My husband spent 11 years in a job he (often) hated.
During those long years, we constantly reminded ourselves to choose joy! to be grateful! to love what we’d be given!
But working to live instead of living to work can be draining.
Especially when you dream of doing something that matters.
We had countless conversations about his sweet spot–that place where passion, skills and God’s timing collide (you know, once we crossed Nascar Driver off the list.) The same words surfaced again and again in our long talks–words like helping people, traveling, discipleship, serving others. We had a big picture dream without a map to get there.
But he kept on doing the last thing God told him to. . . which brings us back to that job.
I’ve always marveled at my husband’s patience. Because his faithful and often unfulfilling work all those years not only provided for our family, but created space for me to pursue life-giving work through writing that resulted in starting Mercy House.
Sometimes it’s hard to see where the road is leading. But God still leads us into the unknown.
God rarely does things the way we think he should.
While we’re waiting to do something important, God is doing something important in us.
He is refining us. He is making us uncomfortable. Dependent. He is revealing His strength in our weakness.
It’s a truth that’s hard to grasp in the middle of the waiting. But it’s truth our heart needs to hear.
Most of Jesus’ life was spent doing what he wasn’t sent to do. He was preparing Himself. And if Jesus needed time to prepare, we do, too.
Story after story in the Bible reminds us how God impositioned his people, only to position them. He made Joseph uncomfortable in a prison to position him on a throne. He made Daniel lion’s food, only to proclaim His glory in the fire. He made Esther prepare her body and heart to be queen, only to position her to save an oppressed people.
And He will do the same with you.
Because it very well might be that the job you hate or the one you can’t find is part of His great plan for your life. He may just use your discomfort to comfort others.
God often impositions us in our work, our health, our lives because he is preparing us to position us to reveal His glory.
I will never forget the day, my husband and I said the words outloud, the dreaming kind that make your heart pound. “What if somehow God made a way for me to quit my job and lead Mercy House?” I cried at his audacity because the weight of the burden was crushing me. We asked it and then we waited a long time for the answer.
It came two years ago this week, when my husband left his well-paying, tenured position to travel, disciple, and help people in our work to remind women around the world God has not forgotten them.
Don’t think for a minute He has forgotten you either.
We can see now that all those years of being uncomfortable were making a way for us to comfort women around the world.
That uncomfortable place you’re in today? Offer it to Him. Ask God to use it for the comfort of others, for His glory.
He doesn’t waste anything. Even our discomfort.