For the last several months, my husband has been searching in earnest for a new job. He’s a political appointee, which means he’s out of work come Inauguration Day 2017–no matter which party is elected into office. He knew that going into the job five years ago. And honestly, no one knows where they’ll be in five years nowadays.
The job hunt is frustrating. He’s spent countless evenings poring over online job listings, modifying cover letters to fit each job description, and emailing second and third connections on Linked In in the hopes of finding an in with a sought after company, and then many lunch breaks meeting with said connections.
Our church has a motto that our pastor recites frequently: “Work like it depends on you and pray like it depends on God.” And while we’re praying people anyway, we’ve latched onto that, to remind ourselves that certain life events require even more prayer. We have prayed so many prayers, me, simply asking the Lord to guide Mike to his next job; Mike requesting specifically a job doing digital strategy for a clean energy company in Denver, Colorado (but two of the three would suffice).
He’s had interviews, over the phone and in person, but to no end. It’s been so frustrating to have no reward for Mike’s work and seemingly no answer to our prayers.
The other day, I was waiting at a bus stop with Lydia, who’s been walking for about a month and, like anyone with a new skill, wants to practice all the time. Of course, at a bus stop near a busy intersection, I can’t just let her walk around and watch from the bench in the shelter. I have to follow her around, keep her corralled within a safe zone, turn her around when she gets too close to the curb, pull her away from the trash can, help her up when she loses her balances and tumbles down on the wet pavement, pick garbage out of her clenched fist before she tastes it…or fish it out of her mouth. Most of this guidance she doesn’t appreciate. In fact, it’s met with screeching and flailing. She wants to go wherever and eat whatever. She doesn’t know I’m steering her from danger and doing my best to prevent illness. She just knows I’m halting her fun exploration.
And it occurred to me, our actions toward God are similar. Anytime we’re striving toward something and praying hard the whole time, we grumble and complain when he says, “no” or “not yet”, when our efforts seem to lead only to dead ends. But in fact, maybe He’s ensuring we don’t stumble into oncoming traffic or swallow something that isn’t good for us.
With the real life visual of keeping my daughter from getting hit by a car, I will trust the Lord’s timing as I continue to pray that the He guides Mike to his next job, and with every failed lead, I will choose gratitude instead of frustration, having faith that the Lord is working on our behalf.