As I move into the third week of my unemployment from my 4-year ‘intentional interim’ pastorate, I have been blessed by many who have written messages of encouragement and prayer.
Having been unemployed once before for 13 months, Melodee and I know how hard it can become. After months of no replies to resumes, or the repeated ‘thank you for your response … You are very gifted, however …” letters and emails, it is easy to begin to see the darker lining in the clouds and think of storms instead of the safety of God.
While unemployed last time for that year plus, I actually gained about 20 pounds! God provided so bountifully, even though we were homeless for a year. People welcomed us into their homes and others sent money and gave gifts of food, etc.
During that time, I began to understand the quiet and solitude of prayer in a much deeper manner. Through it all, I came to listen for God’s voice more carefully and ask him four specific questions. Perhaps they will help you if you are traveling through ‘the dark times’ right now …
- What would bring YOU joy right now, Lord?
- What is YOUR heart’s desire for me at this time?
- What are YOU planning for me in the near future?
- How can I be the most helpful to YOU and YOUR plans right now?
Depression seems to be the repetitious review of ‘why I am so unfortunate.’ Once I move my focus away from me and back onto the Lord, his will and plans, life turns into an adventure and a journey with the One who knows exactly what he is doing and how he is going to accomplish it.
Looks like its about time to head to the beach, enjoy God’s creation here in L.A. and ask him what he’s up to with us at this time!