This past January I took a job. Yes, it is a job; I do get paid. But I wasn’t looking for a job. Jim and I don’t need the income. The need for someone to fill this position presented itself, and my heart answered the call. So, it might be more accurate to say that I took on a mission-work.
While it is temporary, it is all-consuming and demanding, perhaps the most demanding thing I have ever attempted professionally.
For about six weeks I have been pushing at it. I eat, sleep, drink, exercise, dream, and think about it at all times, and I feel like I am fumbling my way through it on many days. I honestly don’t know when I have (at moments) ever felt so personally and professionally ill-prepared, incapable, and unequipped.
Google Dictionary defines “but” as “used to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned.”
I love it when we have a “but” to change the direction, and there are so many times that I have been able to understand that there is a “but” – a change, a contrast. God has so often had these changes ready for me, as he has for others.
“But God commended his love for us…”
“But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good…”
“And the patriarchs, moved with envy, sold Joseph into Egypt: but God was with him”
So, I am in a place where I see little proof and even less hope of progress and success. Truly. I wake up at night thinking of the problems that I need to resolve. I wonder how I can do my job, each task better. I search my heart over and over, judging my motivations, constantly reminding myself, prodding myself to look at each challenge through the eyes of Christ, through his eyes, the eyes of love.
And yet, I fail. The pressures are immense at times, and love slips away from my heart’s shoreline like a slow receding tide. That’s when I find myself not loving, but reacting. Just reacting when I should be responding.
It is at those moments, that voice in my head nudges me to quit. I mean, really, I am too old to plod through this. I have paid my dues in this life. I don’t need this. Besides, what good am I really doing? I don’t see any positive movement or change. I can’t point to successes.
Ah, enter stage left – FAITH, and she whispers in my ear, “You know you can’t and you won’t quit.” I think she is smiling when she says it, a gentle, patient smile.
I have faith.
Faith is what keeps me going. Faith is nothing I can see when I am not sure what direction to go next; it’s nothing I can feel that would pick up this struggling and beat-down heart; it’s nothing I can point to and say, “See, you are doing just fine!” Nope. Faith gives me nothing of substance to hang on to and see as proof of my work’s being a success.
Hebrew and Romans tell us that without faith, it is impossible to please him, and that if our life and actions and heart are not rooted in faith, we are basically in sin – off the mark – not hitting the target.
Well, the call for faith in my current job is strong, and I am doing what I can to answer that call and keep walking in faith, knowing, that it is my faith that honors him; knowing by faith, that God is working, not me. He is working, and his working is good. It’s possible that I may never know of or realize his working, what he might accomplish in the lives of those around me, or what he might be accomplishing in my life. But by faith, I go to work and do the best I can.
Oh, and in case you are wondering just what the job is…
The job is …to have faith.