Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], you prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will restore double your former prosperity to you.
Yes, that verse again.
Last night Bobby and I were talking about how far he has come in his career since we got married. It's no secret (though it may be to some of you reading this) that Bobby was in prison for a while before we met. He was assured that he wouldn't make more than minimum wage the rest of his life and he didn't anticipate much different when he got out. But this man of mine has a drive and ambition, coupled with a spirit of excellence and diligence, that has helped bring him to where he is today. He's working in a position now that most in his field have a college degree for, where he only has his GED. I have watched him over the last five years work himself from the very bottom up...from not even being able to turn on a computer, to being able to teach himself how to use a brand new software for his field. From being a pipe welder, to getting his foot in the office, to planning and then scheduling, and now basically managing a whole group of planners for a multi-million dollar job. He is always attempting to do better and learn more...as he says, he has no ceiling.
I am so proud of him, for the man that he is, and the example he will be for my children. For making the most of every opportunity he was given and never taking anything for granted or growing apathetic in his work. He doesn't always enjoy it, but he always does it with 110% of effort.
And as proud of him as I am, I am even more grateful for a faithful God who has opened every one of those doors. We both know that without the supernatural favor of God, Bobby wouldn't be in the position that he is. The more I read that verse, the more aspects of it I see. Reading it right now in this context, all I can think of is how directly to Bobby it speaks. I can see him walking out of that prison and God looking down and reciting this to him. Not letting him settle for what man would tell him is his fate, but urging him to grab onto the hope of life in God's amazing grace--His unmerited favor towards us.
The past five years as I watched Bobby step from one stone to the next, I also watched God come through time and time again. Every time we were presented with an obstacle, it was removed. He may never be early, but He has always been right on time. And every time my faith in His promises has grown. The journey of Bobby coming out of the shadow of his past has prepared me in every way for the journey we are now on with Joshua. All of those now seemingly tiny trials have seasoned me in the testing of my faith, leading me up to this one. So now I can look at it and see it for what it is, an opportunity to persevere in faith and hope, to give room for God's glory to be shown boldly, without question. I know that if I can persist through this and make it to the other side, then I can persist through anything.
I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [persistence in] faith on the earth?