Welcome to God Today. I am Steve Reiter with Right Turn Media and The Eternal Leadership Podcast. For 15 years I worked in total for Dr. James Dobson. I was his Chief Audio Engineer at Focus and then I helped transition with him over to Family Talk – to help get that started. It was during that Family Talk season that things got really tough. They got really tough in that the money never really came in for me to have the full broadcasting staff that I had as Focus On The Family. I was doing two daily broadcasts with half the staff I had at Focus to do one. The stress level was really high. I wasn’t in a place where I could step back from the workload and really figure out how to manage it with what we had. I just pushed extra hard.
It was during that season that my first vacation, my family and I drove from Colorado Springs to Pagosa Springs, which is in the southwestern corner of the state. Beautiful hot springs, this great destination location where you can finally just kick back and relax. Well, we got out there and my kids were sick and my wife started getting sick. She started to get really sick. In fact, she ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. At its worst I was angry. I was furious. I was furious at God – I am going to be dead honest with you. Here I was working at this Christian ministry, this family ministry, and when I finally had some time for my family, I am going through this. It’s not a time of rest, it’s a time of work. It is hard work for me to take care of my boys and my wife. At my core, I was really angry with God.
I remember having come home from the hospital with my wife, and I really am not kidding when I say this, I was ready to walk away from my faith. I was like, “God, I’ve done all this work for you. I expect to have a little bit of time off. I would like to be rewarded for once.” My wife looked at me. I could see the brokenness. Just as quickly as it came, it left. I realized, “No.” My wife and I were in this together. It was a real turning point in my faith. I remember sharing that when I was the youth leader at my church. I remember sharing that on a Sunday for the entire congregation. I literally had two or three people come up to me and said, “I’ve never heard anyone say that.”
I really believe that we as Christians need to be honest and open about our deepest struggles. Because there are some times that we will go through stuff that people need to hear about, because they were going through the worst fires. I am reminded of John 16 where Jesus says, “In this world, you will have trouble.” I love the other translation: “In this world you will have tribulation, you will have persecution, you will be plagued with times of trouble, you will have many trials and sorrows, you will have suffering, you will have affliction, you will have distress. But, be of good cheer.” Other translations say, “Be courageous,” “Take courage. I have overcome the world.”
Father, I want to lift up people that are in the midst of a very thick, hard season that they are going through. They’re almost at that breaking point where they are getting ready to walk away from their faith. Father, give them that extra strength, that extra security. Come alongside them right now. Have other people come alongside them right now. Help usher them through this trial season.