It’s easy to talk about trusting God when things are going well, when there are no dangers on the horizon and the road is smooth. But when the road starts getting bumpy, when the storm clouds appear, when your world begins to collapse…that’s when your willingness to trust can be put to the test.
About a year ago, I was on day two of a two-week vacation at my favorite spot on earth. I was relaxing, laughing, and enjoying the beautiful weather outside. Life was grand.
Then the phone rang.
It was my employer, and he’d called to tell me that after nearly 8 years at my job, the company had decided to let me go due to financial cutbacks.
Everything suddenly became surreal. The next few weeks I went through the “five stages of grief”, usually accompanied by various degrees of worrying. But as time went on the surrealism began to wane, and was replaced by a small, quiet voice:
“Will you trust Me?”
Ah yes. I’d been at this place before. In fact, a friend had recently gone through a similar employment situation, and I’d tried to help him with words of encouragement, telling him that the most important thing throughout all of this was to trust God. Again, it’s easy to say when you’re not the one sailing on the stormy sea. But now, it was my turn.
In their book The Cure, authors John Lynch, Bruce McNicol, and Bill Thrall wrote: “Where you are right now is the perfect place for you, or the God of all goodness and power would not allow you to be there.”
I knew I MUST trust the Lord. He’d given me the old job, and He’d give me a new one. The process and timeframe of getting a new job might not go how I wanted it to, but I knew that it really wasn’t up to me. I just needed to trust Him, enjoy the ride, and keep my eyes open.
I had no idea where the Lord wanted me to go or what He wanted me to do. For six months I actively sought His will for me. I searched out every relevant employment path I could think of, made new friends and rekindled some old ones. I readied my house for sale in case I needed to move, found creative ways to make ends meet, and tried to keep my spirits up as much as I could. It kind of felt like I got on a bus – driving along looking for the place where I was supposed to get off, but not really knowing where the destination was. I was just along for the ride
One Friday morning the phone rang again – and this time, it was a job offer. In fact, it was the ONLY job offer I’d received during those six months of searching, Now that day happened to have another significance that still gives me chills: It was the day of my last severance check from my previous employer. The small, quiet voice now said: “See? I had you all the time!”
One of the things I learned through this experience is the fact I need to trust God in EVERYTHING – not just the big situations, but every day – for every situation. And not only do I need to trust, I need to be thankful. I serve an awesome God who is trustworthy, faithful, and who loves me beyond measure. Personally, I am thankful for my employment journey, as my faith grew, my trust in God grew, and our relationship got deeper as a result of it.
Of course, not every journey has a storybook ending. People die. Relationships implode. Things happen that we can’t understand. We look to God and ask: “Why?! How could you let this happen?” “It’s not fair!” I believe that though there will be tragedy in all of our lives, even though we’ll all experience some degree of pain that we can’t understand why God would allow—we must still trust. If we only trust Him when times are good, it’s not really trust at all.
1st Thessalonians 5: 16-18: “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”