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.
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. 2 Cor 5:17
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Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)
“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’, declares the Lord”
An accident interrupted my revision for exams at 3rd year of University and ultimately led to my passing, but not with sufficient merit to go onto the honours year. Even without that accident I knew I was struggling. I would have a chance to retake the exams in the summer and my hopes rested on this. Yet even in this hope there were doubts and questions. I felt my whole future was in turmoil.
The problem was that by the time I knew I had already missed the opportunities for graduate entry programs. In fact, having been anticipating another year of study I had not even looked at job opportunities and was unprepared for this eventuality. Now I was stuck. What was I going to do? There were possibilities: I could try and get back into studies, maybe change to Computer Science. But the extra years would mean a financial burden on my parents. I could stay in Edinburgh and try to find a job through the careers department, but the country had just entered a recession. The previous year there had been six jobs for each graduate. Now there were six graduates for every job, and I did not even have an honours degree. There were possibilities but none looked hopeful.
That summer I went to a Christian training program in Wales. At this program the answer came to my confused mind. As we studied I found “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.” (John 12:26 NIV) I understood from this passage that I must concentrate on being Jesus’ servant and that he for his part would make sure that I was in the right place. Not just the right location but with him! This was very freeing. I did not need to worry so much about the future, somehow, things would sort out right because Jesus would sort them out – if only I kept my part of living as his servant, following him with all my heart in what I already knew.
I left fairly confident that I desired to seek God, and that the best way to do that would be to stay in Edinburgh to get more help in my walk with Christ. There was to be a new leader to the ministry there, I would be able to help him as he settled in, he would be able to help me grow. The only problem was a job.
Then came the interview. I did not know it was an interview, I was merely meeting my father’s partner from Texas and we were talking about engineering. Then he offered me a job. To me it was folly, what was I going to do in some lonely corner of Texas, it seemed a long way from my plans for how to seek God. But it was an offer and thankfully I had some friends in Edinburgh older and wiser than I who convinced me that Jesus had not specifically pointed the way to stay there. In the end I gave a three month stab at job hunting in Edinburgh, I thought that God was big enough to give me a job if he wanted to keep me there. Indeed there were a few possibilities but nothing transpired in terms of an offer so in the end, very fearful and somewhat disappointed that God had not come up with the goods I went to America.
It shows that his plans are so much greater than ours for the experience in America was beyond my wildest dreams. Jesus knew what he was doing and he did it well.