Waiting on the Lord While Unemployed - page 6


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From the Fall 2014 issue of Knowing & Doing:  

Waiting on the Lord While Unemployed

by Doug Greenwold
C.S. Lewis Institute Fellow, Senior Teaching Fellow, Preserving Bible Times

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Back to Work

  After eight months of this wonderful sabbatical with the Lord, I was offered a marketing position with a life science company. It was a bittersweet moment as I knew a very special time was ending. However, three years later I was suddenly unemployed again and one of my first thoughts was “is this déjà vu all over again?” A few days later, I woke up with this thought on my pillow: Spend more time with Me and write up the eight-month experience you had three years ago. So that is what I set out to do.

The Manuscript!

This time the sabbatical was seven months in duration. That allowed me to develop a manuscript with six chapters chronicling my first unemployment sabbatical experience, polish up those prayer meditations (Contentment, Brokenness, Anxiety, Competition and the Kingdom, Solitude and Silence) and the reflections I had drafted on aspects of the unemployment and job-search process (Joseph’s Career Ladder; Reacting Negatively to Networking; Dryness, Distance, and Waiting), and assemble the book. I also reviewed my Unemployment Journal and the books I had read for appropriate quotes and thoughts that spoke to me during that time, “gems” I wanted to share with others.  
  Eventually I was able to sit down with the editor-in-chief of one of the largest Christian publishers and review the manuscript with him. After politely listening to what I had assembled, he gently informed me that the majority of Christian books are bought by women over 50 years of age, and no newly unemployed man is ever going to accept that kind of book as a “gift” from his wife.  Thus, zero market potential! That was fine with me. I was obedient to the Call. Then it occurred to me, maybe there is a “remnant” out there (good biblical concept) who might benefit from this material.
  So I created ten photo copies of that manuscript, titled Waiting on the Lord: Spiritual and Emotional Reflections on Unemployment and the Job-Search Process, and offered it as part of my lending library whenever I heard about someone being newly unemployed. Over the past twenty years, those manuscripts have been circulated to hundreds of unemployed people. And now I have the chance to share some of that experience with you.

Lasting Lesson

  In this journey of faith, the way you perceive things—perspective—is crucial. Furthermore, the kind of glasses you wear will influence how your eyes choose to “see” things—as an unfortunate outcome (job loss, sudden illness) or an opportunity for a rich and sweet sabbatical time with the Lord. Will it be a time for panic or an opportunity to rediscover Shalom (Peace)? Is it a disappointing delay or a pause that refreshes? It is, after all, how you choose to view and experience the realities of life that matters. Not limited with the eyes of your mind (factually I know I am His beloved), but engaging the eyes of your heart (I’ve experienced the intimate reality of His love), because the eyes of faith are often the eyes of the heart. And for that to happen, the psalmist (37:7) prescribes “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him” no matter in which of life’s unexpected circumstances you suddenly find yourself.
Shalom, Shalom.

1. Kirk Dearman, Maranatha Music Praise Chorus Book.
 2. Scripture quotations are taken from the New International Version.

Doug Greenwold is the Senior Teaching Fellow at Preserving Bible Times, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and presenting biblical truth through contextual restoration of the biblical record. He received his BS, MS, and MBA from the University of Michigan, where he also played basketball. After serving for thirty-two years in the business world, he retired in 1999 to teach the Bible in context. Doug has written seven books and many articles, including Making Disciples Jesus’ Way: Wisdom We Have Missed. When not speaking and writing, Doug leads trips to Israel and is a frequent interview guest on Christian radio. Presently, Doug and his wife, Nancy, live in Columbia, Maryland, in close proximity to their three grown children and six grandchildren.

Recommended Reading:
The Practice of the Presence of God, by Brother Lawrence
Publisher: Whitaker House; New Abridged edition (June 1, 1982)

Brother Lawrence was a man of humble beginnings who discovered the greatest secret of living in the Kingdom of God here on earth. It is the art of “practicing the presence of God in one single act that does not end.” He often stated that it is God who paints Himself in the depths of our soul. We must merely open our hearts to receive Him and His loving presence. For nearly 300 years this unparalleled classic has given both blessing and instruction to those who can be content with nothing less than knowing God in all His majesty and feeling His loving presence throughout each simple day.


COPYRIGHT NOTICE:  Knowing & Doing is published by C.S. Lewis Institute; 8001 Braddock Road, Suite 301; Springfield, VA 22151. Portions of the publication may be reproduced for noncommercial, local church or ministry use without prior permission. Electronic copies of the PDF files may be duplicated and transmitted via e-mail for personal and church use. Articles may not be modified without prior written permission of the Institute. For questions, contact the Institute: 703.914.5602 or email us.
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