The Safe Zone
It was all very matter of fact.
My commander called me in for what I expected to be a routine discussion. Without any small talk, he informed me he’d decided to replace me. As it turned out, an admiral he’d worked with in the past had recommended one of his men for the job. I was devastated. I’d been in the position for only 15 months, and I had no inkling this move was coming. I didn’t know what to do or where I’d end up. Fortunately, God did!
As I wondered about what was going to happen, I realized all I could do was to trust the Lord would work out the situation in His way and in His timing. Within a few days, I had an offer to return to a former unit. The family renting our house in that area was preparing to move, so we settled into our own home. My wife got a job at the school she’d taught at during our previous assignment. And my new job was one of the most fulfilling of my Air Force career.
Out of our control but in His Hands.
In our work—as in other areas of life—we often face situations totally outside our control. These challenges can be relatively minor, or they can be dramatic and life-changing. Regardless of where our tests fall along this continuum, the one thing they have in common is that we’re usually clueless on the best way to proceed.
As Christians, we can face our challenges with confidence, but there are two requirements if we’re to see them resolved successfully. First, we must adopt the humility to accept we aren’t wise or strong enough to work them out on our own. Second, we must recognize that God is ready and able to provide the wisdom and strength we lack—if we call on Him expecting He will come to our aid.
A Roman centurion met both these criteria when confronted with a situation he couldn’t handle on his own. When his servant was paralyzed and in great pain, the military leader approached Jesus and asked for help. Impressed with the humility and faith of this foreigner, Christ rewarded him by miraculously healing the centurion’s attendant.
Faith isn’t a matter of hoping everything will turn out OK. It’s a deep assurance that, although we’re not in control, God is. The writer to the Hebrews encourages us to draw near with confidence to the throne of God when we pray. Paul instructed the Philippians not to be anxious when they made requests of the Lord. And John tells us we can be confident that, when we pray according to God’s will, He hears us and will respond with what’s best for us.
Author A. W. Tozer suggests God wants to do the impossible in and through us. It’s a pity, he writes, when we do only the things we can do by ourselves. No matter how large or small your challenges at work may be, step out in faith and watch God do what seems to you to be impossible.Reflection: Do you ever truly operate by faith in God, or do you pretty much get by on what you know you can do on your own? When was the last time you had to depend on the Lord because you knew the situation was beyond your control? When you ask God to help, how confident are you that He’ll respond? Should we trust God to help us confront challenges in our jobs, or is faith to be reserved for “spiritual” endeavors?