Last week my husband had a job interview. By the time I post this, if I post this, he might know if the interview has resulted in a job. Or he might never hear from the company again.
This isn’t THE job, the one that will use his skills, give him a sense of worth, and carry his family through to retirement. This is a job that might see us through grad school and allow us to come out the other side of this little adventure with a bit of retirement money left. He felt the interview went well, and the work is, you know, work, and it would be great to have a bit of a secure feeling and even a schedule again. And money. It’s closer to his field than fast food would be, and that’s a plus.
But I can’t make myself believe he will get the job. Not this job, not any job. Never. I am ashamed to admit it, but somewhere in the past two years I stopped believing this particular prayer would ever be answered with anything but “No.” Even though God commands us to work, I don’t really believe that’s in our future. Usually I wait with anticipation for that call that he got the job, but not this time. Not even a little bit.
It’s a strange attitude shift. The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God, and then the same verse defines faith as believing God exists (check) and believing he rewards those who trust in him. Hmmm. Reward. I definitely believe in a final reward in heaven. But here… I must admit somewhere along the line I started to believe that God is interested not in rewarding me but in seeing me handle hardship well.
Yes, I admit it, I expect things to be terrible, and then I am supposed to trust God, and then he is glorified. Of course I see people get jobs and take vacations and remodel their homes and have cars with A/C and even find healing from ailments, but that’s them. God doesn’t deal like that with us.
What a scary, twisted view of who God is. And a terribly non-thankful way to approach the myriad of rewards in my life. I have a home. I have a car. I have healthy children, a spouse who loves me, a government that isn’t trying to kill me, stores that sell me food, a church that cares about me and can safely teach me truth…. The list is embarassingly long.
God rewards those who trust in him. And he delights in giving me good gifts, starting with Jesus, and even if he ended there, it’s enough, but he didn’t. He doesn’t look for ways to break me so he can pat me on the back and say “well done.” When I start to think like that, I become bitter and completely lose sight of God’s compassionate character and what he wants to build into my life. And I certainly don’t lead others towards him.
I hope my husband gets a job. And I am comforted by the knowledge that God is faithful when I am faithless, and he will forgive my sins and change my attitudes if I ask him and follow him. Now that I see it, I have asked for a serious pruning of this particular failure, so I know this time of doubting will end, and he will teach me to see him right again. It is comforting to know that however far off the path I stray, I am loved, I am brought back, and I am a child of an amazing King.
By the way, no word yet on the job, so my husband moves ahead to other venues while he waits, but maybe soon the answer will be ‘yes’. Regardless of God’s answer to this prayer this time, though, he is still preparing for me good gifts. Not everything I want exactly when I want it, but everything good for me exactly when I need it. I need to remember that and be thankful for all he does for me and for all he is to me.