Well here it is—another walking story. I’m so predictable. But today was different. You see it all began a few weeks ago, when Dr. Stanley was preaching and he said, “God will never leave you at the same faith level.” Uh oh. I knew things were going too well. You know sometimes you just sense that it is time for a little faith-bender, and you think you will be prepared because you know it is coming. But then it happens.
So today I got the word that my job will probably be cut in half, maybe more, beginning this fall. This is the pattern with my career─medical transcription. Lose an account, get a new account; lose another one. Too much work, no work, very little work. I’m used to it. I have lost work before. But this is a biggie. The best work I have ever done, for the best employer I have ever had, and so with the changes coming in health care, this could really be the big one.
But here’s the kicker: I didn’t panic. I always panic! Usually shed a few tears and throw a small tantrum, rant and rave a little then have my pity party. Oh yes, I do. Nobody likes to have to go out and look for more work, start something new, learn a whole new software system. But this time, it was different. Simply put, God has been working in my life.
For the past couple years I have drawn closer to Him than ever before and I know He is in control of this situation. I know He has always provided work. I know He has always gotten me through these mini crises. And every time, the work is better and the learning curve is easier, and I grow more confident and empowered and come out on the other side just a little wiser, just a little stronger.
So is this a test? Is that my faith I feel strengthening? Is this just a little bump and the real test is coming? Maybe lots of tests? Who knows. But now for the walking part…
No, today the clouds didn’t part and no little “signals in the skies” for me. It was the music again, though. After I received the dreaded e-mail from my boss, I put on my earbuds and went out for my walk. The first song was nearly over when I turned up the volume to hear the next song as I began to walk. Of course, these songs are on random shuffle and I have no idea what is coming up (although pretty sure it will be the Gaithers or the Crabb family).
So off I stroll, feeling a little deflated, but not too bad, and the tune that begins playing in my ears is “I Will Go On” by the Gaither Vocal Band. What a song, and just what I needed. The lyrics gently, but firmly advised me against wallowing in self-pity but getting up and being thankful for God‘s mercy and grace. Do not spend one minute looking back—just go on and let God work.
Well as you can imagine, I listened to this song several times, giant smile on my face, a few tears in the corners of my eyes. And it was then I realized I did not need any overt signals from God. Maybe I have graduated to that subtle guidance that He gives us when we begin to mature and learn to listen to Him. Audible rather than visual. Heart, rather than head. I think I am getting it.
The times we live in are very trying. Many of us are going to be tested and tried over and over again until the Lord comes to call us home. He is chiseling away that fear, that lack of confidence, that feeling of uncertainty we have as humans, trying to keep our thumb on our own problems and solve them our selves. Worrying about this, worrying about that. God is molding us and grooming us to become Christ’s bride and as that time nears, our desire to be ultimately prepared for that destiny should be our sole spiritual purpose.
When we focus on Christ’s return, we will automatically want to please him in our every day lives, and we will want to bring others into the fold, which is what we have been sent to do. It is vital in these final days of the Church Age. I’ve said it before—what could be more important than being ready and getting others ready, for the Rapture? I cannot think of anything.
So looking back over this day, all in all, it was a learning experience. Not only am I growing as a person, I am growing as a Christian — learning to lean on God and the Holy Spirit to guide me to and through my next adventure. Will I still be a transcriptionist? Who knows. Maybe God has another plan for me. Admittedly, I did hope for a few minutes that the Rapture would occur before I have to find another job, and maybe it will. But that is up to God and I have to be prepared to do His will while still inhabiting this earth.
For a moment, I even thought a new career venture would be a little exciting, but that was a fleeting moment. No, I don’t like change. I don’t think many of us do. But if God is going to work in our lives, we can expect change and lots of it. It is what makes us grow. It is what makes us trust. It is what enhances our lives as Christians and it ultimately draws us near to our Savior.
I have to say, my little musical “enlightenment” today was quite a wonderful moment. To quote the lyrics of the song’s chorus “I will go on, my past I leave behind me. I’ll gladly take His mercy and His love. He is joy and He is peace. He is STRENGTH and SWEET RELEASE. I know He Is, and I am His…I will go on.”
Then the next song popped up…“A Place Called Hope.” How appropriate. How inspirational.
Of course I would be remiss to end this little story without telling you the title of the song that sandwiched these two inspiring melodies on my player. Two different versions of: “Why Me Lord?” Seriously.