Times were not good. The pressure was mounting. Oil had dropped to $8 per barrel and the oilfield services sector was being decimated. The young manager had to size down the operation by 75% and survival was still not guaranteed. There was a saying in previous downturns that when the oil companies catch a cold, the services sector contracts pneumonia. This was double pneumonia!
In the midst of one of the most severe downturns in history, the young manager became a dad. His bride gave birth to their first child, a beautiful little girl. All the tough business decisions, all the emotional discussions involved with the mass layoffs and the anxiety around sustaining the business operations took a back seat to the joy he and his bride felt in experiencing God’s miracle of a child coming into the world. A renewed perspective was introduced.
Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God unless they are born again.” – John 3:3. This exchange with the Pharisee, Nicodemus, was confusing. While he was focused on the literal, Jesus was introducing him to the spiritual. Later in the conversation, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” - John 3:5-6. Jesus offered a perspective that Nicodemus struggled to grasp. Jesus went on to make the most amazing statement in all of history, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” - John 3:16. When one has an eternal perspective on life in this world, the pressure and anxiety of the now does not overwhelm. Worldly situations are respected and decisions are made but when you are “born of the Spirit” all is renewed with an eternal perspective.
Lives and livelihoods were certainly disrupted by the oil bust of 1986. The business climate demanded respect and decisions were made. And life went on just as it has throughout our nation’s history after wars, economic calamities and pandemics. Oswald Chambers has said, “Being born again from above is a perennial, perpetual and eternal beginning; a freshness all the time in thinking and in talking and in living, the continual surprise of the life of God.”- My Utmost for His Highest (Jan.20). With the birth of his daughter, the young manager was granted a freshness in thinking, talking and in living. He walked with a renewed perspective, an eternal perspective under his Savior and Lord.
Prayer guide: Father, thank You for Your word and for Your Son. Too often my perspective is in the now to provide for my family and survive to fight another day. Forgive me. I know I have to manage the practical side of navigating through this world but I also have to keep my head up with eyes focused on You. Help me look to the eternal life You offer and live with a renewed perspective under You. That is the dad You call me to be and that’s the dad my kids need to see. Amen.
A faithful father lives with a renewed perspective under his Savior and Lord.