The Lesson of Trust

Disclaimer: This post is from the archives, and may not represent the current views of the author. It also may not be at all interesting to read. Continue at your own peril!

I’m in such a writing mood right now. I feel like I could just sit here and write pages and pages and pages, never stopping even to eat or sleep. This happens every so often, usually when I wake up in a reflective, contemplative mood – like today. I was laying in bed this morning half-awake, and already I had formed two stanzas of a poem in my head. I finished it off in my head during my shower, and then typed it up onto the computer and saved it as soon as I had the chance. And even though I already wrote a quite large entry today in my blog here, I’ve still been itching to just talk about anything and everything.

Let’s put first things first. I called Cineplex Odeon this afternoon, since my mom had left me a note saying they had called yesterday. I left a message in the morning, called again around 12:30 PM or so, and then once more later on, at around 4:30 PM. The third time I called, I actually got ahold of someone. She told me exactly what I was hoping – I got the job there. Mind you, Zeth has told me that it’s not the best job in the world, but I figure if I’ve survived at Quizno’s, and was ready to get a factory job if I needed to, that I can handle it. Any job is a good job at this point, and now I’m intensely thankful. As soon as I got off the phone, I looked up at the sky (looking through the ceiling, of course) and said, “Thank you God!” And boy did I mean that, too. I’ve been praying so much and just asking Him – pleading with Him some days – to provide me with the job that He would want me to have. And as the days slipped by one by one, it was hard to keep up hope.

That’s one of the things that I’ve been itching to talk about today. God’s been teaching me something this summer that I thought I already knew, but quickly found out that I didn’t. He’s been teaching me to trust in Him. You see, at first when summer started, I dusted off my resume, made up a list of places to send it out to, made up some cover letters, and went for it. I asked God to bless my choices and provide me with the job that He wanted me to have. And I thought that was good enough for me – after all, I was trusting in God, but I was also being pro-active and doing my part. It’s what I’ve been taught to do, and I thought that it would work just fine. I think I got only one response from my first batch of ten resumes, but I wasn’t disheartened at all. I prayed again that God would bless the next batch and sent out ten more. I figured that if God didn’t want me to get a job at the first ten places, well then it wouldn’t be a big loss, since He’d have someplace better for me.

The days passed by. The hours marched on, the minutes filed slowly past, and the seconds seemed to crawl on their hands and knees in agony. I got a couple responses from the second batch, but nothing came of it. I really thought I had something going with those responses, but then they just died out. So there I sat one day, suddenly realizing just how boring a summer can be when you have nothing to occupy your time. I mean, sure I have friends to hang out with, but I don’t do that every day, and there have been some days this summer when I just wanted to go outside and start burying myself alive – just for something to do.

By this time, I had started to get discouraged, but I kept my hopes up, and after some not-so-subtle prodding from my parents, I sent out another ten resumes. These were some of the places where I’d work if I had to work there; they weren’t on the top of my list, but they weren’t quite at the bottom either. Again, I prayed. Again, there didn’t seem to be any response. I called places back, and Marco Sales eventually told me that they weren’t hiring students unless they were willing to continue on into the school year. But considering the afternoon shift was 3:30 PM-12:00 midnight, Monday to Friday, I certainly couldn’t keep that up during the school year. That door was closed. Sears called back and sounded interested, and yet as soon as I called them back, the lady who had left the message left for vacation until August 9th. I got ahold of another supervisor there and eventually got an interview set up, and the guy seemed interested. I was excited about that interview, because it was at the same time that I knew my friends at youth would be praying for me. I had faith that this was the place God wanted me to be – after all, something like that couldn’t be a coincidence, could it?

