Clinging to God’s character

For me, there is no doubt about it. I am in exactly the right place at exactly the right time.

What is the right time? Now. What is the right place? Unemployed, 61 years old, laid off after 33 years with the same company.

Maybe you think I’m a little crazy. Or maybe a lot; I’m flexible. Whatever you think is OK. I’m still completely sure that everything is right where it should be.

Having read all that, know this. I am not a cockeyed optimist. After all, I’ve been a reporter for more than half my life. Pessimism and cynicism are pretty much in the job description. I am not a guy who simply believes “everything is going to be OK.”

But because I am a Christian, I do know how the story turns out. I do know who wins in the end. That doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to find a dream job or win the lottery or something like that. Really, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything that pertains to this world at all.

CrossI am doing everything I can to put my trust in God, trusting that He knows all about my dilemma, indeed that He knew about it before I did and that He is already preparing a solution. Whatever solution He has for me will be perfect because He is perfect.

This is not to say this solution will fall into my lap. It may require a lot of work on my part to find it and it may require a lot of time and patience before it happens. But when it does happen, it will be from God.

Why, you may ask, would God allow me to lose my job in the first place? Well, God has never promised that we wouldn’t go through trials in this life. In John 16:33, Jesus said, “In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”

The world God made has been imperfect since the fall of Adam and Eve. But God sent His son, Jesus Christ, to be the propitiation for our sins. When we make Jesus Christ our Savior, we overcome the world, we know how our story ends. It’s the biggest spoiler alert ever: We will live with Jesus in heaven for all eternity. When you know that, the things on earth — even something as big as being without a job — don’t seem so big.

Often when we go through a difficult time in our lives, we can look back and see where God worked to help us through it. My family even now, just this far into all this, can see where God was preparing us to be able to deal with it.

Does this all mean that everything is peachy with us, that we are not burdened at all by this? Of course not. We’ve got bills to pay like everyone else. I fully admit to having, when I’ve sat home alone, some pretty scary anxiety attacks. There’s nothing fun about any of this.

It also doesn’t mean this is necessarily going to all work out and we’ll all live happily ever after. Sometimes the answer to our prayers is, “No.” God is sovereign. But like I said, ultimately (and when I say “ultimately,” I mean the big “ultimately”; we don’t always think big enough when we think of the big picture), God is going to take care of us.

It’s easy to feel as though God is far away, but He’s not the one who’s done the traveling. In Hebrews 13:5, it is reminded that God said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you.”

It is important for me to remember the things that God is, the things He promises, the qualities He has. The book I’ve been reading lately, You’ll Get Through This: Hope and Help for Your Turbulent Times by Max Lucado, has this advice that I’ll close with:

“Cling to his character. Quarry from your Bible a list of the deep qualities of God, and press them into your heart. My list reads like this: ‘He is still sovereign. He still knows my name. Angels still respond to his call. The hearts of rulers still yield at his bidding. The death of Jesus still saves souls. The Spirit of God still indwells saints. Heaven is still only heartbeats away. The grave is still temporary housing. God is still faithful. He is not caught off guard. He uses everything for his glory and my ultimate good. He uses tragedy to accomplish his will, and his will is right, holy, and perfect. Sorrow may come with the night, but joy comes with the morning. God bears fruit in the midst of affliction.”

Amen.

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