Thursday, June 9, 2016

You are God’s good work

Editor's Note: Today we bring you another fun and insightful piece from Christy Gualtieri. You should definitely be following her @agapeflower117 on Twitter and on the interwebs at asinglehour.wordpress.com.



 
A few years ago, before I became a stay-at-home mom of the two most beautiful little hellions you ever did see, I found myself at a job I thoroughly disliked, but needed, because - you know, bills, health insurance, that sort of thing.  But a time came when the company I worked for needed to be streamlined, and when a third of the staff was laid off, my chopper was definitely on the block.  

When I was let go I was terrified but relieved, because God had answered my prayer.  For two months I had prayed to be relieved from the job I had.  I was miserable; I hated every single thing I did.  I spent hours at my desk writing long prayers to God on legal pads asking for deliverance; I prayed in the car on the way to work to have a good day because I would not know what to do with myself if I didn't.  

So for a moment, yes, relief.  God had heard me.  He had heard me and answered me.

And turned me into an Israelite.

The Old Testament book of Exodus recounts the journey the Israelites underwent from slavery to freedom under God's hand and through Moses's leadership.  Life as slaves in Egypt was unbearable, and the Israelites, understanding their relationship to God and unwavering in their belief in His ability to do so, cried out to Him for help.  He sends a somewhat reluctant Moses, once an Egyptian prince, to free them, and after ten plagues, a lot of destruction, and a nail-biting chase through the Red Sea, Moses does so.

And the Israelites rejoice.  They sing, they play their tambourines.  They praise God's name.  They promise to remember this awesome movement of the hand of God for generations.

...For a little while.  Then they take a look around, notice they are in the desert with hardly any provisions, and no clear idea of when they will return home.

And then it starts.
ISRAELITES:
GOD!

GOD:
Yes?

ISRAELITES:
Why did you lead us here?

GOD:
What?

ISRAELITES:
Why did you lead us here? This is horrible!

GOD:
...You asked me to.

ISRAELITES:
Yeah, we know, but...I mean...look at where we are! At least when we were slaves we had a place to sleep at night that wasn't crazy hot and had three squares!

GOD:
You were miserable there.  You begged me, pleaded me to save you.  And I did.  I still am.

ISRAELITES:
Lord, we need things.  We need food. 

GOD:
You have food. 

ISRAELITES:
No, like...real food.  Not this fluff that falls from the sky every day.  We don't know what it is.

GOD:
Excuse me? Can you eat it? Yes.  You needed food, and I gave it to you.

ISRAELITES:
We need a place we can call home.

GOD:
You will have that.  You are my people.  I will lead you to a land of milk and honey, a land where you will never want for anything.

ISRAELITES
We believe you, but when? This trip is taking forever! Why can't You carry us?

GOD:
Carry you?

ISRAELITES:
Yeah, like how you carried the guy in that poem.

GOD:
What? What poem?

ISRAELITES:
The one where the guy was really unhappy and he died and he was on the beach and he thought You left him and it turned out when he was suffering the most You were carrying him.

GOD:
That poem hasn't even been invented yet! I can't believe you! For the last time, don't worry about it! You'll get there!

ISRAELITES:
It's taking too long! And it's hot! Can't we at least get a breeze?

GOD:
(getting increasingly angry)
You’re lucky I don’t show you a breeze when I blow you all away, you ungrateful, horrible people!
(Gets ready to smite them, but Moses steps in and intervenes, calming His wrath.)

Now, let's compare to a conversation I had after three months or so of unemployment:

ME:
GOD!

GOD:
Yes?

ME:
Why did you take me away from the job I had?

GOD:
...You asked me to.

ME:
Yeah, but, now I have nothing.  I had a place to go every day.  I had health insurance.  I felt purpose.  Now I don't feel any of those things.

GOD:
Man, I should've given you a better memory.  You hated your job.  You weren't going anywhere; you didn't feel useful.  You prayed for me to relieve you of it.  And I did.

ME:
And I'm grateful, but...CARRY ME!

And He did.  Just like He  It seemed so impossible at the time to see, but God was using my really hard time while unemployed to put me in a much better place than I could have thought of.  He used that time to strengthen my marriage, get me in another job where I support through my first pregnancy, and provided for us so that I would be able to stay home with my children full-time.  

I won’t lie to you; I get tempted so often to think that just because I can’t see what God is doing in my life, I mistake that for Him not doing anything with my life.  It’s such an easy temptation to fall into because we don’t operate in hindsight, we operate in real time.  But I am confident, like the scriptures tell us, that He who began a good work in you will see it through to completion.  

You are God’s good work.  Let Him see you through whatever it is you are facing; let Him help you to trust in His promise that He is leading you toward goodness -- but most importantly, to Himself.

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