“Patience is more than endurance. A saint’s life is in the hands of God like a bow and arrow in the hands of an archer. God is aiming at something the saint cannot see, and He stretches and strains, and every now and again the saint says–‘I cannot stand anymore.’ God does not heed, He goes on stretching till His purpose is in sight, then He lets fly. Trust yourself in God’s hands. Maintain your relationship to Jesus Christ by the patience of faith. ‘Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him.”
― Oswald Chambers
Dear brothers and sister’s in Christ,
After graduating from my last year at WalkRight (CoBeAc) Baptist Bible Institute in April, I wrote out some goals and desires for my life and gave them to the Lord. I finished my life chapter of Bible training and now have started a new chapter that has been kind of scary and intimidating to me. I know that in this chapter I will be facing the challenges of getting a job, obtaining my drivers license, and possibly completing CNA training so that I might have opportunity to use these skills not only to get a job, but also to fulfill my desire to serve and reach others for Jesus.
I have been serving in full-time ministry my whole life, so all these things are new and quite intimidating to me. I realize that it will require an extra dose of courage and complete dependence on God for the ability to accomplish these goals, so that I might be used by Him to show forth His love and the reality of Christ in my life as I interact with others that will be involved.
Most of May was spent filling out applications, making up cover letters, and completing resumes to submit to dozens of different businesses in our town. I got to a point where I thought that I would never get a job and started to wonder what it was the Lord wanted for me to do. During this time, my brother applied for a job at Bob Evans and got hired almostimmediately because of previous experience he already had. To be honest, Bob Evans was the last place I wanted to apply for a job, but God worked everything out and opened the doors for me to be at Bob Evans as a server. During my first week of training, it was very challenging and very stressful for me. I was overwhelmed with insecurity from a fear of failing. I was also greatly concerned about whether I would be able to keep a good testimony and attitude in all I did during this challenging time. I couldn’t seem to get myself to relax and not be tense inside, even though I was praying in everything I did. I was determined to always keep a smile on my face, even when some of the servers would make fun of me, and I sought to always be respectful, obedient, and honest as well. On my fourth day of training, I expressed my concerns and the difficulties I was having learning my job to my trainer, and she thanked me for my honesty and tried to encourage me not to give up but to do what I felt was good for me. The next day, during family devotions, God reminded me that He had a purpose for me right there and that He wanted me to write a letter to my trainer. In the letter, I told my trainer (Sonya) that I was so thankful for her patience and kindness towards me while training me and that I would not give up. I told her that God had a purpose for me there right now and that I appreciated all her hard work and help she had given me. I told her that I would be praying for her and that God would bless her richly. I signed the letter with a reference to Philippians 4:13 and put a tract in it. I went to work, and I gave her the card at the beginning of my shift. Before I left that day, she took me aside and with great emotion expressed to me how the card had deeply touched her heart. She was so thankful for me being there and gave me a big hug. After that day, many other things happened that showed that others were seeing that I was different. They have begun to show great admiration for my sweet spirit and have been very helpful to me as I continue learning my job. God is still stretching me in great ways, but I have seen more and more the purpose for me there and how people are closely watching my life. Not once did I say I was a Christian but my actions tell them that I am. Even with all my struggles, they are seeing Christ and I am humbled and so grateful that God would want to use me even with my imperfections, fear, and lack of confidence with new experiences. God is so good!
At the beginning of this month, during our move, I got a call for an interview with the nursing home that I had applied at last month. I was selected to take their free CNA course with the possibility for a job opportunity. I am so excited for this open door and pray that God will give me the ability to help people in this manner while demonstrating Christ to them as I serve and care for them.
I could go on and on about my struggles, the abundant blessings and lessons that God has taught me and continues to teach me through this chapter in my life, but that would probably fill a book or two.
So, I will end with this…When you feel lost and discouraged and you can’t understand or see what God is doing, remember…
o He is in control
o He is showing you that even with your mistakes and imperfections, His perfect and good plan is being accomplished
o He is training your heart to see things the way He does
o He is teaching you to trust Him in the face of any inadequacy or doubt you are feeling
o He is releasing you of trying to rely on your own strength
o He is encouraging you to rely totally on Him
The results… amazing things that we can’t even imagine or think are possible (Eph. 3:20).
May we daily die to Self, surrender to the Spirit within us and let Him freely do His beautiful and perfect plan through us. All for His glory!
In the love of Christ,