We are visiting our son in Illinois this week. His church has a coffee shop beside the auditorium where people can gather and get to know each other. It's a lovely spot to wait for the service and connect with other people. Ron and I were talking to Steve, a man who is committed to service. He has one ministry now and is waiting on God for another one to begin. He was hopeful about the future but I could hear the little twinge in his voice. We encouraged him to be patient in his waiting because, you never know.....
It's always so hard to wait on God. When we are able to see his hand moving just ahead in front of us, we step lively and keep up the pace. But when that hand moves out of sight or is covered with fog, we get nervous. We squint and rush ahead further hoping that he just moved a few feet out of sight. When that doesn't work we dart side to side searching for warmth that might indicate he was there. Finally we may get out our handy spotlight and see if we can catch even a shadow of his presence. If he can't be seen we slump down in the middle of the path discouraged and feel as if he has abandon his child.
The truth of the matter is that sometimes when God seems to disappear - he is actually preparing the way before us. God has prepared the way for the Jansen's many times. The most astonishing was with Ron's job. He had a superior position in management in the main office of Roadway Express. In order to change the direction of his career and to have more opportunities, he decided to apply for line haul manager. It would mean a move out of the main office to one of Roadway's city terminals. His resume was impressive so we didn't feel it would be a problem for him to slide into that role.
He applied for the position in Memphis. We prayed for God to have his way and to guide us in this decision. He was passed over for the position. He applied for the position in Dallas and again he was denied in favor of a less qualified person. Several years later he tried again for the position at White Pines. We drove down together praying all the time for God to let us move. It was a beautiful southern town and would be closer to my aging parents. I remember sitting in a restaurant when a waitress used her soothing southern drawl to ask, "Sweet tea with that?" I started to cry. Oh to be back in a sleepy little southern town with sweet tea, biscuits and pine trees spiraling toward the sky.
Just 24 hours after we were home Ron received the news that a much less qualified man would receive the position. We were stunned. Friends at the office asked, "Ron - what are you doing in these interviews? You are the only man for these jobs and yet they pass you by." While they were joking I could see the concern in Ron's eyes. He began to worry about his future and his ability to move up the ladder. He softly asked, "I don't know what's wrong with me." I began to pray harder for God to bless this wonderful hard working man.
It was only six months before we had part of the answer. They announced that they would be closing the White Pines terminal. Hum....if Ron had received that position he would have lost his job. The prayers of "why" quickly became "Oh, thank you God."
God's hand came into full focus about a year later when Roadway was bought out by Yellow. One of the first acts of the new owners was to fire all the line haul managers across the board.
YIKES! No matter where Ron applied, if he had received the job - he would have been fired. Instead of losing his job he was actually promoted by the new owners.
What a lesson in God's protection. Every time we pray for anything, we always ask that God guide and protect us in whatever decision we are trying to make. Over the years God has truly answered our prayers. He has kept us out of harms way and provided for us even when we couldn't imagine the pending doom.
I hope you will be encouraged to allow God to protect you. No matter how much you want what you are praying for....God can see the future. Trust Him to lead, guide and "protect" your future.
God loves you,