Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a Voice will say, ‘This is the way you should go,’ whether to the right or to the left. - Isaiah 30:21 NLT
Fifteen years so, I felt like I had been sucker-punched right in the heart. I can still remember the pain. I had applied and interviewed for my first youth pastor position. Everything had gone smoothly. My wife and I met with the senior pastor and his wife. I preached in front of the youth group and was well received.
At the time, I desperately wanted to quit my current job so I could fulfill my calling as a pastor full-time. I was positive I was going to get the job, but when they called, I didn’t get the answer I expected. The church decided to hire someone else.
I was devastated and confused. I felt like Joseph, who was faithfully serving God at a job he hated only to be thrown in prison. Maybe I had misread God’s direction?
Sometimes career paths and job situations can seem so random and unplanned, causing us to doubt our calling, but I’ve learned that God always has a plan.
The challenging part is, He rarely reveals the WHOLE plan to us. Why? There are lots of reasons, but oftentimes, He desires to grow our character and prepare us for the journey ahead. Here are some things I learned through this painful job experience:
1. Compassion and Empathy. I learned what it felt like to not get something I really wanted. This knowledge helped me develop understanding for those who have suffered disappointment and loss.
2. Patience and Timing. I learned how important it is to be prayerfully patient. I had a choice. I could either wallow in self-pity or diligently seek to know God’s timing and will.
3. Perseverance and Grit. I learned to persevere through some uncertain work environments. I continued to work hard even when I didn’t feel like it because, ultimately, I knew I was working for God.
These character-building lessons reminded me that every job matters. Every job is a mission field. We represent Christ in every workplace until God moves us along. In that job I disliked, I was able to meet and talk to many people about Jesus. God cares where we work, and He uses every single job to advance us and His kingdom.
1. Are you unhappy at your current job? What is it about your current job that you dislike?
2. What steps can you take this week to treat your current job like a mission field?