I cannot by my own reason or strength
You’re in a job search and it’s taking longer than you think. Patience in this process varies from person to person, but most of us get pretty anxious about the wait. If you are used to working, you’re probably not very good with waiting, so you want to fix things.
What can I control that I can fix? My resume, “should I re-write my resume?” My interviewing, “can I change how I interview and answer questions differently?”
It’s as if we think if we make these changes, a job will automatically appear. You can make changes to improve things, it’s part of the process, but those fixes won’t necessarily change things for you.
My good friend Lee was hearing my frustrations at the lack of progress in my job search. Lee and I were both raised in the Lutheran Church. He pointed me to a phrase that Martin Luther used in his Small Catechism that applies to those of us in a job search. The phrase is “I cannot by my own reason or strength…”
Lee reminded me that if was within my power, I would have already done it and had a new job. I can try all I want, I can fix my resume, apply for every job I see, reach out to every person I can think of, but I personally cannot create a job that’s a match for my skills. I don’t have that power, only God has that power. I must wait upon the Lord and put my trust in him.
Matthew 6: 25-34 talks about “Worry”. I encourage you to read it all, but I want to focus on the first three verses,
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
Take a closer look at the last verse you just read. Jesus asked those he was talking with if, by worrying, they could add an hour to the day. Of course, the answer is “no”. This text also speaks to those of us in a job search too, he could have said “which of you by worrying can create a job that matches your gifts?” In this section of the bible, God is saying to us “Relax, I’ve got this” for you.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything that you can in your job search, you should. But as my friend Lee told me once, “give yourself a break” and accept that you don’t control the outcome only God does.