Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Now's Not the Time to Wallow

I hadn't really planned on posting a series of journal entries connected to my reading of Why Did I Lose My Job If God Loves Me?, but when there's truth to be shared that is impacting your life, and you're writing a blog called Truth Is...you kinda need to go with it.

In the daily reading titled "Get Up!", Rick J. Pritikin tells a story of letting down his Chicago Baseball Little League all-star team by massively striking out at a critical point of a game. He then relates that feeling to being in a time of transition between jobs:

The hurt and despair of being unemployed while in the "big leagues" of life, especially with a family to provide for, was far more devastating, since the consequences are greater than losing a ballgame. We're talking a loss of career, a loss of income, a loss of self-respect and a loss of identity. What's more, if we allow our emotions to go unchecked, failure in our career path has a way of leading to depression - especially the longer our job search drags on.

If anyone in the Bible had a reason to be crushed by despair it would have been Peter, a disciple of Jesus. Just before Jesus' arrest, Peter arrogantly proclaimed that he would never leave or betray Jesus - even though Jesus had just predicted that all of his disciples would fall away. (Matthew 26:33-34)

For those of us familiar with the story, we know that not only was Jesus right in his prediction, but Peter massively struck out in the Remaining Faithful department. The good news is, Peter didn't just wallow in his despair. He got up, allowed the Lord to dust him off, and walked bravely on the path set before him.

Is our transition journey so very different? I think not. We fight despair. We wrestle with the debilitating thoughts and feelings that no one wants our talents. We even toy with the idea of giving up on God's ability to provide for us.

Let me encourage you to get up! Your journey is not over. In fact, it may have just begun. With the Lord's help we must get up from our self-pity, our sea of regrets and our fear of failure, and proceed to the next opportunity. Don't allow anything to come between you and the assigned task the Lord has for you.

I don't think I have "lost faith" in God. I recognize His provision even in the face of not having a full-time job. (Hard to miss that...what with anonymous cash showing up in my church mail slot and out-of-the-blue checks from old friends!)

Truth is...the current challenge (for me and, I believe, for ANYONE, in job transition or not) seems to be finding "the assigned task the Lord has for [me]" in the NOW...even in the midst of job-searching. Am I learning what I need to? Is my character taking on the shape of Christ as intended? If "everything happens for a purpose," then the sooner I realize joblessness' purpose for my life, the sooner we can move on to the next thing, right? 

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