The holiday season is very difficult for those who are in a job search because everything slows down, decisions are delayed until the new year, and networking is more sporadic. This week’s blog is an excerpt from my book, How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them, focusing on when there is a delay in your search.

WHEN I FIRST BECAME unemployed, many who saw me passed on words of encouragement. Two of the most common were that “God has other plans for you” and “When one door closes, another door will be opened.” I liked both because they implied there would be a new job for me at a new place and, in my mind, it was just around the corner.

In Matthew 7:7-12, Jesus talks about “asking.”

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:7-12

So I prayed and prayed and prayed. I was in regular dialog with God, but nothing happened. Days turned into weeks and the weeks turned into months and then more months, with nothing opening for me.

I was often encouraged to go into the consulting field; I’d thank them for their kind words but said I’m not much of an entrepreneur. At my 25th wedding anniversary, a friend strongly encouraged me to consider providing human resources support for small businesses. I pushed it off as maybe someone who had too much to drink that evening. Shortly after that, another friend said almost the same thing and I began to think about it. Soon the idea was never very far from my mind and I began to talk about it with friends whose opinions I trusted.

When talking about it with a very dear friend, she said that maybe nothing had opened for me because going into business for myself was the door God wanted me to open. It hit me out of the blue: God doesn’t say which door will be opened to us. In my time off, I had directed my time toward one door, the one I was familiar with and felt most comfortable with. How about you?

If nothing is happening in your search, maybe it’s time to ask if there are other doors for you to consider, maybe even a door you’ve been avoiding?

At the end of his book, That’s a Winner!, baseball Hall of Fame broadcaster Jack Buck thanked all the people who ever fired him because it gave him a new opportunity to do something he probably wouldn’t have done on his own. Jack was right. You now have an opportunity that may not have come had this not happened. It doesn’t make the days go by more quickly or maybe make you feel better, but God gives us what we need, and he won’t let us down.

With God as your guide, you will be successful in whatever door he opens for you. Just start looking at all the possibilities.

Author’s note – If you’re curious about what I did, I went into consulting and God opened door after door when I stepped out in faith. This does not mean you should go into consulting but ask yourself if you’re holding back on something you should consider pursuing.

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