My husband and I were thrilled with our very first apartment back eighteen years ago. It was perfect for us, and best of all at $225 a month we could afford it. While we were engaged, we had looked at housing and found much of it out of our price range. Many apartments were falling apart, had bugs, or were in bad neighborhoods. It seemed God just placed this apartment in our laps, and it was perfect. Then just one month later, the landlord asked us to move out because he had some personal family issues come up. I was crushed. How could we afford something else? Why did God seemingly supply this place and then take it away?
|Living room of our first apartment. I thought it was perfect for us.|
The church my husband worked at heard of our plight and offered to let us live in the old parsonage. It was a little two bedroom house that had been more recently used as youth classrooms. It was a mess and the decorating dated back to the 70's. As I looked at the Armor of the Lord painted in bold colors on one wall, the big black stain on the carpet, and the gold, orange and green gaudy wallpaper, I wasn't too sure about God's provision.
|Living Room & Dining Room in the parsonage.|
However, with some painting and cleaning it ended up being a cozy little home that perfectly met our needs. It did take me some time to recognize it though.
My husband only worked part-time for the church, and they let us live in the house free of charge. We were both still full-time students in Bible college with little income. Looking back, we realize we would've been hard-pressed to come up with the $225 a month for what we thought was our perfect apartment. The Lord knew better then us. What seemed to be a trial ended up being a blessing.
|Our little parsonage that was just perfect for us.|
In reality all trials bring about good if we allow God to work. James tells us in James 1:12, "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." Previously in James 1:4 it says that trials produce perseverance and bring us to maturity. In the midst of trial, I want to learn to anticipate what blessing and character refinement God has in store for me. I can view my "package of trial" in life with joy knowing God is in control, and he even sends blessings in disguise.