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I have been struggling lately with my job. I don’t feel any purpose for being there. I am restless because it’s not what I want to do for a living. Being a published author is my dream. Being a secretary is more like a nightmare. There are many things to do – answer the phones, file, prepare job movement packages, shipping and receiving, and various administrative duties. It’s a job that is somewhat boring and almost too easy. Because I don’t feel challenged at my job, I make careless mistakes.
In contrast, away from work I have time to spend in the Bible, with my wonderful husband, children, grandchildren, and writing. It is easier to feel and share the joy of Christ around family and friends.
My real struggle, therefore, is being joyful at work.
At a recent prayer meeting, the prayer leader read a few pages from a book titled “Reaching the Ear of God” by Wayne Mack. The author quoted Philippians 4:4 and Psalm 24:14, among others. He wrote that we must be joyful always and wait on the Lord. Our prayer leader acknowledged the significance of recognizing the sovereignty of God and the importance of waiting on Him.
I realized how much I needed to hear those verses. I need to find the joy within me, placed there by Christ, and allow that joy to consume me at work. To accomplish this, the words of Philippians 4:4 must become a part of my fiber. “Rejoice in the Lord always.” Rejoice always in the Lord through my thoughts and conduct. Sounds easy, but how do I put it into action?
Allowing the Holy Spirit to give me joy is vitally important. That doesn’t mean I walk around in a constantly giddy state; it means that I have a source (God) who wants to delight in me simply because I delight in Him. As a child delights in simple pleasures, I must become childlike in my rejoicing. I must not let life’s complexities keep me from celebrating who I am in Christ and His plan for me.
So rejoicing is a matter of Spirit over flesh – mind over matter. After all, in my job, am I working for the person who signs my paycheck or am I working for God? When I rejoice in the Lord, my attitude improves. I smile more and walk with confidence. Joy follows rejoicing as I allow God to nurture me.
The second verse is a bit more difficult for me. “Wait for the Lord” says Psalms 27:14. I feel like countering with “how long, how long will you hide Your face from me?” (Psalm 13:1). I don’t want to be a secretary the rest of my working life.
I must remember that God’s timing is perfect. Furthermore, I must believe that His timing is perfect. In God’s sovereign knowledge, only He can allow life’s circumstances to occur when they are best. Only He has the power to make all things work together for His good.
I strive to believe this, but it’s more like “I’ll wait for God as long as it happens now.” How dare I presume to tell God what to do. I have bungled many things in my life because I did not wait on Him. It’s time for ME to wait, change, and allow God’s perfection to rule over me. It’s time for me to wait on the Lord in obedience and prayer.
Where I am now is where God wants me. Does this mean that I should abandon my dream of being a published author? Absolutely not.
Does this mean that I must wait on God’s timing? Absolutely, even though it is difficult. God’s schedule is unchangeable and fixed in His time, not mine. He expects me to accept that and allow Him to change me.
As I wait on God’s timing, I remember the verse “the joy of the Lord is my strength” (Nehemiah 8:10[b]). I can let that verse live in me and bubble forth from my heart. I can make the Lord joyful by allowing Him to be my strength. I pray that I will live the words I write. The Lord is my strength and my shield. I will rejoice in the Lord always – at home, at work, at church, and wherever He leads me.
Does rejoicing in the Lord mean that I’ll find fulfillment in my job? Not necessarily, but it means I will be fulfilled through Christ.
References (from NIV):
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice” (Phil 4:4).
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).
© August 1, 2006, Virginia Lutz, with special thanks to Kathy B.
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wow this was such great advice. i too want to be a writer-well, published. i do not know when this will happen either. i do have a job i love, but i also work another job once a week that i do not like and i know what you mean about feeling lazy there sometimes......its hard to be joyful when you are tired and bored. But Nehemiah 8:1? is good, and that His joy will strengthen us in all we do. He will even give us joy as we wait :) thank you for being honest in what you wrote, by reading it, it helped me too God bless