For those of you who haven’t lived and died with me (and prayed with and for me) over the last year and a half, I’ve been unemployed for a very long time. For those of you who have, thank you! Your prayers have been answered. As of this week, I am officially off the unemployment line! Praise God!!
Over the last several months, I’d made a list of reasons I really needed a job and presented it to God. Multiple times. Sometimes I presented it as a suggestion in the vein of “you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). Other times, I presented it like the persistent widow. And yes, other times I presented it like a 4-year-old about to have an epic meltdown in the middle of the store because she really really really really really needs that coloring book!!!!
The list included things like: having a reason to get up in the morning, giving purpose to my life, financial stability, helping other people, and giving my brain something to do. Well, the job I ended up with met almost everything on my list except for one, rather important thing. It’s a thing I’ve been talking to God about ever since I was offered the job.
Yesterday, my side of the conversation came to an abrupt end. It went something like this:
Me: God, this was really the main reason I needed a job. I’m so grateful for it, but it’s not everything I needed. I know You can work it out, but it’s just frustrating and…
God: Are you trusting in Me or in the job?
That hit me pretty hard. And I had to admit, I had definitely placed my faith more strongly in a job to fix my “problems” than I had in God. I just didn’t know I was doing it. Has that ever happened to you?
As Christians, most of us know that when a legitimate need arises in our lives, we can trust that God will be faithful and will provide. That doesn’t mean we don’t spend some time thinking about it and worrying about it and possibly even obsessing about it. Eventually (hopefully), we get to the point where we finally hand it over to God to take care of it. But after that, things can still go awry:
- We decide we were comfortable with our worry and we take it back.
- We get impatient and we take it back.
- We get what we need and it’s not what we expected so we get angry.
- We see the thing we need as the solution to our problem, and not God.
That last one is where I failed. I placed my faith in a job instead of in the Provider of the job. I placed my faith in the solution and not in the God who knows my every need even better than I do. And all along, I thought my faith was so strong. I have so far to go!
Where do you get stuck in the have-need cycle? And on a positive note, what prayer has God recently answered for you?