Monday, September 12, 2011
By Liz Hall
Have you ever had your life turned upside down? That’s a loaded question I know and many will say ‘Oh sure, I know exactly what you’re talking about, I’ve been there’. In today’s economy and high unemployment rate many have had life as they know it completely altered. In 2003 I lost my job of 16 years and was out of work for 2 ½ years. As a single, working Mom things for us changed to say the least. In hindsight I consider myself lucky. That was before unemployment was the crisis that it is today and eventually I rejoined the work force. Natural disasters have recently paid an unpleasant visit to the Northeast. Tornados in Massachusetts, earthquakes felt from Ohio to Canada, hurricane Irene battering the Carolinas to Vermont and flooding in the weeks to follow due to additional tropical weather. Sometimes these things are forecasted and we heed the warnings and prepare. Sometimes there is no warning. From unemployment to loss of electrical power our comfort zones are removed and it feels as though life has been turned upside down. And yet, when we finally get that job or when the power is eventually restored, the recovery process continues. The cost can take years to overcome.
This business of having life turned upside down is not new. Those who followed Christ and were witness to his life, death and resurrection were accused of this very thing! Turning the world upside down! In the 17th chapter of Acts when Paul was in Thessalonica preaching that Jesus was the Christ, unconvinced Jews caused a riot and claimed “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king—Jesus” Acts 17:6. The Jewish people seemed surprised, yet the coming of Christ was foretold.
And so I suggest that sometimes having our world turned upside down is a good thing. It is often in retrospect that we realize the gift of what having gone through an unsettling time is. I lost my job, but I gained perspective and learned not to lean on my own understanding. I was encouraged and supported by family, friends and a community of believers. I was humbled at a community food bank and that’s a good thing. My faith was strengthened as I comforted others who worried about my ability to raise my family and pay my bills. My son was 13 at the time and he finally got to go to a skate camp that had previously not fit into my work schedule. I worried less about the whys and focused more on being thankful. I can look back and say that what I gained during that time far outweighed what I lost. The benefit outweighed the cost. I can’t say I look forward to the next bump in the road, the next time life is turned upside down, but I don’t fear it either. After all, I have been warned…tribulations will come, but I believe in the One who has overcome the world and He is always with me reminding me to be encouraged and of good cheer.