Sally Jo’s diary for August 3 ends with: “Chuck home from board mtg. After we’d finished supper – had been asked to resign – long night”
In my experience, we can cry out to the Lord in pain and frustration, and though He is with us, the emotional upheaval is real! Even when I seek to cast my care upon Him (I Peter 5:7), even when I trust God to lead me (Proverbs 3:5-7), even when I believe God will work things out for my good and His glory (Roman 8:28), God does not take away the bewilderment, the confusion. In the midst of the storm, we remain human beings, and life must go on.
For me, going on required that I return to the ranch with Sky Ranch board member, Bob Blakeney, to wrap up a few things in the office and to pick up some family things from our new home at the ranch. Fortunately, Bob and I were good friends. When I asked Bob what had happened, he would only say “Chuck, things were said about you that, if true, meant that I did not know you at all. If what was said was not true, if you stayed, there was no way it could have been a good situation for you and your family. So, I voted to ask for your resignation”. (Bob, and his wife Anne, stuck with us through the ensuing weeks – and just two weeks ago, May 17, 2010, Sally Jo and I met Bob and Anne in New York City for another wonderful day together.)
Going on for Sally Jo meant she had to un-pack what she had packed to take with us out to the ranch, and to go to the grocery store, and to talk with a neighbor, and to get ready to move out of the house because the missionary family needed to finish their preparation for living the next three years in the jungle.
Life had to go on for our daughters too. Shaken and hurting though they were, they were pragmatists. Carla had two horses she wanted to keep. She had been teaching riding at the ranch and had worked for a horse trainer, so Carla – a junior in high school, and Jenna – in 8th grade, went to find an inexpensive stable near home where Carla could stable her horses and teach enough riding lessons to cover stable fees, horse food, gas for the car, and perhaps some spending money. The two horses? Yankey, the Chincoteague pony, was only five, but fairly well trained, and Likely Too, a registered quarter horse who had been headed for the meat packer because it was “likely to” do most anything. Carla bought it from Sky for the meat packer price, being confident she could train the horse.
God does love us – but this fact does not protect us from the effects of the actions of others upon us. God does love us – and thus he gave us brains, courage, friends and the other resources needed to help us go on, even when our world is crumbling around us.
The apostle Paul, who had been beaten, ship wrecked, and lied about wrote:
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered’. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” — Romans 8:35-38
When we live In Partnership With God, life must go on. And as we go on, God sticks with us.