The challenge of walking with the God who knows me
Names changed throughout except in some cases where the person involved has been or is in ministry.
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If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God you will receive what He has promised.”
Having come back from the states, I was invited by a previous ministry leader from Edinburgh days to join him in his ministry; an invitation I gladly accepted. It seemed like a great opportunity to reintegrate back into the UK student ministry scene. Further I was looking principally for jobs in Southampton and Cardiff. My thought was that as an electronics engineer I should be able to find a job in the location of my choice. With that in mind, my preference was to be involved in a ministry with one of my former ministry leaders from Edinburgh who now lived in Cardiff and Southampton. It seemed that there would be some advantage in job hunting from Cardiff.
I found this job hunt quite difficult emotionally and valued God’s encouragement greatly. I think the difficulty arose from constantly receiving letters saying “We regret ...”. However well they were written they would communicate: “We don’t value you.” It was not the intended message, but rejection always hurts. There was the emotionally draining process of sending letters to some unknown and anonymous “Sir”. Then there was a pressure. I had wrongly understood that to bring a foreign wife into the country I would need to have a job whereas actually I just needed to prove her support. So there was a pressure to get a job before the wedding day. Yet God was constantly encouraging. The ways that struck me most were: I was constantly getting the message through the scriptures: “Don’t worry I am with you.” He never gave any guidance about what to do, or where to look or whether I was doing the right kind of thing in the job hunt. Instead it was a consistent message of love and care: “I am with you”. It was a message that directed me not at the results, nor at the techniques but rather at Himself the one who really mattered in all of this. Then there was the message that spoke to my fears over Eva, “Do not fear”, a message that in the end proved right for there was no problem. He also encouraged me in a very practical way: I would get exactly one interview each week. It was never two and it was never none. It was enough to keep me both interested and persevering.
In looking back this encouragement is amazing for ultimately I did not get a job before the wedding, furthermore it became clear that God had never intended for me to have one. He showed this just before the wedding when I came to the end of the companies that I could send letters to. I received three last calls for interviews from these companies, and duly went. The responses took longer than expected so I called the personnel departments. In each of the three cases I had come in second place and they were awaiting replies from the successful candidates before sending me a “regret”. God could easily have arranged for me to get one of those jobs but, for a reason that became clear later, had chosen not to. So why was God so involved in this job hunt that would not bring a job? I am not sure, but I wonder if it is because for him the time was not a waste. The process of seeking a job and doing it with him was important in itself, even if there was no job at the end of it.
After we were married, Eva and I had a glorious few months together, travelling around the country looking for jobs. It was important that I did not have a job when married.