"This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live." Deuteronomy 30:19
God blew my mind yesterday.
I've just got to share this, while being extremely careful not to break any confidentialities. [Name has been changed, no identifying details shared.]
Last week I began working with a job seeker who I will call Tony, who had been laid off for many months. There are times as a job coach that I don't always receive a job seeker right when they have been laid off, in fact I've worked with people who have been out of a job for as many as 6-9 months. In Tony's case when I had my first meeting with him last week he was extremely depressed, getting ready to lose his house, with no job in sight. He had given up hope and several times during our meeting told me he saw no other option but to give up and take his life. Upon going to a few internet job sites and getting a feel for jobs in his area, I was indeed shocked to find just how scarce the jobs were there although I didn’t tell him that of course, my heart went out to him all the more.
Aside from giving a few ideas on job leads he may not have thought of, I spent the majority of the session developing a list with him of his reasons to live – his reasons to NOT give up. One of the main things he faced was depression over the rejection he was receiving time and again when he went to apply for jobs in person. The rejection was too intense for him to take anymore and he didn’t know if he could leave the house again and face it. I spoke to him about the fact that standing in the face of that rejection and continuing to apply despite rejection didn’t mean he was a weak or unworthy man, in fact it only showed how much character and perseverance he had to keep going. Well...
After our conversation he dared to stand in the face of rejection again and headed out to some places we talked about and…………..within 3 days he got a job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Seriously!!! We had our first meeting on Tuesday. He was hired Friday! He started his job Monday!!!
Our God is still in the miracle working business!
One of the hardest things I've ever had to do is try to talk Tony out of suicide without talking about God. After all, I believe Jesus is everything -- He is my reason to live. Leaving Him off of Tony's list was rather excruciating for me, but following company expectations (which I fully understand and support) I do not talk about my faith with job seekers unless I am directly asked or approached about it. Many times that door opens, but just as many times it doesn't. This time it didn't and I had the task of "talking Tony off the ledge" without bringing up God...something I have never, ever had the experience of doing before. Needless to say it was a huge learning curve for me. I prayed fervently for the past week that despite not being able to share with Tony about Jesus that the Holy Spirit would intervene and save him from death anyway. There are times this job has grown me as an intercessor, for sure, even more than my role as a pastor requires.
My boss Kathryn has been extremely instrumental in helping me grow in my job as as a coach and I'm so grateful for her leadership. Last night I was also talking to our national training manager Kathy Malone, who is a very strong person of faith herself and she said that although I may not have talked about God or Jesus to Tony, a seed was planted and we never know how that might be used to bring Tony to Him. I believe that! Like the Word says, "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow." I Corinthians 3:6-7
I am estatic that Tony has chosen LIFE and I can only hope that now that he continues to live and is re-employed that he will come into contact with a person of faith who can water the seed that has been planted.
Some of you reading this may be unemployed, or perhaps you are just depressed in general and want to give up and I encourage you today:
- Your situation will not always be like this - this too shall pass. Don't you dare quit!
- Too many people give up right before a major breakthrough. Never give up!
- God loves you and He is concerned with every area of your life. His Word says He wants to "perfect that which concerns you." (Psalm 138:8) Let Him! (He can't if you give up!)
- Some of you will not be the one to bring a situation to completion but you will be a link in the chain of someone's life -- a person who plants a seed while someone else waters and someone else will actually see the harvest. All positions are valuable so don't look down upon where God has placed you in a person's life and determine to bloom where you are planted!
- Wherever we find ourselves at any given moment, be the best light for Jesus we can be. Like Mother Teresa once said, "Share the gospel. When necessary, use words."