When I finally got a job offer and accepted my first “real” job, everything happened all at once. I had a short lease on an apartment and a really bad temporary job that was soon ending. Suddenly, I could find a permanent new home to match my permanent new job, and it seemed like everything else in my life that was permanent was changing. Before, my parents’ house was “home.” Now, I was officially on my own: out of their home, off their medical insurance and not their responsibility. Of course they still offer their love and support, but my problems were not necessarily theirs.
So when I had to read the different insurance policies that my company offered and choose a plan for myself, I felt a little nervous. And when I didn’t find a new place to live until just a few weeks before my lease was up on my old apartment, I was kind of nervous. And when I started my new job and realized how little I know about anything at all, I sort of panicked. And when I did finally move and my new place needed maintenance and the management broke their promises and I had no idea how to fix anything, I freaked. And the grass was already too tall and my mower didn’t work and I didn’t even know what was wrong, so I worried. And how confusing are these utility bills? And in the midst of all that, the one thing I didn’t do was believe that God would make it okay.
You know how insignificant you feel when driving in the midst of a heavy storm? That’s really what it was like. I was just one person in this enormous system of renters, sellers, landlords, leases, apartments, duplexes, maintenance and floor plans. At work, it was another bustling of bosses, co-workers, new software, new faces, new procedures, policies, expectations and new goals. Meanwhile, everything stable and secure was swirling around me like a Wal-Mart bag in the wind, and I was looking for something to hang on to so I didn’t blow away with it.
I have learned, however, that those feelings of worry and helplessness are really pretty dumb. How many times has God provided for me, met my needs and then given me most of my wants? There were, and sometimes still are, so many moments when I sit here and wonder, “Can I do this? I don’t know if I can do this.” But I have to remember that He will never leave or forsake me. God said in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” And in the middle of an angry storm, the Bible says that Jesus “arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, ‘Peace, be still.’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith” (Mark 4:39-40)?
Why didn’t I have faith that Jesus would calm my storms too? I need to be still, and remember who created the wind and the rain and landlords and jobs. When I’m trying to assemble my new bookcase, and I just… can’t… get the peg into the hole, Jesus still has not left me. When I can’t sleep because my new house makes weird sounds and everything smells funny and I’m not sure if I locked the back door or not, Jesus is there with me, watching me, guarding me, protecting me. I know He is, because He promised me. And unlike my landlord about repairing the carpet, Jesus never breaks a promise.
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