I've been looking backward in my life lately. Adam encourages me to do this, and it's especially useful in times of stress or trial. Looking backward allows the Christian to see what God has done in the past and helps him to trust God to provide once again.
As I mentioned before, this is the 6th time in our marriage that Adam has been looking for work. I suppose that used to be unusual, but these days it seems people change jobs more frequently that they used to.
So, I want to remember what God has done for us in the past. And when I contemplate this, I really am amazed at the wonderful things He has done in each of those situations; each time He has produced a promising result.
1st time: Adam dropped out of seminary for lack of funds. He was looking for work, any work, with a young(ish) wife and new baby. God provided a really nice job as a bank VP - allowing us to buy our first house. That was wonderful provision.
2nd time: Adam was looking for work in a really stressful time, when it did not seem he would be employable at all, but God provided a job in just 6 months. On top of that, it was the job that kept us for 6 years in one place (the longest we've ever lived anywhere yet), and it was the job Adam has loved most of all the jobs he's had.
3rd time: God provided a job quickly, and placed Adam in his first church position, something he'd wanted ever since he started seminary. This was a happy thing.
4th time: This time Adam was out of work for a long time, but he was very ill. During this time, God provided complete healing for his illness, and really made him a new man. He is more fit and capable than he's ever been before. God eventually provided work as well, and got us both back into education.
5th time: God provided work for both of us in a hurry! In only 2 weeks, we both had teaching jobs. Amazing.
6th time: is this time. Look what God has done. He can do anything, and He will provide this time as well. I'm looking forward to finding out what wonderful blessing we will receive that we didn't even realize that we needed. I'm praying toward that end.
Of course, I could have dwelt on the negatives of those situations: the griefs and offenses and hurts. But those are not God's work, they are my own. As each turn of life lays down upon the last one, I try anew to put aside bitterness and anger and embrace the blessings in each new path. God makes sure they are always there.