May 30, 2013
So I’ve been studying Job during the past month or so. Now I know that by admitting this, I’m inviting you to wonder what has gone so terribly wrong in my life to cause me to study such a depressing book of the Bible. Honestly, I was just curious. I have referred to Job a great deal but never actually read the whole book.
I already knew how the story began, so I wasn’t surprised when God allowed Job’s entire family to be killed and his livestock and such to fall ill and his own body to be stricken with what sounds like the worst disease anyone could have. I was a little surprised about the way his friends rebuked him for the majority of the book, though. I get that he may have had a bad attitude and complained a little..but can you really blame the guy?
It’s natural for us to complain and to demand answers and shake our fist at someone when we don’t get our way. Oftentimes, that someone is God. He’s the one that is supposed to be in control of our crazy lives, so it makes sense to blame Him when we lose control.
Hopefully, you stopped and realized that the previous sentence made no sense. We blame Him when we lose control.
I’m glad I don’t have friends named Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar, because I’m as guilty as Job at this. I commit my plans to God and ask for His blessing and direction in all I do and then I set out down the path I want to go. And when that path gets blocked or changes direction on me, I get frustrated with God.
Like every other Junior PR major at UGA, I have spent hours upon hours writing and re-writing resumes, drafting cover letters, practicing tough interview questions and pulling together anything and everything that I’ve done into a portfolio. I even forked out a bunch of money for a pretty skirt suit. And here’s the kicker: for the first time in 4 summers I refrained from signing up for any mission trips. Even the free ones that I have dedicated a year recruiting other students to do.
Why? Because this is the summer of the internship. We are told every day that getting an internship this summer would be life or death to our dreams of having a career when we graduate. I took the bait, believing I would certainly end up on my parents’ couch if I didn’t land the perfect internship this summer.
It was long process, but after forming the perfect connections and sitting through a 3 and a half hour interview, I thought I had the perfect internship in the bag. I even managed to keep my shoes on throughout the entire visit.
I excitedly opened the follow-up email the next week. This was the email that was going to be a light shining through what had been a bad few weeks. The email that would confirm I still had control over my life.
I stopped reading after “we won’t be extending you” in the first line. I knew that I was standing at a fork in that moment. Not a choice of what I would do, but a choice of what attitude I would have.
I didn’t finish reading that email. Not until I had called Morgan Akin to ask if there was still a spot on the Nicaragua mission trip and not until I had called my dad asking him to buy me a plane ticket for it. All of which took about 10 minutes.
In 10 minutes, my plans for the summer went from working a 9-5 grueling internship that would set me up for a PR career to a one week mission trip and not much else. From something earthly to something heavenly.
Because that’s all this could be. Something heavenly.
I honestly wasn’t that concerned. I was smart enough to have a back-up plan in case of this. I even had a back-up for that back-up. It turns out, neither of those plans have worked out and honesty compels me to admit that I’ve been very frustrated with the lack of opportunities.
And that’s why this verse stopped me this morning:
“Hear this, O Job; stop and consider the wondrous works of God.” -Job 37:14
But I didn’t read Job. I read “Jenna”. Hear this, O Jenna; stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
Stop and consider that you asked God to prepare you for your future and maybe He knows what your future is better than you do. Maybe a PR internship would have built your resume, but maybe the job God has waiting for you doesn’t need a resume.
Stop and consider that if you had known this ahead of time, you would have signed up for a free Send Me Now trip. Consider that He might have wanted you in Nicaragua instead.
Stop and consider that without an internship you are free to use this summer to serve Him and love on the people around you. Maybe that’s what He wants you to be experienced in when you graduate.
And this just barely got the ball rolling towards other things on my mind this month.
Stop and consider that you wouldn’t have invested more than 2 years in a relationship if you had known it would end. And consider all the lessons and growth you would’ve missed out on.
“God thunders wondrously with His voice, He does great things that we cannot comprehend….the wondrous works of Him who is perfect in knowledge.” – Job 37:5,16
I stopped and considered this word, wondrous. It is repeated over and over. It is perfect because it captures the way God works and our reaction to Him. We don’t have the perfect vision He has and so we are often left to wonder at what He is up to. But God rarely leaves us hanging without something to hold on to.
While we wonder, we are left with what we do know about God.
We know that He is good. All the time. All the time, He is good.
We know that He loves us and cares for us. He wants best for us.
We know that He is perfect in knowledge. He holds the past, the present and the future in the palm of His hands.
We know that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him.
Right now I am left wondering what God is doing in my life, but I have a peace and an excitement because I believe that His plans are way better than my dreams. I trust Him to lead me along the right path and I believe that every struggle is preparing me for what is to come.
If you feel like your dreams are unraveling, choose to look for something heavenly. Get excited, rather than frustrated, because by guiding you away from one thing, He is probably setting you up for something bigger and better. Something heavenly.
“Whatever you’re doing inside of me
It feels like chaos somehow there’s peace
It’s hard to surrender to what I can’t see
but I’m giving in to something heavenly” – Sanctus Real