open our hearts, and turn to our Lord, He will welcome us and bless us according to His will.

...and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, ... For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts....For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree: and it shall be to the LORD for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

-- excerpts from Isaiah 55

1 comment:

Beth said...

Thanks sooo very much for posting this. It has brought me so much hope and brightened my day! I am a christian married to a nonchristian husband and it is my prayer that someday we will reach this point in our lives as well- what a day of celebration that will be! Thanks again sooo much for sharing this-it's truly touched my heart.


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