Rewind the clock fifteen months and I had it all: Training contract with an accountancy firm in the city; living with a friend; leading a church Connect Group; friends buzzing around; clothes size 8; steady relationship with God.
Look at the present: 2 jobs later now au pairing; 2 homes later now living with a family; different Church; friends dispersed, clothes size questionable (bigger); sizeable scars the remnants of two accidents requiring 16 stitches on my knee and 5 in my forehead; and my relationship with God a tussle. And that is before we even mention boy issues. Yet throughout I have only tried to be obedient.
In my deepest darkest moments, I have questioned God’s very existence. This being whom I have trusted and depended upon and has surely let me down; this was not the life that I got the grades for, or slogged out hours in the library or gym. There have been times when I have felt well within my rights to say God,
“I gave up that job because of the promise that you came to give me life and life in all it’s fullness (John 10:10), and I wanted it. I was willing to give it all up for you, and now look at me. What are you doing? Are you even here?”
But that statement does not work.
Tucked away in the book of Daniel is the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who refuse to worship other Gods and as a result are thrown into a furnace so hot that the soldiers who throw them in are burnt to death. Before they are thrown in, they claim;
‘If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver usc from Your Majesty’s hand. 18But even if he does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.” Daniel 3:17-18
The three men state that they trust in God, no matter whether He saves them or not. They love God because of who He is, not what He can do or does for them, and therefore no matter what happens they will not serve or worship another (v.18) This contrasts sharply with my statement, which ultimately implies I was not giving up my job for God but what I thought He would bring out of it for me. My interpretation of ‘life in all its fullness” and God’s were not the same. Mine was warped by culture into a career focussed, comfortable lifestyle mindset. God’s plan was drawing me closer in relationship with Him.
When all else is stripped away we realise one thing remains : God.