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Words of Abundance

Your Host, Randy Petrick
  • Writer's pictureRandy Petrick


Updated: Mar 28

Try not to set yourself up for the rough lessons like I did. The world thought I "smashed it!" God had a completely different take on the situation.

Sometimes, especially when the world is commending you for big success and it seems like you are doing everything right, God allows "stuff" to happen… and you realize you've become smashingly successful at being a prideful idiot. That was me. Here's my story:

1978: I’m hired into a career in the financial industry

1978-1986: Eight years focusing on “the single highest earning investment – with the lowest risk” as Bob and Linda Lotich [my friends at ] describe it…my education. In those eight years, I completed a lot of educational designations in my field - and that education became a base that helped me move quickly ahead in my career. Bob and Linda are right. Education is a high-returning investment in your future. [They also happen to be right about a lot of other things I got embarrassingly wrong. Please visit their site and check out their blog, their courses and podcasts, and their book Simple Money, Rich Life. Go ahead and order their book right now. I promise to wait right here until you get back.]

Now, on with my story...

1987: Promoted into my “dream job.”

1987-1996: I continued my education and enhanced my skills. I achieved a six-figure income, had a private office, an executive assistant, and 70 direct reports. Pretty decent for the late 1980s, right? Well, it would have been if you'd been there. LOL.

[Important Note: At that point, I definitely felt prideful about "my" accomplishments. So please know I'm not telling you these things to brag, but just the set up the story so you will see how God dealt with my pride and taught me some big lessons very important to the life still in front of me.]

Woman with her face buried in her hands.

And then, in 1997, my job and entire department were moved to another state at a time I couldn’t go with them. Yowch! To stay employed, I was forced into an involuntary demotion, which meant losing the private office, losing the executive assistant, going from 70 direct reports to 4, and… (the big kicker of this story) …having my annual income drop by $27,000!

The bad news? I reacted very poorly. I was angry at God and my employer, enormously frustrated, depressed, and feeling near panic regarding our finances. I didn’t see how my wife and I were going to survive a more than $2,000/month loss in income.

Thankfully, God stepped in with an abundance of grace and forgiveness I didn’t deserve. He started teaching me some difficult lessons in humility, trust, contentment, and forgiveness. [There are far too many lessons to describe in just one blog post, so stick with me, and I promise I'll fill in all those pieces over the coming months.]

To say the least, it was painful to realize that while I had done many things well from a worldly success point of view, I was a miserable failure from a spiritual point of view. But over time, God used the situation to teach me what it meant to be a servant leader and a humble steward of His resources. I'm not a fast learner, but God is a patient teacher.

Oddly, while God's lessons for me were getting underway, the monthly financial struggle I was expecting never seemed to materialize. Each month, there always seemed to be enough money to meet our needs, fulfill our obligations, and even cover some unexpectedly high medical bills. It made no sense, but it makes for a great example now of how God sometimes actually blesses us to teach us major lessons. That in itself was a big shock to me.

It wasn’t until the end of a full calendar year, when I was doing my annual review of our net worth, that God taught me one of the most important financial lessons I’ve ever learned. He taught me that my employer wasn’t responsible for my financial well-being. He was. Suddenly, in vivid black and white in front of me, I saw and understood the reason we hadn’t experienced the financial struggle I had expected…

Young blond-haired boy dressed in a pink shirt with a gray vest holding an open book and looking up in astonishment.

You see, God had increased the income from our investments that year to an amount larger than my entire salary! I was blown away. Suddenly, a comment from the NIV Stewardship Study Bible came alive for me:

"God is both predictable and unpredictable. He is absolutely predictable in his faithfulness to provide for our needs. What we cannot predict is how the Lord will provide. He uses various and sometimes surprising means of meeting our needs." Surprising means of meeting our needs. Amen to that.

Fast-forward to today, and as you will discover through my blogs, I am now a man with a vastly different understanding of what it means to steward God’s assets. My goals are far more for the distribution of His assets and far less for accumulating them.

In a few months, I will become a septuagenarian…and boy do I have a lot of GOD stories to tell from those 70 years. This website and this blog are the start of my new endeavor to do just that. I'm excited to build them and pray God will bless you through my efforts. Thanks for joining me.

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