Oh there is so much to say about this week – actually there is so much to say about just today! It is all crazy. The back story is that about a month ago a professor-friend, who is also the associate director of my grad program – invited me into her office and told me about a job opening she had heard about from one of my peers. She mentioned that she didn’t know what my temp job situation was and had originally told my peer she didn’t know of anyone who needed a job, but a couple days later she prayed for me on the way to work and remembered that my job is up in the air. So, she told me about it. At the time I said thank you and half-heartedly said I would “look into it.” Later that day, my boss called me into her office and announced that HR had been mistaken and had a miscommunication, resulting in the news that although my position had been extended until the end of October, my benefits would only last through May 31st. Needless to say, this was very bad news and I immediately went back to my professor and told her that God put me in her mind because of the news I had just heard and that I now needed a job. I applied that night.
Weeks have gone by and my boss and her boss and his boss have all been working on getting me continued full health benefits. I had also forgotten about the job I applied for in the last few weeks, deciding that I would stay at APU and possibly take out a loan for grad school and get health insurance as a part-time student. However, yesterday morning I asked about my benefits again and we still had not heard any final word back from HR. After work yesterday I had a voicemail from the applied to job and they asked me for an interview. Well, that interview is tomorrow afternoon – but that is not all. Once I agreed to the interview (which will be with my peer) and told my boss and close co-workers about it (as difficult as that was), I then got a call from HR stating that it had just officially been decided my health benefits would be extended as long as my position until the end of Oct! Craziness. I found myself in a situation where I had an even tougher decision to make – assuming I am even offered the job I am interviewing for tomorrow. Regardless, it is a lot to think about (in addition to the fact that my roommates have decided to move and we are looking for places and have to decide and be out by June 15th…side note, a peer called today and gave me two names of real estate agents…another provision from God).
Anyway, this whole job thing reminds me of a truth about God I have come to know well in the past two years. God calls me to take a risk, a risk that I do not want to take and am scared and resistant to take and cry about and avoid at all costs, but finally, I take the risk. As soon as I step forward in faith and take the risk to do the thing that Lord is asking me to do, He pulls through and gives me exactly what I was trying so desperately to hold on to before the risk. It is as if He wants to make sure you will take that risk and trust in Him and have some faith, and once you do – once you prove to the Lord that you really do trust Him, no matter the outcome – He gives you what you (or at least what I) wanted.
Obviously, it does not always work like this, but I have plenty of similar stories of the Lord telling me to trust Him and when I do He simply says, “thank you, just making sure you trust me and are willing to follow despite your lack of understanding and want to, and now, I will provide as your loving Father.” As confusing and sort of annoying as these moments are, I need them constantly. I love these moments. These God-moments remind me that He exists, that He is real and He is alive and well and working presently. It reminds me He loves me and is in control. Moments like this make me wonder how anyone could not believe in God.
It is these moments when I have to step out in uncertain faith that I am reminded of when the Israelites crossed the Jordan. Joshua 3 describes when the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had to go ahead of the people and begin crossing the Jordan. I always remember that these priests had to actually step into the water before the water stopped flowing and they crossed on dry ground. It is so incredible to think about these people just whole-heartedly believing that the Lord could be trusted to save them from drowning. They had so much faith that they faced the water – head on – and walked into it, not quite positive it wouldn’t kill them, but taking the risk to follow God all the same. They had to have enough faith to step into the water before it actually dried. They had to step before knowing the outcome; the big picture. Before being saved by God. This is what happened today. I had to step forward in faith. Step into that running water even though I didn’t want to and I was scared and wanted to run away, but I did it, and He brought me out without a scratch, just as I prayed He would and – ultimately – trusted He would. Now I just have to see what happens next.
Also, my professor-friend told me a great analogy about trust (much like the Joshua passage) today. She told me to just “jiggle the door handle” and go to the interview tomorrow. She said we all see massive closed doors in front of us. We are afraid to open them because we don’t know what is on the other side or if it will open or if we can come back out of it. But, all God needs us to do is jiggle the handle and He will show us if it will open or not. That’s it. Just jiggle the doorknob. Tomorrow, that is what I will do, and then let God lead me some more, because He not only leads by opening doors, but by closing them as well.
And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the Lord – the Lord of all the earth – set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap. So when the people broke camp to cross the Jordan, the priests carrying the ark of the covenant went ahead of them. Now the Jordan is at flood stage all during harvest. Yet as soon as the priests who carried the ark reached the Jordan and their feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing.