Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

But God…


But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.—Ephesians 2:4-7 (ESV)

I had no idea what I was going to write when I woke up today…

But God did.

I may or may not have vaguely mentioned this before, but along with my day job and my part-time job taking care of my dad, I also have a part-time job teaching grown-ups who have gone back to college. I’ve been on a break since the end of May, and I haven’t been able to pick up any courses since then.

This was a bit of a concern, because we’ve got a Disney vacation we’re trying to pay for and we need some other things around the house fixed up… the regular check every other month comes in handy for such things.

I’ve been trying to pick up some extra work this summer, but that’s the time of year that the full-time faculty pick up extra work, so it is usually more competitive. After my most recent contact with the school, it looked like there were no classes open through September.

Some of the timing was advantageous. If I had been trying to take care of Dad and finalize some of the things we’ve been working on for him in the last two months plus grading papers and prepping for class, I would be a basket case. We had just figured that God was removing a distraction for the time being.

Still, it was a concern… but God came in this morning with His usual timing, and now I’m starting a new class on Tuesday.

When I was born, I wasn’t really part of a Christian family… but God knew that He would call to me throughout my life.

When I was a kid, my mom took me to Vacation Bible School to learn about Jesus… but God knew that I would hate Him for most of my life.

When I was deep in sin and rejected by the world, I hated myself… but God knew that He would restore me and give me a wife and family that love me.

When my wife was downsized at her job, I worried how we were going to pay the bills and the mortgage on the house we had just bought… but God made sure we never missed a payment and got her a job within 2 weeks.

When we tried so hard for so long for our first child, we thought it would never be possible without expensive fertility treatments… but God gave us two more girls after Maddie that didn’t need a fertility doctor.

When our baby was born and laying there with a vent tube shoved down her throat, I thought we were going to lose her… but God has already given her nearly 6 years of wonderful life that we’ve cherished.

God knows the beginning, the middle, and the end of our story. We are just here watching it play out, watching His plan put into action, and acting on the things we can do while trusting God to act on the things that only He can do.

I thought I was going to write something trite today to check off a box that I wrote something… but God had other plans.


5 thoughts on “But God…

  1. Inspirational and encouraging 🙂

  2. Thanks. Some of that hit home really hard.

  3. Like my post ‘So Long Mr Clark’ – I am presuming that may have been God.

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