An old hemorrhoid medication commercial came to mind as I thought about today’s recharge. To prove the soothing power of their product, the company struck a match and quenched the flame with the medicated pad. Some of us are just like that match: something or someone has quenched our “fire” for our jobs. You used to report for work early and work diligently, but now, you hope to make it in before closing. You used to leap for assignments when volunteers were recruited, but now, the words “Can someone please ….” make you sink in your seat.
Jeremiah, the prophet featured in the verses cited above, knew how it felt to be burned out. Jeremiah had so many “headaches” on his job that he wanted to quit. He’d grown tired of the reproach and ridicule; he was sick of suffering for pursuing excellence. At the peak of his frustrations, however, Jeremiah found something that rekindled his passion. The Word of God prevented him from throwing in the towel when he really wanted to.
If you’re burned out, then let this word encourage you – hang in there! God specializes in resuscitation, and He can bring life back to your job. If he did it for Jeremiah, then He can do it for you!
Recent bankruptcies, budget cuts, hiring freezes, and lay-offs reinforce how blessed we are to have a job. In theory, we should be grateful to have somewhere to “punch the clock,” but what if your job pulls you away from the things you love. What if late nights in the office or a rigorous travel itinerary cause you to miss your child’s first steps or a sermon you really needed to hear? What if you’re resolving issues abroad while domestic events need your attention? I can only imagine how Michael Jordan felt when he received news of his father’s death.
David, the main character in today’s recharge, knew how it felt to be away from the things you love. While he was away working, the worst possible scenario happened: his home was destroyed and his wife and children were captured. Imagine the thoughts that raced through David’s head when he returned: “If I had been here, none of this would have happened. If I did not have this job, I would have been here to help.” But in his despair, David learned the power of prayer. He called on the Lord, and He answered him right on time!
If your job pulls you away from the things you love, then be encouraged. Prayer still works! Your prayers allow God to move where you can’t. Just remember, God, the solution to the problems you can’t resolve, is one prayer away. Call Him up, and tell Him what you want!
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7, New Living Translation).
Yesterday’s recharge was encouragement to endure the unwelcome frustrations of your job. Admittedly, it’s a lot easier to hang in there when the job offers a competitive salary, flexible hours, opportunities for advancement, and incredible benefits. But, what if your current job isn’t your dream job? What if your current job doesn’t maximize your education and experience? How do you endure a job that pays you “beans” compared to what you’d make elsewhere? How do you tolerate a front line position when you have CEO potential?
It’s hard to hang in there when your job offers more misery than money. I remember quitting my job at Chick-fil-A because I knew cooking fast food wasn’t my career objective. That’s why I admire Joseph so much. Although Joseph had visions of greatness and was destined for corporate success, he still excelled in a remedial position. He worked so hard as a slave that Potiphar eventually promoted him – Joseph assumed completed administrative responsibility (see Genesis 39:6). How did Joseph do it? Somehow, he realized that his position was preparing him for where he was headed.
This recharge is dedicated to those who are frustrated because your current job is not the one you desire. Hang in there! If God placed you there, then He has a purpose for you while you’re there. Give it your all, knowing “that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” (Romans 8:28, New Living Translation). This job, like every other trial you’ve conquered, is preparing you for something greater!
If you’re currently employed, have you had days when you hated your job? Have you had a week so frustrating that you prayed the following Monday wouldn’t come? Have you been aggravated by lazy co-workers, insensitive supervisors, or office politics? Or, maybe you’ve been laid-off, asked to assume more responsibility without more pay, or worked tirelessly with no promise, or potential for, advancement.
If you’ve ever said “I hate this job!” then you’re in good company, for even God’s chosen vessels express dissatisfaction with their “jobs.” Elijah, the main character in the verse cited above, hated his job. He hated it so much that he asked God to take his life. What triggered Elijah’s frustration? He felt singled-out: “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too” (1 Kings 19:10, New Living Translation). He felt like he was the only one upholding the standard of excellence, modeling integrity, and working passionately. In the pit of his frustration, however, he realized he wasn’t alone. He had God, and God reassured him that he wasn’t alone, “I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!” (1 Kings 19:18, New Living Translation).
After Elijah received the Word, he resumed his responsibilities with passion. I hope you’ll do the same. You’re not the only one coming to work on time, working long hours, or modeling the company’s values. God has other employees on the battlefield with you. Hang in there, and watch God move on your behalf!