Philippians 4:6-9 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
There was a turning point in my life that occurred more than twenty years ago that forever changed the course of my life and the lives of people that were connected to me. To understand how significant this change was I need to take you back to the year I graduated college. It was both a great year and a tough one. Not long after receiving my degree the glue that held our family together my beautiful and beloved Mom went to be with the LORD. I will always believe she held on and battled through that awful final year of her life just to see here youngest finish school. Now she was gone and school was complete. It was time for me to grow up and move out of the world of part-time jobs and summer breaks into the real world, the adult world.
I remember searching through the want ads looking at all the different job opportunities and thinking none of them perfectly fit my background. So I changed the way I looked at the ads. I stopped looking for the job that appeared to best suited for me and began looking at jobs that appeared to be the most sought after by employers. Two stood out more than any others at the time, sales and credit/collections. The sales positions were hugely attractive, great salaries and benefits. But the downside was they were commission based. No sale meant no rent, no car, and no food. The safe bet was credit/collections and there were plenty of those jobs. That there might be a reason there were plenty of those jobs never crossed my mind as I put on my tie and jacket for the first day of work…it would many times later in the years to come. I do remember my Dad looking at me after I told him that I had a job and what I would be doing. He shook his head and said “all that education so you could be a collector?” He obviously did not have a good impression of the industry.
Many years later and many different companies and positions later I recall visiting with my brother about the pain that accompanies going through yet another layoff. Now I had a family to support and the fear and anxiousness was gripping. It seemed to happen over and over again. Good jobs were only as good as the economy and the economy…well. So I had opened and closed many branch offices for a number of different companies and here we were again. In another room where I’m sure she felt she was out of ear shot I heard my sister in law say in a gloomy tone, “He’s in his late thirties and still hasn’t found his sweet spot.”
Then the day finally came. A friend had shown me an ad in the newspaper for a job, the job. The ad read like I had written it for myself. The odds of actually getting that job were as long and the line to interview for it. Before leaving the house for the interview I was so nervous I was physically ill. I pulled off my tie, knelt and prayed. “LORD, I’m so tired of this merry-go-round, I need YOU.” I then opened my bible and read this portion of Mark 13:11;
“…do not worry beforehand about what to say. Just say whatever is given you at the time, for it is not you speaking, but the Holy Spirit.”
At that very moment the “peace” came and I knew. My life would never be same. Even in the face of enormous odds, the fix was in. The job was mine. I received so much more than a job that day. GOD revealed HIMSELF to me. Through HIM and HIS word I indeed found my sweet spot.
Heavenly FATHER of the universe. Thank you for always having us in the palm of your hand! Reveal YOURSELF to us when the times make us fearful and anxious. Bring us that peace that only YOU can provide. In JESUS name we pray. Amen