Wow, what a week and a half it's been! Last Tuesday (4/10), my employer called me in and told me that I was laid off, with no further income or medical benefits beyond that day. Obviously, I wasn't happy with the suddenness of the decision, but honestly felt that God had a plan. My first thoughts were the words of Romans 8:28:
"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
As a matter of fact, my daily Bible reading the day before had included the passage in Matthew 6:28-34:
"And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' 32For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
As I read that passage in my car, I looked up to see some beautiful pink flowers blooming (some already wilting). It really hit me how God's creative love spills over on to flowers, which last such a short time.
My first action was to seek the prayers of everyone I knew, including my church's staff, guys at Bible study, and anyone I knew who believed in prayer (to the God of the Bible).
Three days later (before unemployment insurance could kick in), I had a job offer from a respected agency in the same town I'd been working in. There was no interview - just a flat out offer to come work with them. The renumeration will probably end up looking a tad better than where I'd been.
The only thing that made me hesitate to take the job was another potential position in Canada, where they were willing to fly me up for an interview if my family would seriously consider instant relocation. This was hard to decline, but many things colluded to show me that now is just not the time to drastically alter the family scene. I only mention it because it seems to me that God was telling me something like:
"Tom, not only do I have the power to keep you on your feet with a local job, I can also get you placed anywhere on the planet. My resources and love know no bounds. Keep Me uppermost in your heart, and EVERYTHING else will be taken care of."I did not hear this voice audibly, but I trust that it was Him, because of the timing of the Matthew passages He'd just had me read.
So here I am, 12 days later, re-employed, and more assured than ever that God is behind everything. One song we often play in worship includes the line (about God): "You give and take away." I'll be playing this with new-found enthusiasm next time we do it.
More than anything, I am thankful to God, and all the people He used to comfort me, and pray for this family. If you're reading this, and you were one of the folks who prayed, I thank you for your faithful prayers. May God help me to share Him even more. Thank you God for the privilege of prayer. May we never forget that prayer is your gift to us, regardless of the outcome.
Of course, for all I know, this new job could result in some kind of earthly disaster. I don't think that, but it's possible. The funny thing is, this experience has not merely taught me to trust that God has my earthly concerns covered, but even more - that His larger will is being done. Lord, thank you for increasing my faith. Please continue to strengthen it through whatever earthly events come my way. Your will be done. Amen