~by Michael Temple ~

Our national debt is devastatingly high while the collective moral compass of our country is spinning out of control.

From coast to coast, many families struggle to make ends meet, while others seem oblivious as they attend lavish parties. I have to admit that there are times when I almost feel like we’ve stumbled into an Alice in Wonderland scenario; where up is down, black is white, and making a right turn can feel like we’re steering in the wrong direction. It’s enough to wear down the grittiest resolve, and causes me to wonder just how bad it has to get…before it gets bad enough.

This is why I love the scriptures!

When I get down in the dumps and begin to feel like I’m the target of a cruel, cosmic joke, the Bible gives me emotional strength. As I dig in the past, and focus on people who trusted God (despite their circumstances), I’m reminded that God is also walking in the valley. Here are just a few of the lives that I’ve focused on:

David: He had a personal connection with the Divine, and yet some of his contemplations reveal a man who felt utterly out of control at times.

“For innumerable evils have surrounded me; my iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up; They are more than the hairs of my head; Therefore my heart fails me.” Psalms 40:12 (NKJV) I can relate!

Joseph: His own brothers threw him into a pit, and sold him to a traveling band of “slave brokers.” He eventually landed in jail for taking a moral stand.

Mary and Martha: They opened their home to Jesus, only to later have their brother Lazarus die. They must have been more than a little distraught.

The Bible is jam-packed with story after story of God-followers who struggled through life-altering circumstances. The above three examples comprise a mere “short list” of people who slogged on through tough times, even when life seemingly presented few options.

I have a love-hate relationship with “pat” answers from well-meaning people who are trying to help. They may not know what else to say, but when life is upside down I don’t digest platitudes easily. The scriptures share the good, the bad, and the ugly, and then point us to the only answer that brings peace. Not everything that life serves up IS good, but it can work together FOR good when we put our lives in God’s capable hands.

I’d love to stay and write more, but I have to go pay my outlandish heating bill and put my vehicle in the shop.

 Michael Temple lives with his wife, Roberta, and their three teens on a small farmstead in North Dakota.