As soon as I had told our family what had happened to me at the Board meeting, our daughter, Carla, asked “Dad, how long will $20,000 last?” I told her – about six months. She responded: “I think this is the most exciting thing that has ever happened to us.” Positive response.
My internal response was not positive. It is one thing to know verses, quite another to believe them, to rest in their truth.
I Thessalonians 5:18 — “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus”.
Romans 8:28 — “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose”
Proverbs 3:5-6 — “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Forgetting for the moment what the Bible says, the reality was that if I became angry and bitter, it would make our situation as a family even more difficult than it needed to be. Another reality: I needed another job and, let’s face it, no one would like to hire an angry, bitter man.
Through the previous seven years at Sky Ranch I had frequently talked about God’s guidance and provision, about the fact that this ministry was God’s, and we were his earthly servants that had been asked to do the work.
If this was true, how could I now bad-mouth Sky Ranch…which was much, much more God’s work than ours?
Good theology can be lived out, must be lived out:
- If we are going to live at peace with ourselves
- If we are going to live with consistency in a world filled with deception
- If we are going to live In Partnership With God.
I did think all of this through, and though I agreed with my logic, living day to day was hard. I do not remember being angry so much as being emotionally torn up. Nothing made sense.
The morning after I was asked to resign, the missionary family that was using our home for a few weeks would be returning from a trip, expecting to find an empty house. The Board knew this reality and Clyde Jackson, the Board member who was responsible for the development of the Plaza of the Americas, had arranged for our family to have a suite of rooms in the Plaza. Clyde encouraged us to enjoy the restaurants including room service, the ice skating rink, the swimming pool and the other amenities. This was wonderful – but tough to enjoy when our hearts were breaking.
We invited the missionary family to trade places with us on their last night in the United States. It was a great swap. We were thankful to be home – and they were excited to have a night in a fantastic place they could never afford. Quite a contrast to the jungle in Brazil to which they were returning.