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Reacting to Adversity – Losing Your Job

Reacting to Adversity – Losing Your Job

Often as a pastor, I hear of church members losing their jobs. It is not news that I look forward to hearing. It is a very stressful time for the individual and my heart breaks for them. I sat down with a good friend of mine who just lost his job and he filled me in all the details. I was mainly concerned with how he was doing emotionally and spiritually. Below is a post that I asked him to write in order to help others going through similar situations. And to be quite honest this will be a post I go back to if I find myself in a similar situation.

I Lost My Job Today

I lost my job today.  Didn’t really expect it.  Although things haven’t been so well with the company we were all reassured that we would not be losing our jobs anytime soon.  I know my boss well and trust him so I took it to heart that I would have a job when I went to work Monday morning.  Turns out I was a victim of “corporate restructuring” i.e. downsizing.  Direction from corporate was to “thin the herd”.  This is the first time this has happened to me so new feelings immediately fell on me.  Shock, dismay, a little denial, fear, anger, and then a dash of pity.  I believe when this happens to someone it’s ok to experience the normal emotions.  However, I do not believe you should stay in the funk.  I have to bear in mind that I’m not the one most affected by this.  My stay-at-home-wife and 4 children will experience the greatest impact as this will certainly alter their lifestyle.  As luck would have it these things seem to happen at the least opportune time.  My children have an upcoming dental appointment, 2 of my 4 children require glasses for the upcoming school year, we still need clothes and supplies for that dreaded school year, and 2 of my children also have a birthday within the next two weeks.  Hey honey, I have some bad news-cancel the bounce house and call Little Caesars.

But, at some point the Christian should react differently to this situation.  It’s in these moments that our faith can certainly be tested.  Our flesh will say “God, haven’t I served your faithfully?  How could you!” as we shake our fist at God.  Our spirit should say “God, what would you have me learn from this?”  Our flesh says “How will I pay my bills?” while our spirit should say “God, I believe you will provide”.  A dear friend told me Never Doubt in the Darkness what God has Shown you in the Light”.  Meaning our God is good during the good and bad times in our lives.  I recall Matthew 6:26-34 (NKJV) as one of my favorite verses:

26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

So, why is it they we worry so much when we have an eternal, faithful, all-powerful God who loves His children?  Good question.

But, back to the story.  Do we pray to God to have someone call our phone and offer us a job?  Nope, that’s not how our God works (although He could if He so chose to).  Rather, our God expects his children to get busy.  Hone the resume and begin praying God will open the door to what He wants you to do next.  I firmly believe that the next chapter in my testimony and sanctification is being written now.  At the close of the day following my job loss I submitted a little less than 20 applications.  Day 2 brought around 40.  Day 3 finished up at 50+ and I’m just getting warmed up.  As a grown man, a child of God, father to 4, and husband to 1 I have ZERO excuse to sit around and mope.  I have a family to provide for and a God who is about to show His glory through my life – and I can’t wait!

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