4:00PM Friday afternoon, the bubble has burst, my biggest client calls, “We’re reducing our contract from $11 million to $2 million in 60 days.” As for my ad agency - 74 employees at an interim facility while dumping a million bucks into a newly purchased 21,000sf building. But wait there’s more. Our 2nd biggest client calls 4 weeks later. “We’re building a marketing department in-house, can you help facilitate that?” Although we did exceedingly well for both clients, 70% of our revenue was gone in 2 months time.
Life has a way of confronting us at times with a violence that rips the control right from our illusion that we have any. Yes, we sold the building 18 months later for near twice what we paid, I got bought out of the business many years later, and my ex-client, now friend and I are having dinner soon. But those are of little consequence as the next trial (perhaps much bigger) is just around the corner. Guaranteed.
The Friday I received word on the first client loss, I went to a friend’s house for dinner. After sharing my reality, he said with a smile, “Well Deano, Don’t let the test, NOT turn into a testimony.” Those 11 words forever changed my life. Something clicked that in every adversity there is value so great, I need not dwell on outcomes, but embrace the promises of God during the trial, so I could contend with peace, enjoy the process, even be a source of strength, wisdom and hope to those around me.
Our testimonies should never be relegated to an outcome or end of a trial. That’s junior level thinking. Testimony rests in how intentionally we believe God’s promises. To name a few - out of the ashes comes life, He’s gone before us, is with us and handles the aftermath of whatever, we can move mountains, we can count trials as joy, etc. In fact, if death is gain, (another promise) anything short of that should have us holding all trials in victory regardless of where the trial is at on God’s “all things for the good for those that seek Him” - timeline.
When problems hit, big or small, we have a choice to be faith-anemic, contributing anxiety, toxicity and uncertainty into the trial and those involved, or we can acknowledge ownership of God's promises and usher in peace, innovation and perspectives that are life-giving, not life-draining. Owning, embracing and advocating God’s promises are a clear witness of God’s thinking – the mind of Christ, the sound mind installed in us at salvation that we often hear about, but seldom experience. It’s a brilliant way of thinking that will provide an awareness of how God can use you in the trial, keep you hopeful of what God is doing through the trial, and in praise of how God will be glorified after the trial.
I figure it this way. If I can trust God for my eternity – all bazillion gazillion, quintillion years and then some, I can certainly trust him for another client call at 4pm.