I will exalt you, Lord , for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
Psalm 30:1 NIV
Change never seems fun. Sure, my change agent nature likes it in the end. But the processing of my emotions and thoughts is a killer.
Psalm 30 is one of the psalms that speaks to change. I hear Jesus mumbling these words on the cross, His big change day. Ever had a big change day? My life is full of big change days.
“Boy did he make a mistake taking ‘that’ job!”
During a time of great change, I heard that one. After faithfully serving TG&Y Stores for ten years, the company sold to a rape and pillage chain. They gutted the inventory and tossed the people. My friends and I were the people. 28,000 families took the hit across the USA. But it was my family for whom I feared.
Each day another friend found work at another company. I had a closer contract to be the last to lock the door. The pain of losing friend after friend was monstrous. A risky job with a local hospital seemed more appealing than waiting out the funeral. Slow death is hard.
Prayers were fervent and shaky. How would my family survive? At the time, Dian and I had two children. Change could not be avoided.
TG&Y was a great company. Friendships were good. During those years, the Lord had built a Bible study inside the company and many miracles happened. Big miracles happened. People found hope and healing. My income was good and provided well. The job was a learning experience every day. Why, Lord?
The community was being built strong. In the same years, our neigherborhood had developed a Bible study and again, miracles flowed. Would all this stop? Did God quit loving us?
A co-worker had the paper open to classified jobs that morning like every morning. I had quit looking and was just praying. Seemed like I was going to have to move to another state. Increased automation and company mergers made my job more rare every day. There were maybe 10 in the city and they were all filled. But, there it was. A local hospital needed someone like me.
Many appplied. My boss and my shift mangers all applied. I applied. I was hired. Background checking told me it was a nightmare. The prior manager died of cancer and the shop had gone to pot. Systems were shaky, routines were disorderly, the employees were untrained, and management was ready to outsource to fix it. Hiring me was a last chance shot at resolution. This did not sound fun. It wasn’t. But it meant I could stay in the city with my family and that was important.
Be Still Heart
The next days were horrendous. Why did a good thing seem so painful? Friends were gone. These people were fearful. There was no team, just survivors thrashing. My faith was tested to the max. Had I been delivered out of a bad situation into a worse situation?
Subtle messages broke through. Inside this chaos were faithful believers, who had prayed for deliverance. It seemed our prayers met. The Lord placed me here to help me and them. We were in this together. And He prevailed. And my enemy, slewfoot, the evil one, lost.
A New Career
At this hospital chaos, the Lord built me into a new man. Change was necessary to grow me. Today I am facing one of the biggest changes of my life. At 63, when I would love to retire and have the resources to do that, my friends and I are called to yet another change. It is not just me. Families I love deeply are losing me as pastor, though we remain friend. I weep over and over and cry out to my Saviour, “Is there not another way? What about Plan B? This is not fun, Jesus. I thought we were friends?”
All of those prayers and more crash into my soul and the Holy Spirit replies, “Take the next step. This is good for all. Trust me again and watch what I do. I am faithful. I will watch over and care for all. This is right.”
He lifts us from the depths. He will not let us fall. We will not fail.
To those I love I write, “The Lord is with us. Each of us will grow. Walk with me and we all will see. Our enemies will speak evil. Even good people will say hard and condemning words. They are wrong. God is in charge and they need to shut their hearts to evil and open to good and see the salvation of the Lord.”