It was just reported last week that the unemployment in the counties surrounding Granger are among the highest in the country. There are more than 17% in the City of Elkhart who are unemployed, and more than 15% in the surrounding county. I have never been unemployed, so I don't totally understand the financial or psychological stress involved in such trauma. But I have never had so many friends and neighbors who are looking for work. I don't know exactly what it means yet...but I think it is going to change how we do church and what we offer to the community in the coming months.
A friend of mine has been layed off three times--twice from churches, and most recently just three weeks ago from a marketplace job. He wrote this to those who just now find themselves in the same position...
"You're sitting there thinking – what am I going to do now? I can't find a job that will even compare to the passion I've had in what I was doing. Why me – I did so much? You have found yourself at one of the most significant points in your life…what now? Now is the time for you to put into action all that you've hid in your heart, all the faith and excitement you've been around – now's the time to put it into practice.
"God clearly promises he'll supply all of our needs – so if you need it he's got you covered. If God who can pretty much do anything has you covered wouldn't it really be a waste of time to fret about it? Okay, way easier said than done – but really where's it going to get you? Instead worry about what's God's next purpose for you – where can you make a difference – it's all about his mission and purpose anyway. I've been there, I've felt what you feel, I've doubted myself, I've questioned God, I've hated the circumstances and was even angered by the decision makers but today standing on the other side even though the turmoil that I was in, it was one of the greatest things that has happened in my life. It wasn't what was in my plan – but I can honestly say it's way better.
"Romans 8:26-28 (msg) simply states 'Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.' I promise it will work out for the best – God says so! So look up, there are some great things in store for you in the days ahead. Take the time to press in, dig deeper – God will show himself faithful and you'll never be the same."
Have you been in the same position? What would you say to someone just now facing this type of major life transition?