June 22 2017 – Click here to listen
I remember the day like it was yesterday. My attorney gave me his most grave and serious look before he said anything. Finally he looked at me over his reading glasses and spoke. Bob, my advice to you is that you simply throw in the towel and take bankruptcy. Yours is too bad of a situation to recover and you will just delay the inevitable if you continue with your business. I am not surprised. My accountant and banker had just given me the exact same counsel. He went on, it is literally impossible to avoid bankruptcy. Just go ahead and get it over with.
Internal thieves had stolen me blind and had dealt a serious blow to my company. Their intent was to start their own business similar to mine and compete with me. They had not only embezzled and stolen everything they could get their hands on; they had deliberately sabotaged every business record that I had. I was some $900,000 dollars in debt and $278,000 overdrawn at the bank. The thieves had erased my general ledger, destroyed my back up tapes and hard copy files of my tax records, payroll, accounts receivable, and accounts payable. My inventory had been decimated and the shelves were stripped bare by the thieves. I had little to sell through my mail order catalog and no money to buy more. The situation was dire. I went from sixty some odd employees to just 19 in three days, completely shutting down my manufacturing plant in Idaho.
I remained undaunted. I looked at him and told him that I was going to continue. I did not want to take bankruptcy unless someone sued me and forced the issue. I deduced that our customer base was solid and our products were excellent. Our reputation was the best in the industry and our customers loved us and our products. Yes it would be difficult and yes it would be painful, but I was willing to work. Difficult it was. Every day for the next several years I was on the phone most of the day listening to creditors scream at me and threaten to sue me. None did, but you can bet it was a miserable existence.
I weathered the storm, rebuilt the business to surpass its former heights with fewer people and higher profit. I repaid every dime of what I owed. It was miraculous. Or was it?
Hmmm . . . My feeling is that most people give up at the first sign of trouble. It is easy to throw in the towel and avoid the pain. I happen to think that the hard lessons in life are the best lessons. I got my PHD in budgeting from that experience and realized that bigger can sometimes be good but profitable is ALWAYS good. I hated going through it at the time, but as I look back on those painful miserable days I remember them as the singular most significant event in forging me into a businessman. It also did something to my character in that I learned to hang in there in spite of great difficulty. Spiritually it drew me closer to God than I had ever been and greatly enhanced my faith.
I say all of this morning just to encourage those of you who are worried about your life savings, your job, or whatever. You can and will weather this storm like I did and one day look back on it and smile. Do as I did and several times daily ask God for strength to withstand whatever satan throws your way and He will oblige. God allows tribulation for a purpose and we may not see that purpose literally for years, but it is for our good, because God loves us every minute of every day. Never forget or doubt even for a moment that He loved us so much that He allowed His Son to die a difficult death for us on a cross on a rugged hill named Golgotha. I have been to that holy place. Rest if you must, but don’t give up on God. He will never give up on you.
My brethren, count it all joy
when you fall into various trials,
knowing that the testing of your
faith produces patience.