As I write this I am currently stuck between a rock and a hard place at work. My job is extremely challenging and I also deal with people that are not nice and who tend to make life even harder. On the upside my boss wants to hire me full time, but on the downside I could be on this particular project for another four months. So I keep asking myself, should I stay or should I go and find an easier path.
I don't know if I am talking to anyone here but being caught up in an unsettling season can feel like the worst thing in the world - especially when you've felt God lead you down a road which is a lot more rocky than what you felt led to believe. It makes you feel like you've been dealt a hard hand and without clear direction it's sometimes even more difficult to see any way out at all.
But something somewhere deep inside is telling me to stick this one out. I feel like I am in a privileged position to really grow and mature, even though this all seems pretty overwhelming. To say it's an interesting paradox would be an understatement but what this last two years in Australia has taught me is that when you dig deeper into God's energy reserves things start to make sense.
And that is really the premise of this blog - someone challenged me to write down some thoughts on suffering for Christ because we had been through hard times but could see God's loving hand in it all. But for some reason, I don't wish to dwell on the sufferings, but rather focus on the blessings. I have, in the past, spiraled down into a world of drudgery and thought about all the negative aspects to my life but very quickly God has shown me how He sees it. I can tell you now, God's view of your life is VERY different!
I have come to understand that God knows how much I can handle. He knows that the deeper I dig in Him the more strength I will find and this is exactly what He wants me to do. He has overshadowed me with such grace in my work place that in spite of very difficult situations I have seen His hand of victory come in and win the day for me in unbelievable ways. I have come to a place at the base of the cross where the enemy cannot taunt me any longer because the cross and what Jesus won for me on there overshadows anything the world wants to throw at me.
I am not naïve to think for one moment that I am not going to have harder times, but I praise God for all the hard times I have journeyed so far because these are qualifying me for even greater measures of trust from on high. In other words, I could never have handled this three years ago, but bit by bit, God has strengthened me to be able to handle more and more to the point where if I see a situation coming my way I am better prepared than I was before.
So what are these situations I am speaking of? Well, firstly, I cannot go into finer details of my work place as I wish to protect my employment and the companies I am representing. However, I can say that I have been pushed into moments of complete panic because there has been a meeting coming up that I have to chair when I have no knowledge of the subject I am addressing! Sometimes I have sat in my office and thought, 'I do not know what I am doing!' This is not a comfortable place to be.
But God has taught me in the last two years to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. He says in His word that He goes before me and is behind me (Psalm 139 v 5) and He has placed His hand upon me. So I have walked into these meetings saying to God; "You know every word I am about to say before I say it, so I trust You that I will say the right things." I take a deep breath and then I speak. I have sailed through meetings using God's supreme wisdom and come out of these in disbelief of what words came out about subjects I have no formal training in. These really are, for me, walking on water moments - impossible.
In my home life, these difficult situations take their shape from decisions we need to make as a family. There have been times when my wife and I have cried together because we haven't a clue what God wants us to be doing in a brand new country with no real agenda. These, to me, are the worst moments because these decisions involve our children and we need to look strong for them, right?
But I can say that even in these times God has come through in ways we didn't expect. A year ago in Melbourne I was working away from home and we were in a constant state of limbo. During those times we kept crying out to God and saying that even though we were facing Mount Everest every day that we trusted Him. When He did come through it was better than we imagined. He moved us to a place where other Australians head for holidays, Sydney's Northern Beaches. It is absolutely stunning and I drive past the beach every day because I still feel like we're dreaming and have to see the ocean just to make sure.
You see, God knew all along that this is where we'd end up and when we said we trusted Him, He said back; "Well done my good and faithful children - have some of this now." If we had all of His blessing in one go, we'd lose the ability to trust. God keeps us strong!
So this is all I really wanted to say. Digging deeper into God through uncertain times brings fruit in unthinkable ways. His heart is always kind, always loving and always faithful. It all depends, though, on how much faith we choose to put in Him. When we put our whole heart into His hands, He is totally overjoyed that we are allowing Him complete control - I can tell you this from my own experiences. Once my trust is placed in Jesus, the rest works out for the glory of His name. So with my job, I shall soldier on and know my future is secure and that my steps have been ordered by the Most High.
Have a blessed week!