To the faithful reader, I think you would agree that I have faithfully and truthfully written of the emotions that I have experienced on my “highway of grief”. I have told you when I was hurting, angry, discouraged, and when I was given rest. All of these things, I chose to give thanks to the Lord, as it was and is part of my healing.
In my last post (Time Out In The Intertropical Convergence Zone), I was in the doldrums and without wind or hope. Since that writing, I have been trying to discern what I was to learn from that experience.
In the last five months, I have made some mistakes because of my impatience. I certainly do not want to make mistakes, but because I am of “clay” and have “feet of clay”, I am given to mistakes.
My impatience was because I would have liked to have known what might happen in my future. I think my thought was if I knew there was something “down the road” that it would provide hope and motivation, something to fight for and all that. While the intention was not malicious or “bad”, it was not biblical. In 2 Corinthians 5:7, it says, “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” NKJV The verse says to “walk” by faith, not “run” or even “quickstep” by faith. If you are wanting to run, walking takes patience. And patience requires trusting, and trusting requires being still and letting God do what He is going to do, when He wants to do it!
The dictionary defines faith as complete trust or confidence in someone or something. I think that is a good definition. The Bible defines faith in Hebrews 11 as “1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” NKJV
Chapter 11 is known as the “faith” chapter. In the forty verses of this chapter, the writer describes the acts of countless people, who “By faith” did anything from Noah building an ark, while the world laughed and mocked him; to Abraham and Sarah who became parents, long after they should have been able, to a promised son, the first of an innumerable count; to this same Abraham, who offered, when tested, this promised son on the alter, only for God to provide a substitute for that offering; to Rahab, the harlot, who believed God would protect her and her family; to a group of unnamed people who were brutally tortured, which the Bible tells us that the world was not worthy of having people like they were.
As I looked at each of the “By faith” verses, I saw some common things that would apply to my life. In each case, God told them to do something, or live a certain way, something that required them to continue on a path with complete trust and confidence that God would make it happen, regardless of if it was beyond the natural laws or if it made any sense to them; regardless if they could see how He would do it, or if they (I) could control the situation. They believed (and I should) that God will make a way, when there seems to be no way (remember the Red Sea thing?).
I remember when I lost my job in November of 1991. My work is somewhat specialized, in that, there is not a whole lot of people who do what I do, so when I was laid off, I wondered where I would work. In just a short time, I had a strong “impression” about where He would lead me. I called former fellow coworkers, who had started there, and learned there were no openings. How could this be? I had this strong “impression” that this was the place.
There were two other manufacturers in town, who do the same type of work, so I interviewed with each of them. One of the places said they had four of us who interviewed and they hired three of the four. I was not hired, but I still believed I know where God wanted me to work, yet no openings. Had I missed what He was “telling” me?
After a few months, I got a temporary job at Tinker Air Force Base, working for a contractor who was completing the E6A hanger building. The money was much less than what I had been making, but with some adjustments it was fine.
I interviewed with the company, that I thought I was supposed to work for and they wanted to hire me, but they needed more space to house me. I was so eager to go to work there, I even offered to work on the remodeling of the new space. But I had to wait until they were ready for me.
And that is the point of this story. I believed I knew where I was supposed to go to work and the place that I did go to work, nine months after I had lost my job. In that nine months, two important things happened: 1) I had to make mental and emotional adjustments by going through several steps (process) to get me ready to be the employee that they needed. 2) And maybe, more importantly, the company needed to make adjustments for me to come to them. They had to make sure they had the business to support my hiring, they needed to remodel the work space, get furniture, etc. But what both of us needed was time. Time to make sure that this was the right thing for each of us. As it turned out, while it had bumps and hills, it lasted twenty years.
Could it be that I am there again? I have a thought or impression about the future, but to know if it is from the Lord, requires that I wait. I need to make some mental, emotional, physical, and maybe even some spiritual adjustments to get me ready to be the man that is needed in the future. And strangely enough, I’m okay with that. Perhaps, I have learned a lesson.
I thought about what I am supposed to learn during this time and prayed asking God what He wanted me to learn. The response was that I needed to learn that He is all that I needed. Period. He will take care of the rest.
May I be a good student and obtain a good testimony.
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV