By Larry Armbruster
There several times when God has “broken into my life”. About fifteen years ago, when I was working for Bayer, I was the Polyol Product Manager. I was responsible for getting 250 million pounds of polyol out the door and to the customer on an on-time basis. Life was good, but very challenging and demanding.
Penny and I listened faithfully to Chuck Swindoll on the radio. During this time Dr. Swindoll presented a series on Elijah. Elijah was one of my Bible heroes in Sunday School while growing up. I remember the CPH Sunday School lesson with a drawing of Elijah sitting by the dried up Kerith Ravine and ravens bringing him food. I remember the drawing of the woman in tattered robes gathering sticks as Elijah was calling out to her. Chuck Swindoll challenged his audience as to whether they really trusted in God for provisions or did they trust in themselves and employers. Penny and felt like we trusted more in ourselves than God.
At that time, Bayer offered a buyout because of them taking over their largest competitor. Penny and I prayed and felt led by God to take the buy-out and start at something different. Bayer said that they would not let me go. Then they said that they would let me go only after they found a replacement for me. This was the beginning of 2001 and the economy was robust. Offers came along, but I couldn’t act on them because of my agreement. 2001 moved along, September 11 came along. Then in December, Bayer let me go. At this time, the economy was deep in a recession. What initially looked like a good plan, turn into a personal economic disaster. I was out of work for over a year.
It was a long year with much hand wringing. But God prevailed and always provided for us. When things were coming to a very bleak point, there would come something to buoy us. My situation was never as bleak as Elijah’s. My life was not threatened for my beliefs. But I questioned myself and wondered if what I did was right. I questioned God “why?” many times. However, just as God provided for Elijah at the Kerith Ravine and also through the widow of Zarephath, God provided for our family. Just as with the widow of Zarephath, there was always flour in our jar and oil in our jug. God is faithful. The story of Elijah at the Kerith Ravine and with the widow of Zarephath is found in 1 Kings 17.
It was a long year with much hand wringing. But God prevailed and always provided for us. When things were coming to a very bleak point, there would come something to buoy us.
After a little over a year, I landed as the General Manager of a start-up company in South Dakota producing polyols from soybean oil to replace petroleum based polyols. It started me on another path that has taken me to where I am now. Life is a journey, not a destination.