God is testing you

God is testing you

Less than two years after I joined the family printing business, we experienced the Great Recession, which seemed to hit our industry especially hard. Customer defaults, wage cuts, layoffs, and a period of great uncertainty ensued. It was a trying time for all of us, but my father seemed to take it especially hard as a small business owner with what seemed like the weight of the world and responsibility for employees on his shoulders. After a particularly tough day, my dad reached out to my grandfather for advice on how to navigate the most severe economic recession in his lifetime.

My grandfather, who was 89 years old at the time, had lived through many trials and tragedies in his lifetime, including the Great Depression, close calls and near-death experiences while serving in World War II, and enduring the loss of his wife to brain cancer to name a few. After listening to my dad talk about the struggles he was facing, my grandfather calmly replied, “God is testing you.” The words continue to echo in my mind and ring especially true today. 

Many tough decisions were made and, thankfully, prayers answered; but we made it across the tumultuous waters of the recession and, fortunately, are still standing today. While the current pandemic has some similarities to past recessions and disasters, I think we can all agree it is testing each of us. Nothing happens without a reason; and while we have certainly lost a lot during the past few months, I believe there is much to be gained. God is seeing what we’re made of at our core and how we treat those around us. Are we more focused on filling our own stockpiles, or on making sure our friends, neighbors, and the disadvantaged have what they need? 

The frenzied pace of our busy routines has nearly slowed to a halt, and now is the time to take note of things we may have been too busy to see in the past. It is time to renew our perspective and appreciation for things both large and small. I know I have a new appreciation for healthcare workers, teachers, eating in restaurants, and being able to gather with groups of people. I am also proud of the way members of our industry have stepped up to help one another and help clients who are fighting the virus and fighting to keep their businesses afloat. 

In the months and years ahead, I hope we can look back on this difficult time and, rather than focus on what has been lost, instead gain a new appreciation for our many blessings. After all, God is testing us.