Written By Mikaila Bisson, USA
For the first year after graduating university, I had an internship and worked an interim job at my alma mater. These short-term positions were expected, as I had just entered the workforce—but once the positions ended, I was eager to find a “real” job and some consistency.
It was at this time that I really started praying for God to help me find a more permanent job.
However, by the end of my second summer after college, I was still jobless and had moved back in with my parents—something I vowed I would never do. Every day I would apply to jobs—any jobs! And while I had interviews for a handful, most of them didn’t pan out; companies would decide to hire internally, or jobs were mysteriously dissolved (What?!).
Eventually, I took a leap of faith and a few months’ worth of savings (in which time I was sure to get a job, right?), and moved to the city I wanted to live and work in.
As the months passed, my bank account dwindled, and no employment offers came, I rapidly lost hope that God would give me what I desperately needed—a job. Finally, when I had only $100 to my name, I sank into depression. Where was my God now? Couldn’t He see I was suffering and calling out to Him by the hour?
As much as I wish I could say that this low of lows brought me closer to God, it did the opposite. I was angry with God from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I expected Him to take care of me, or at the very least listen to me . . . and every day, all I heard was another, “no”, or more deafening silence.
Walking with God in Anger
Church and my faith were the only constants in my life, and as hard as it was to go to church sometimes—especially when a sermon on “vocation” left me battling away tears and disappointment—I still learned something about God and myself every week.
Lent (my favorite reflective church season) was particularly eye-opening that February, as it gave me space to walk alongside God in my anger through journaling, somber Lenten services, and reflection. I started to see how much He’d blessed me with—a support system, a house to live in, and a backup plan of parents who would gladly welcome me back home if needed.While I continued to process through my feelings of anger during those Lenten months, I stumbled across a Bible story that brought me a new perspective on God’s provision.
The story is found in John 11:1-16. Here, Jesus finds out that His dear friend, Lazarus, is very sick. From past interactions, we know that Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus were friends. But when Mary and Martha sent for Him, Jesus stayed where He was two more days before going back to Judea. Two more days? What was Jesus thinking? His good friend was desperately in need of His healing power, yet He chose to stay in Judea while Lazarus’ sickness turned fatal.
Seeing the Glory of God
This story has always confused me. Why would Jesus not come through for His friends immediately? But after reading Waiting: A Bible Study on Patience, Hope, and Trust by Sharla Fritz, I’ve come to a clearer perspective of why Jesus did what He did.
In John 11:5-6, we read,
Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So when He heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was . . .
So. That one word changes everything. Because Jesus loved these people, He stayed where He was.
Later in the chapter, we read,
Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God? . . . Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face (John 11:40-44).
Why did Jesus stay where He was? To show the full measure of His glory in this situation by raising Lazarus from the dead four days later. To show that even though all seemed lost, He could do the impossible, and He is someone worth putting our trust in. To remind us that He acts according to the big-picture that we can’t see, or even imagine.
Even If We Don’t Understand
As I kept thinking about this, I realized that God didn’t owe me a job. Instead of demanding He give me one according to the plan I had laid out, I could share my desires, frustrations, and prayers with Him, but surrender the answers to His big-picture plan. Thankfully, His big picture plan did include me getting a full-time, permanent job—a great job at a ministry where I am able to grow in my profession and my faith, more than I ever thought I could.
God deserves our trust because He always does what’s best. In Mary and Martha’s situation, what was best was that their brother was raised from the dead because this act showed the enormity of what God can do. At this point in my life, I don’t understand why waiting for a job during that season was best for me. Although waiting built my trust in God and His plan, I’m still not sure how it will show His glory in the future. But even though I don’t understand, I know now that I can trust Him to provide for me—though it might not look the way I want it to.
And while I still feel a bit battered by the whole experience, I know Jesus will welcome me, and all my confusion and disappointment, into His arms . . . just as He wept with Mary over her loss (John 11:33-35), even though He knew He was about to bring Lazarus back to life.