If you have been reading my blogs, you know that I have been unemployed since December 21st, when our company closed. Our company was yet another small business casualty in this difficult economic time.
Now, many people did not understand why I was able to have a positive outlook on this situation, but the fact is, I know that God has been in control and knew this would happen. I knew I didn’t have to be worried or afraid of the lack of a job, but knew that we would be taken care of. We’d been in the past; we will be in the future.
In ancient Israel there was a practice that was supposed to help the Israelis remember how the Lord provided in the past. The Israelis were commanded to erect a Standing Stone as a memorial. The first time this occurs in the Bible is when Jacob awoke from his dream about the stairway to heaven (not Led Zeppelin song). He called the place Bethel, which means “house of God”.
On another occasion, there was a great battle. Samuel erected a standing stone and called it Ebenezer, which means “stone of help”. I love this story, and I love that Dickens named his character Ebenezer Scrooge. Certainly in the beginning of that story, Ebenezer was not a stone of help, but by the end of the story, he became a man who was a stone of help to others.
As surely as Samuel’s Standing Stone reminded the Israelis of God’s help, so John and I have several instances in our lives where God has been our Ebenezer. I remember once, when I was an at home Mom, and John was paid only once a month. We’d come to our last bit of flour, and just enough for us to have a dinner of ham and potatoes for that night. Payday was still several days away. I talked to the Lord that morning and reminded him of the story of the widow and the oil.
I said, “Lord, you know we only have a little flour and some groceries left and it’s awhile before payday. We need a miracle.”
Later, John asked me what I was going to fix for dinner. I told him “potato/ham casserole”. We had a discussion about it, then he went to work and the kids went to school.
About mid afternoon, I got a call from one of the women of our church, “Coleen, the Lord told me I needed to bring you guys some groceries. I put it off but now I know I need to do it today. Are you going to be home?”
Of course I told her, yes, I’d be home. She came over with two bags of groceries. In those bags were, among many other things, flour, eggs, milk and a package of scalloped potatoes that would make the ham casserole I would make go further. The Lord provided through Louise, enough groceries to get us to payday. Yes, he is our Ebenezer.
Several years later, the Lord blessed me with the job that I had at 21st Sensory. I was there for 16 years, and knew every day (even the occasional rough days) that I was right where the Lord wanted me. It was a great job, with everyday challenges, and yes, even frustrations. There were even days when I felt restless to do something new. Still, I knew where I was supposed to be, and there was exactly where I was supposed to be.
So, that brings me to this present state of our lives. Today marks the third month since the closing of our company. And because I learned that where the Lord wants me is the perfect place to be, and because I am no longer employed because of circumstances beyond my control, I know that right now, I am where I’m supposed to be. Today, unemployed, I am exactly where I am supposed to be.
Last night I got a call from a woman who has asked me to be part of a project that is in the works. I will not tell you what that project is, because it is confidential, but I will be paid the amount of money I would have been paid if I’d still be working my old job. While I won’t be paid until this initial project is completed, the Lord is preparing for a need we may have in the future, or he’s just doing the job he does best for us: providing for us as we have need.
God is so good to us. Living this life Jesus told us to live in the Beatitudes is the most freeing and wonderful way to live I have ever experienced. Maybe I should call it The Today Principle: Today, I am right where the Lord wants me. Today my every need is taken care of because of my Father in heaven. Every day that is called “Today” I am right where God wants me. Tomorrow I may be somewhere else, but Tomorrow will then be Today and I will be right where God wants me.
What a liberating way to live!
Now, I have to admit I haven’t always lived this way. It wasn’t until my 40th birthday that I began to have a new outlook on my life, on my faith and on every aspect of my life. Now I am 52 and these years since 40 have been the most exciting times of my life.
The wonderful thing about living The Today Principle is that because of Jesus death and resurrection, death no longer holds terror for us. We don’t die. Paul said that we are transformed. I say we graduate. Oh death, you have no more power to terrorize me any more. Oh grave, my body will be swallowed up by you, but you can’t touch my soul!
Living this Today Principle I have confidence in who the Lord is making me. I am certainly not where I need to be, but the power of God’s Word and his Presence in my life is transforming me to be ready for my graduation to the next step of my eternal life. I will not die, though someday I won’t need my body. Until that day, I will be ever changing and more mindful of being obedient to the Lord.
What about you?
Would you like to be free from the fear of death? Would you like to live your life in the exciting way the Lord intended for us to live? Give your heart to Jesus and begin the long journey toward your graduation!