Pushing your way through closed doors

I have a problem.

I have been trying for several years to land a job.  A specific job.  One that I believe would fix all of the issues I currently have with finances and time.  You see, currently I have many jobs.  I work, on average, about 60-80 hours a week doing my many jobs.  And for years, I have been trying to find one job that would be enough to support my large family and at the same time free up some time for other, more important things.  Things like my large family, and this ministry that God has called me to.

I read a book a year or so ago by Steven Furtick called “Sun Stand Still”.  When I read the book, which illustrates the power of mighty prayer, I wrote down my Sun Stand Still Prayer.  I still carry it with me today.  Here it is:

I pray that God will give me one job that provides enough financially for my family while freeing up my time to lead my family and glorify Him through small2TALL and my church’s men’s ministry.

I wrote that a year ago.  The sun’s still trucking along at the same speed it has been.  It hasn’t stopped, slowed down or reversed directions.  A year later, I’m still struggling to provide enough for my family and I’m still working too many hours a week.

But none of that is the problem I am talking about.

The problem I have is a problem with control.  I pray my sun stand still prayer, although not as frequently as I should, but I don’t pray it with the power it deserves.  I pray that God will answer the prayer, but then turn around and try to do everything in MY power to answer it myself.

I applied for this specific job last year.  I didn’t get an interview or anything.  It was my second application.  Upon noticing that the job was available again, I contacted the person in charge and asked if I should re-apply.  Third time’s a charm, right?  The response I got was this: “Re-apply if you have something new to add”.   I also found out that the position was never filled.  So in other words, hiring nobody was a better option than hiring me.

My response?  To start thinking of what I could do to enhance my resume.  I know that for this particular position, a terminal degree is preferred.  So I began thinking about whether or not to begin a Doctoral program to increase my chances of obtaining the job.  I emailed the person in charge again and asked, “If I start my program, will that increase the likelihood of obtaining the position?”  The response was basically “Give it a shot”.

I stared at the words in the email, and felt discouraged.  And then God spoke.  Here’s what He said, or rather asked:

Why are you trying to push your way through doors I haven’t opened yet?

door

Wow.

Now I believe the question was rhetorical.  But if I were to honestly answer it, my answer would have to be something like this, “Because I don’t really believe that you’re in control here.”   I have a problem.  This isn’t a new problem for me.  I’m Mr. Fix-It.  I see a problem, and I go into problem-solving mode.  Just ask my wife.  She brings me a problem, and I start fixing.  Whether she wants me to or not.

I do believe that He has a plan.  Everyone knows Jeremiah 29:11.  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  I believe that with all my heart and I trust Him.  But most people choose not to read Jeremiah 29:10. “This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place.”

He has plans for us.  Plans that are better than what we can imagine, but His timing is not ours.  He will open the right doors for me.  I know that, but I struggle with WHEN.  And so I take control.  I try to push my way through closed doors.  It just doesn’t work.  I foolishly expend energy that I could put to better use.

I know that this resonates with a lot of men.  We want to fix things.  We want to provide.  We want to give our families everything we can.  But we cannot push our way through.  We have to follow Him.  He will lead us down the right path and open the doors.  Just be prepared to wait.

Father, I trust you.  I know that you have plans to prosper me.  And I know that your timing is better than mine.  So I will wait.  I will listen.  And I will walk through the door that you open.  And when you do open that door, I will praise you.  But in the meantime, I will praise you.
Amen

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