Monday, April 19, 2010

The Beginning and the End of Unemployment

“Behold, I am making all things new,” And He said, “Write, for these words are faithful and true.” Then He said to me, “It is done I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” Revelation 21:5-7 (NASB)

“Please don’t make me wait until my last penny is gone,” I begged God last week. A quick peek at my bank statement elicited my desperate plea. Although several agencies want my services, their bureaucratic processes moving forward to employment seem far too slow for my patience level. Would their employment date and first paycheck come after bills exhaust my bank account? Would my house head into foreclosure?

All I want is emotional and financial relief and all El ‘Aman, The Faithful God, wants is for me to trust him.

Each time a person offered a potential job possibility my encouragement soared. When man failed to come through, my hopes glided on a downward trajectory. Only God knows the alpha (beginning) and omega (end) of this time off without pay.

Behold, I Am Making All Things New
This financial downturn proved far different. As an independent contractor, I’m ineligible to receive unemployment benefits. I confess that in the past unemployment sent me into severe terror mode.

And now—no benefits? Just trust in God—not the government?

I desired a new attitude to overcome depression and fear. What would it cost me to drink from the refreshing, free flowing waters of life with God?

With no job or income, I decided to respond to my “time in-between jobs” in a way far different from my past reactions. I did not want to acquiesce to stress. With cash flowing out and no consistent income flowing in, I wanted to lean into God’s faithfulness to bust my fears.

A backwards look forward—hindsight revealing that God had always provided—made me realize God’s provision will sustain me during this financial famine.  

To blot out panic, I started a daily blessings journal to record how God provides for me each day. God littered my journal with his faithfulness. From a dime found while cleaning out my garage to a friend giving me twenty dollars to go out to eat with my singles group, I praised God for the dependability of his blessings.

Two days after begging Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord my Provider, “Please don’t make me wait until my last penny is gone,” I received:
  • a tiny paycheck for a job performed
  • another check from someone I helped
  • a long-awaited refund from my credit card
  • an unexpected check that arrived in my mailbox
  • an email announcing a promising job possibility.
In one day, God reminded me of his amazing trustworthiness.

El ‘Aman, The Faithful God, you provide for me and keep your promises to those who love you. I’m amazed by your mercy to me. I love you and want to follow the wisdom of your commandments. As I look back on all these months of unemployment, thank you for covering my pared-down, budgeted expenses.