A year ago this month, my husband and I began an unrelenting journey through the wilderness of unemployment….and we’re still on it.
Unemployment has done more than drain our savings account. It has exposed our deepest, hidden views of who God is, and what we are willing to endure to follow Him. Sure, it’s easy to say that we love God and want His will to be done in our lives, but when all is stripped away, do we really have the faith to follow Him, wherever He leads?
A wise mentor recently encouraged me to begin reading the book of Job. So, I decided to deviate from my current daily bible reading plan and immerse myself into the book that speaks of God’s sovereignty, the suffering of the righteous and what it means to have true faith in the Lord.
I discovered that compared to what Job suffered, I have very little to complain about. Job lost his oxen, donkey’s, farmhands, sheep, shepherds, camels, servants and ALL his children. His body was covered with boils from head to toe. His wife nagged him & told him to curse God. His friends accused him of sin and basically told him that he & his children deserved God’s wrath! Yet, “In all of this, Job did not sin by blaming God.” Job 1:22. Job did, however, cry out repeatedly to God in despair…wanting to know WHY!?
There have been times, on this journey when Doug and I have cried out to God and asked that same question, “why?” Why has He remained silent when we’ve continually asked Him about how He is going to provide for our family? Why, after 16 years of experience in bio-tech has Doug only had a handful of interviews, but no job offers?? Why have we been forced to use the money we sacrificed for so long to save to pay the mortgage, instead of buying that pop-up trailer, or going on that Disney vacation we’ve dreamed about? Why do we owe the IRS several thousand dollars (after an unexplainable mistake I made on our 2009 tax return)? Why has He used complete strangers to encourage and pray for us? Why have people given us money, or bought us groceries, or made a meal for our family? Why did God ask us to start a non-profit ministry the same month Doug lost his job? Why have some friends & family completely ignored us during this journey of unemployment and starting a ministry?
We may never know the answers to all of our “why” questions, but there is one thing we can always know: everything- yes, everything that God does (or doesn’t do), is because He loves us. Still, this is especially difficult for us to comprehend or come to terms with when we are suffering. Harder yet, is trying to understand why the righteous, or innocent suffer. I don’t know. But, God is God and I am not. His ways are not our ways. His thoughts are not our thoughts.
Regardless of where our journey takes us, we have made the choice to continue to try being more like Job- blameless. We have made the choice to continue to repent for our sins and seek and extend forgiveness. We had made the choice to continue to pray and seek His will for our lives, instead of our own. We have made the choice to continue to read His word and obey His teachings. We have made the choice to continue to give back 10% of what He gives us. We have made the choice to continue to serve Him, by serving the body of Christ. We have made the choice to be unrelenting in all these things- even when we don’t feel like it.
What unrelenting journey through the wilderness are you currently facing? How are you suffering? What “why” questions do you have, but are scared to ask God about? Cry out to God, my friend….He is there…waiting for you to seek Him……….all you have to do is make the choice to do it, even when you don’t feel like it.
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how we can pray for you and your spouse during your unrelenting journey.