I went to the interview at Cineplex with the thought that it would be the second choice of mine if something turned up at Sears. However, I wasn’t going to do a poor job at this interview just because it seemed like God was behind the one at Sears. I went for it with all I had and did my best; in fact, I can say that I tried my best at all the interviews. I really just was praying that God would bless my efforts and provide me with the job that I needed. It’s not the money that concerns me. I needed this job because, for one thing, it would keep me occupied during the long month of August, and also because I needed to get my parents off my back. They had been poking and prodding me constantly to keep sending out more and more resumes. I was running out of places to apply – I can’t just throw resumes up in the air and hope they go to the right place, you know. So with that attitude – a hint of discouragement, a whole lot of hope, and a dash of desperation – I went through the Cineplex doors and was interviewed. And now I know that my efforts weren’t all in vain.

Now that I finally have a job, it’s as if a chapter of my life has been written off. God’s been showing me that even through my best efforts, I can be completely fruitless. All my acts I muster out of myself are worthless. And now that He’s finally given me a job, it’s as if a page has been turned in God’s script of my life. Sure, it’s definitely not finished, but He’s not finished writing, either. I now have to settle into this new job, and that whole uncharted territory still lays before me. But as soon as I got off the phone after hearing that I had the job, it was if God said, “See now? I’ve told you what I wanted you to hear, and now I haven’t let you down. You asked for a job, I told you to hang on for a little bit while I taught you something, and now I’m giving you what you need.” And now this incredible weight has been lifted off my shoulders – because all the discouragement that’s been piling up has suddenly been taken off. It feels great.

You see, everything I can do in my own strength is worthless. As the Bible says, “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty” (Zechariah 4:6). Although that verse might be taken out of context, it still holds true. Sure, God’s given us power, but it’s still His. I was thinking about this a couple of days ago in a different context. I was debating in my head where the line is drawn between how much to rely on the strength God has given us as humans and how much to rely on God’s supernatural strength. Then I suddenly realized that they were two sides of the same coin. God has delegated to us a small portion of His power as humans – like the ability to think and reason – and much more as Christians, but the thing to remember is this: it’s still all His power. The reason we aren’t to rely on our own strength is because it’s not our strength anyways. If we start thinking that we can do anything at all, we’re deceiving ourselves, because we’re failing to acknowledge where our strength comes from. Without God, we are powerless. Without God, we would be lifeless. Without God, we wouldn’t even be here today. And so it’s not the fact that we’re relying on our own strength that’s the problem, it’s the fact that we’re relying on the strength God’s given us and yet failing to recognize its source.

This is such a fundamental truth, and I thought I understood it, but God’s been teaching it to me. It took me a whole two months to figure it out, but God is a God of wonderfully amazing patience. Sure, God’s certainly far from finished with my life. He can’t sit back and say, “Perfect!” when he looks at me. But He’s progressing, and He’s turning me into someone who’s better than I was yesterday. A lesson has been learned, a page has been turned, and now I’m ready to take on the next challenge God has in store for me. With renewed hope and vigor, I’m ready to start my job and start it well – no matter what Zeth says about it. Everything in life is as good or bad as you make it out to be, and as long as I take on this job with a positive attitude, it’ll be fine. And of course, I’m certainly not alone in any difficulties I encounter; I’ve got a powerful God up in heaven who’s on my side to help me out. And if I wasn’t before, I’m definitely positive now that God can conquer the chains of discouragement. After all, discouragement and despair comes from the devil, and God’s already conquered him.

Anyways, I was going to talk about some other stuff too, but somehow that faded out of my memory in the excitement of this new development. It’s not the job that’s making me happy, it’s the God who decided that He was going to not only give me a job, but also teach me to trust in Him at the same time. I can’t say it was all rosy during June and July when I was jobless and frustrated, but once I started to understand that there was a reason for the state I was in, I turned my attention to God, and He could finally teach me something. And now I just have to write it down on here so that I can look back later and not forget that God’s got a plan. He’s got it all under control, and all I have to do is trust in Him to provide what I need. And obviously if He doesn’t provide it, well, I must not have needed it. But He’s been faithful so far, and I trust in His past blessings in order to secure my faith for the future. And with that, I’ll finish this off. Let’s see what tomorrow has in store for me.

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