The internal battle raged. Over and over I heard arguments from each side. “Any job will do!” I heard it from my doubting self, from well-meaning loved ones, and from Satan. The flip side argument, the one that, for once, I chose not to quiet, was the still small voice. The voice that said,
“I have a plan. Do you trust Me?”
I looked for a job for over a year. I was finishing my Ph.D. and was seeking to get into the “real world.” I was 28, unemployed, and living with my parents for the last 6 months of the search. As time wore on, the same question remained,
“Do you trust Me?”
I’ve been a self-sufficient sort. I believed deep down that I had to make my own way. I also believed that what I really wanted to do, what I felt the whole of my life experiences added up to, wasn’t possible. It was when I finally, honestly answered His question that He opened my eyes. I had to finally admit that though I trusted God with the “big” things, like salvation, I was still working as if everything depended on me.
I find that when we finally come to where God has been drawing us, He welcomes us there and then draws us further. C.S. Lewis, in the Chronicles of Narnia, described heaven in a similar way–further up and further in was the encouragement. Further up and further in.
Once I had confessed my doubting ways regarding trust, the question changed. We had tilled the ground of trust. Now it was time to till the ground of faithfulness.
“What do you want?”
He would ask. I would answer with the party-line of “I want to do Your will, whatever that may be. I want to be content with whatever You give me.” Those words look good on paper, but the picture of my response was one of a child who had heard it all before and was just regurgitating what the “right” answer was.
He would ask, in His persistence, over and over again.
Until one day, sitting at a left turn lane stop light, I cracked. I finally let down the guard of the “right” answer and laid out the honest answer, with details, and ended my spillage with and emphatic “but those jobs don’t exist!”
His next question silenced me:
I was, finally, at the end of myself, at the end of my arguments. And in my vulnerability, the Spirit brought to mind example after example of God’s faithfulness, of His perfect timing and His endless love. He used Scripture. He used examples from my own life and the people in my life. He reminded me of “impossible” doors that had opened, and “impossible” feats He had accomplished. And He showed me all of the things that I never would have experienced had I gotten a job when I first started looking.
He showed me the benefits of His delaying.
And then He reminded me of His love. I was humbled, in a good way. It was where I needed to be.
It was a refining year for me. God’s questions refined my heart, my mind, and my strength; they still do.
It’s amazing what happens when I slow down long enough to sit, listen, and most of all, interact with the God who created me.
When you find yourself in the throne room with a question from the Almighty, drop your guard, honestly answer Him, and just see where He takes you.
Photo by Chris Baker