A few words from member Tim Beckett on suffering the loss of a job and finding God in the waiting...
As we prepare for our communion time, I am going to share with you a challenge that I experienced that brought me closer to God. It was a job transition. I’m going to preface it with a passage from 1st Samuel, and then a special inspirational thought my dad shared with me when I was a youngster.
First, the scripture…I’m going to read I Samuel 7:10,12.
10 While Samuel was sacrificing the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to engage Israel in battle. But that day the Lord thundered with loud thunder against the Philistines and threw them into such a panic that they were routed before the Israelites.
12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us.”
That’s the scripture, now I’m going to cut to my teenage years.
One day as I was doing my homework, my dad came in and sat down. He told me that his employer had folded their operations, which left him without a job, but in the same breath said that he couldn’t wait to see what God had waiting for him (and us) around the corner. This demonstration of his faith transferred into my “wiring” and reassured me many times after that.
Now let’s jump to 2015:
Before we moved here, my wife and I were living in the Houston area. I had been working at the same company for 13 years. There were some cutbacks, and my job was eliminated that November.
I let my Christian brothers and sisters at church know about my job search, and so it was great to have them praying, but since it had been several years since my last job change, it took some time to get my resume together. I thought I could find something quickly, but the phone interviews I had weren’t going where I hoped they would.
I found out about a weekly networking group that met about an hour away from my part of town on Wednesday mornings, called “Between Jobs Ministry” and I was strongly encouraged to go, so I did. I found out that this meeting was a ministry of a church, and that it was the main outreach that the church focused on. And it was fantastic.
One of the breakout sessions was led by an older gentleman who was no stranger to a podium. He had an overhead projector, and about 10 transparencies filled with inspirational scriptures to remind us of the God that loves us.
One of his pieces of instruction that I took to heart was this: …so begin thanking God in advance, because his timing may not be our timing, but be assured that if you believe in Him and are praying to Him, that He will answer that prayer. In the meantime, take time to perfect your skills and your resume, but also to help someone else. When you’re networking, ask what you can do for them.
Oh sure, I worked hard during that period. But what I remember the most is the amazing people that God put in my life, and what happened when I was on my knees and acknowledged that He was in control.
Well 5 months after getting laid off, I got an offer that I accepted.
And I ended up getting to be near my grandkids, and getting to meet a whole new set of friends here.
Our God is faithful.
And here we raise our Ebenezer, remembering that God has been with us up to now, and that he has no plans to stop loving us.
"We gather to offer thanksgiving for the suffering Christ, crushed and made new. We gather to offer thanksgiving for our own suffering, suffering making us new."