Monday, December 22, 2008

Encouragement During Economic Downturn

I posted this on the church newsgroup last week:

It seems like lately we only ever hear about the bad stuff happening in the job market. Last night on here, I saw at least 3 posts about someone getting laid off. That, coupled with what the media is constantly saying, it appears that all we ever hear about is the bad news.

But, there is some good news. Obviously, none of this surprises God. He knew this was coming trillions of years ago, and He's not chewing His fists over the status of this nation's economy--and neither should we.

God has always supported us. I think about how chaotic the world would be if God didn't maintain control of it. For the most part, we have jobs already, which is more than some of the most impoverished places can say. For that we should be really grateful.

God may be using this time to "shuffle the deck"--shake up the population to get them in a prime position for spreading the Gospel even further. You hear about people one or two at a time being inserted into secular society and seriously leveraging people toward Christ, but with the moving and shaking going on in the job market, God might possibly be using this evil for good by shoehorning thousands of people in places where otherwise an opportunity wouldn't be present.

For those of us looking for jobs, I'd like to share a word picture. I play computer games, and if I have to kill monsters to get a certain kind of item, I find that 99 times out of 100 the monster drops something totally useless. But it's exciting, because every time that killing blow lands, I wonder, "Could this be it??" Usually it's something dumb--but that's okay because there are 99 other monsters left.

The same idea I carry into interviews. You might go to 100 interviews and bonk on 99 of them... but that last one that pays off is finally it. And as a bonus, while it seems like it's taking forever to find something else, it won't seem like it took as long when you're finally at the new job.

Also, this is prime opportunity for us to not put God in a box. As some of you know, both Charlotte and I are looking for something different job-wise. Lots of prayer has gone into this. The other day I received a note from a headhunter regarding a temporary gig for about 8-12 weeks. Here was my train of thought: Is it a job? Yes. Is it secure? Probably not, but you know what? God is in control. I can't cherry pick the opportunities because I don't see security in something lasting 8-12 weeks. I also shouldn't see security in any job because as we know too well, people get laid off sometimes, even in a "permanent" position.

I couldn't help but think this was how Abraham felt when the Lord told him to go to a country that He would talk about later. Didn't even give him a destination, He just said, "It's south." That's even LESS secure than anything we can face, and yet the Lord did some wonderful things with Abraham because of his faith in the Lord.

I heard a sermon one time about a guy equating God to a mapmaker. The theme was "Why would anyone want to march off their map?" Why would anyone want to trade what's comfortable, visible and traversable for something unknown, "out there" somewhere? There's only one reason why someone would want to do something and it's this: They've talked to the Mapmaker.

Folks, we know the Mapmaker. Yes it’s uncomfortable to walk off the map, but there comes a point where the only way to take the next step in your faith in Christ is to make the next step be off the map. The Lord’s not going to steer you wrong and He can put us in places so much better than anything we can decide for ourselves, because He has the kind of sight to know what’s best.

I don’t know if this spoke to anybody but it feels like I’m done. Hope everything is going well for everybody.

Love you all,
Michael Fritzius

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