I was fired from the job I loved. It was my fault. And I hated myself for it.
Just over a year ago I was working as a journalist for a small magazine. Fresh out of uni, things were on track, the way life was supposed to go. I was far from the “model worker” but I was happy, with working my passion and vision of a good future in front of me. Then, in a single moment those dreams disappeared.
I was typing away working on my next article. My boss asked to speak to me, that was my last day of work and I was handed my letter of termination. I was shocked, I feebly took the piece of paper and slowly began to unmake my workspace.
It’s been a while since that moment and career-wise I’m roughly in the same place but what God has taught since that moment has broken my conception of what a good story is.
The rags-to-riches story format is something we’re so used to and, in many cases, rightly want in our lives. No one wants to struggle and suffer forever and I pray that nobody does and the continual promises from God bring hope to every believer. But material success wasn’t the story of Jesus nor was it for most of the apostles after him.
So what is it then that we can hope for?
The story we forget
When I was told that I lost my job I remember two distinct feelings; Firstly a burning desire saying that I wasn’t done with writing yet and then more potently, shame. As time passed I struggled to pray, read and study my Bible, to write. This is not how envisioned my life going. As I attended and served in church for I was grateful for my friends that supported me, they were truly the hands and feet of God in those moments.
But slowly one truth began to seep into my soul.
In our obsession with trying find our purpose, that girlfriend or boyfriend, that job, we trap ourselves in a false dichotomy. So much so that we forget the in-between, the middle, the road travelled to get to that end. The story of Scripture while ending in redemptive victory is full of a lot of in-between.
God is not concerned with what your achieving, he wants your heart, commitment and is more concerned with you becoming more like him.
The story we must live
To all those who are hopeless, living without peace, searching for answer and wanting for the pain to end. There is something we hear every week. That is so blindingly simple. But it’s so easy to take it for granted. God loves you. Jesus loves you and his Holy Spirit will not depart. Even for those who are in a pain which may not recede in this present life we have hope to escape that eternal communion with God (1 Peter chapter 1; verses 3-9)
The world desperately needs people motivated by the love Christ. But if we find ourselves constantly bemoaning our circumstances, we can miss the very point of what he is trying to build in us. The fortitude by acknowledging out incessant need and how it was filled only by Christ will be a testimony to those around us.
We must aim to be the type of people that step into who God wants us to be takes a continual pulling back to his love. To acknowledge who God says we are.This summed up in this quote by AW Tozer.
“The meek man is not a human mouse afflicted with a sense of his own inferiority. Rather he may be in his moral life as bold as a lion and as strong as Samson; but he has stopped being fooled about himself. He has accepted God's estimate of his own life. He knows he is as weak and helpless as God has declared him to be, but paradoxically, he knows at the same time that he is in the sight of God of more importance than angels. In himself, nothing; in God, everything. That is his motto. – (AW Tozer, The Pursuit of God)
Your failure is not the end of you, in fact rejoice it may be the very start you needed to recognise how much more you need God in your life.
Seek God in your own time, sit with him. Seek to spend time with others in the faith. As you talk grow, be vulnerable together. Debate ideas, confess your sin, support and love each other, let God and his people be the things that shape you into who you’re called to be.
Justin Sayson is a freelance journalist living on the Sunshine Coast. From about sport, music, faith or anything else, he’s always keen to discover more about the world around him. You can see more if his writing on justinsayson.com