I'm so grateful that I got to grow up in a household that, as far from perfect as it was, was a household that believed in God and the Bible. I'm grateful that I grew up going to church. Because of this foundation, I've never had to struggle with believing that God was real.
But of course I've had plenty of questions for God throughout my life. Questions about what certain things mean in the Bible, questions about how church is supposed to be, questions about why certain things have happened, questions about what I was supposed to do. Sometimes God has answered my questions with distinct clarity, and sometimes it would appear that I may never have the answer this side of heaven (and I often think that by the time I'm on the other side of heaven, and in the presence of the greatness of God Himself, I probably won't care any more).
I'd have to say the biggest questions in my life right at this moment in time have to do with my job circumstances. In a nutshell it's like this: I worked as an assistant administrator, and then when I obtained my license, as an administrator, for a large health care company at a few of their locations for 7 years straight. Then I re-married and we moved to a small, mountain community and I worked a interim stint for that same company, and then a permanent position came open within a half hour drive from my home and I took it. It seemed that God was really blessing.
Then a year after starting there, for the only time ever in my entire life, I was terminated from a job. That was in April 2009. I was devastated; I felt that I had given my heart out in all the years I'd worked for that company, and been a faithful employee who went way above and beyond what was expected. I knew God was in control, yet I struggled with feeling hurt, betrayed, and bewildered. Then, in the 17 months since then, I've encountered rejection upon rejection in my job search. Where I once was sought after and considered valuable, it now would seem that I was not wanted. Of course the fact that the nation's economy started tanking in 2008, and that California's unemployment rate is at 11%, and that jobs at the top end of the job market are always hit hardest, all factored into my experience. Because I made good money when I was working, and we're committed to a life of simplicity, I was able to save money when I was working; we've been able to utilize those saving and have not suffered financially. But it's been difficult for me on an emotional level. I've come to realize how much of my identity was derived from my work. I've struggled a lot with feelings of being a failure.
Right now as I'm writing this, a job related decision is weighing on the back of my mind. My current questions of Jesus are - do you want me to take this job I've just been offered? Even though it will mean an hour commute each way each day? Even though it pays 58% less than I made before? Even though it's a huge "come down" of a job from what I used to do? What do you want from me Lord, what is it that you want me to learn though all this?
In my morning times with God I've been enjoying a slow process through Genesis. Sometimes during this time, in addition to the Bible, I'll read other books that stimulate my thinking about the scriptures I'm studying. One of such books I've been reading and working through, is Beth Moore's The Patriarchs. As I've been reading, re-reading and thinking about Genesis 40 -41:13 these last couple of days, I've found Joseph's predicament extremely interesting. This is when Joseph was in prison, he'd interpreted the dreams for the pharaoh's baker and cup-bearer who were also in prison, he'd asked the cup-bearer to remember him to the pharaoh when he was released, and had been promptly forgotten by the cup-bearer. Then Joseph had waited for two more years in prison until the day came that the cup-bearer did remember him. I found these two comments that Moore made in regard to Joseph's two years of waiting, to be of great encouragement to me in my current work circumstances:
"Time can be a liar. Heaven is replete with angelic activity as God faithfully completes in the spiritual realms what He will release in the visible realms when the time is right"
"Sometimes we can be so busy looking for what is missing in our lives that we miss Who is busily present in our lives. We're looking for God to do us future favors when He is trying to open our eyes to present ones. Remember, God purposes to use every second of a divinely-ordained wait to build us into the individuals our future demands we be. One most peculiar and exquisite experience of faith is realizing that while you haven't seen answers or the way you should take, you've learned to see the light of God Himself."
Guess that describes where I'm at right now. I don't have the answers with regard to this current job offer, or my career in general, right now. I don't know the way I should take. But may I learn more and more with each passing day to see the light of God Himself.
What about you, do you have any unanswered questions and requests before God right now? How's the Holy Spirit encouraging your heart? What's God teaching you during this time?