The older I become the more I realize how unrealistic my expectations about life were when I was younger. As a college graduate heading toward seminary, I believed that the future held endless possibilities. I was too young to understand or anticipate the difficulties that inevitably accompany life. Dreams had not yet been shattered and nothing of significance had been taken away, such as the loss of an immediate loved one. Alas, as I have lived life, all this has obviously changed – from the death of my best friend from high school in my mid-twenties to the passing of my mom and father-in-law in recent months. The collision of unexpected, uninvited circumstances that life has served up brings a sobering dose of reality for all of us. It is at crossroads like these that we can either choose to cower in fear of the future or boldly trust that God knows what he is doing (Romans 8:28). As I in greater measure choose boldness, I have come to realize it is an exercise in futility to ask, “Why this Lord?” Like Job, we more than likely will not receive answers. Instead, I am learning to ask, “For what purpose Lord?” Though we may never have answers as to Why, Scripture promises that God will escort us through life’s difficulties…if we trust in him. He further promises that hardships will not be wasted upon a canvas of meaningless existentialism. Paul assures us in Philippians 1:6, “…Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” One final thought: I have also discovered that being grateful for what I have is insurance against becoming mired in a peat-bog of regret, disappointment and self-pity. “Lord, thank you for Sheri, Bryce, Braden and Brooke. They are a priceless, undeserved treasure directly from your hand.”
Keep the Faith, Pastor Tony
Originally from Huntington Beach, CA, Tony received his Bachelor's degree in religion from USC and his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry from Talbot School of Theology. Tony loves spending time with his wife, Sheri, and their two sons and daughter (Bryce, Braden, and Brooke); cheering for the USC Trojan football team; and playing tennis.