Friday was supposed to be one of the worst days of my life. That’s what I expected it to be. And I was actually ok with it. I was ok with experiencing pain. I was ok with crying tears. I was ok with goodbyes that wrenched my heart. I was ok because I knew God was with me. He would hold me up.
But let me just tell you: God blew the shutters off my house. Yes. If Friday was like a house and the shutters on the house were my expectations of what that day would be — then He blew the shutters right of that house. Friday wasn’t the worst day of my life or my week or my year. No, it was one of the best days of my life.
Friday was my last day at a job that I loved. I was let go. But God didn’t let me go. He never has. He never will.
In the face of financial uncertainty, in the face of having no idea where I was going to go or what I was going to do next, I trusted Him. And He was faithful. No, He was more than faithful. I expected Him to comfort me. I expected Him to strengthen my heavy heart. I expected Him to dry my tears. What I didn’t expect Him to do was to open a door to a new job the very same day that is 100 times beyond what I was asking Him for.
All the while, people have been saying things to me like, “Well, we know God is in control. The job market is in shambles right now. I, myself, was unemployed for 14 months. But God is faithful.” Now, don’t get me wrong — I understand that the intention behind such a statement is to encourage me that God will never leave me. But such a statement paints God out to be more like an invisible friend that just stands next to you when times are tough — rather than the One who spoke the vast universe into existence, who placed millions of stars in the sky, who placed the waters in the ocean and set boundaries for those oceans so that they could go no further, who knit you and I together in our mother’s womb, who planned out our entire lives before one of them came to pass.
For some of these people, I understand that God is treated and expected to behave like an invisible friend. And for some people, they believe that because of complete ignorance — they just don’t know any better. For others, that’s who they want God to be. Either way, our false beliefs and misunderstandings have rendered Him powerless.
Will you come with me to God’s Word? In Matthew 15, the Pharisees came to point the finger at Jesus.
Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? They don’t wash their hands before they eat!” Jesus replied, “And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? (verses 2-3)
The Pharisees couldn’t understand why Jesus wasn’t doing things in the same way that the elders had done things in the past. Jesus answered by saying this:
“For the sake of your traditions you have rendered God powerless.” (verse 6)
And it’s no different today. People look to the news or the stock market or their past experience or their neighbor or their own fears for direction in a storm. It’s no wonder they get stuck there. People today are relying on tradition. Every time I turn on the news and listen to reports about the economy, I hear them take me on a journey back to the Great Depression. I hear them talk about how bad it was then and how long it took to get out of it, and how we can look to that experience to get us out of this one. What is tradition? It’s the way things have been done in the past.
Now, I’m not saying all tradition is bad. But what is bad is trusting in tradition (the ways things have been in the past) instead of trusting in God and what His Word says. If I were to trust in the traditions of others — what happened for them in the past, I’m certain I’d be unemployed — and for who knows how long.
I’m God’s daughter. I’m not subject to the economy, the bad job market, the bad experiences of others. I’m subject to Him and His Word. Let’s review that what Jesus said in Matthew 15: “Any why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition?” In other words, why do you look away from what God is saying and focus on the way things have been done in the past?
Let’s get back to God’s Word. What has He promised you? Whatever your situation is, find out what He’s promised you concerning that situation, then stand on it until it comes to pass.
God’s Word doesn’t return void. (Isaiah 55:11)