“This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.” Deuteronomy 30:19 (NIV)
Last time we were together I spoke about my discouragement and the encouragement I received from one of our pastor’s wives. The beginning of my shift in focus began Tuesday night. I had reached out and applied for a job that wasn’t even posted, a “you aren’t necessarily hiring, but I would love to work for you.” I knew that only God would open that door but I also knew that if I was hired, I would absolutely love what I was doing. Tuesday before walking out the door to Bible study, I saw an email from my prospective employer. I didn’t have time to open it, but told my husband in the car that I had promised God earlier I would praise Him just as loudly for the closed doors and for the ones He chose to open.
The response I got on Tuesday night was a “second interview of sorts.” I was excited and responded thoughtfully the next day after covering it in prayer all night. Thursday I received the answer and while the potential boss applauded my initiative, I wasn’t offering anything he felt he needed at this time. I immediately praised God for the closed door despite my disappointment. Not an hour later, I received word from my present employer that I would be without all income effective February 1st. (I had been holding out hope that I would still draw a small paycheck but that hope was dashed completely.) Writing this out now, I realize I never did praise God for that closed door.
It was during a conversation with my parents later that afternoon that I was encouraged to just tell God all my feelings…good, bad, and ugly. So I got quiet and did just that. I explained to Him that while I didn’t need the answer of the exact job at this time, I was pretty discouraged and I would love a glimpse of what He’s planning because I still have faith that He has blessings in store for our family.
Five minutes after praying that prayer, I received an email asking me to call them. During that phone call, God gave me a glimpse of what He has planned for our future. While I wasn’t given all the details or the exact timeframe, I received what I asked for – a glimpse. When I say that God loves to show off for His children, I mean it. While I only asked God for a glimpse of what may be, He didn’t stop there. He backed up that glimpse with a few miracles, the “cherry on top.” The miracles were a blessing for someone else, but it was reassurance to me that God cares about the smallest details and He’s got this. When He speaks, miracles happen. When He says “No,” or “Not yet,” no amount of manipulating will change His mind.
With that reassurance, God’s peace reentered my soul and has been present since. It’s now been two weeks since that glimpse was shown. Outwardly, I’m no closer to achieving that promise than I was two weeks ago, but with faith, I know God is working. I see it in the little miracles He is giving our family personally and I have faith about it in the ways I know He is working behind the scenes. I am still trying different doors to make sure I’m walking in the direction He wants me to go, and still praising Him for the closed doors so far, but I have a peace (and hope) that when He chooses to reveal the final picture, it will be as the verse He revealed to me last week states, “God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (The Message)
Later when I was thinking about God’s goodness and His above answer, it hit me. He could have allowed me to get the job I had taken the initiative to apply for and I would have probably really enjoyed it. However, only He knew the BEST He had waiting for me and as a result, He didn’t want to give me great. He wanted to bless our family above and beyond.
I’m learning how to not just embrace the adventure…but enjoy the journey while traveling toward the destination.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015