Have you, or someone you know, struggled with an unexpected journey into the unknown? Did you wish you could stop the journey and go back to where you were, even if it wasn’t great? 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 a challenge of venturing into the unknown, of which a job search is toward the top of the list.
My job, like most jobs, wasn’t perfect. But there was much more good about it than bad. I knew what I was doing, liked who I worked with, and believed in the company. But was I really energized and was it what I really wanted to keep doing for a long time? If I’m honest, the answer is “no.” But taking the initiative to make a change wasn’t high on my list. I did look from time to time, but not an all-out campaign to find a different job.
Some people like the process of changing jobs because changing fits their personality. Others hate what they are doing or who they work for so badly they want to change. But for most of us, change means the unknown, and the unknown is frightening. We fear that if we make a change, it could be worse than what we have today. So we stay put. We might be unhappy and complain, but we know what to expect from one day to the next. We justify to ourselves that it’s not perfect, but it’s okay. But in not making a change, it’s possible we miss out on something that could be so much better. We might experience more joy. We might even get paid more or have better benefits. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that you wish you were back at your old job. It would be so much better than looking for a new one.
The unknown is scary but remember that you aren’t alone. Think about the time the Children of Israel were escaping from the Egyptians and saw them coming after them: As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses,
“Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!” (Exodus 14:10-12).
Even after escaping slavery and misery, at the first sign of trouble, they wanted to go back.
You are making an Exodus right now, whether you planned it or not. You might spend time thinking about going back. You might even dream that it was a mistake and that they’ll realize it and ask you to come back. Maybe you hope they’ll pay you to come back as a consultant, or if you were laid off, you hope you’ll be recalled. Just remember that God wants the very best for you—a life lived to the fullest as described in John 10:10 where Jesus says,
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.
God can open so many doors, if we just trust. Don’t spend time dreaming about your past. Dream of the wonders of God and all that he can do for you.