What I read today;
2 Corinthians 11; Luke 1; Isaiah 43; Psalm 3; Judges 19; Genesis 43
In the late 1990s had a two-year stretch where things just seemed to go from bad to worse. In 1998 I found out my employer had done something quite unethical. I made the decision to leave the company and start a consulting agency. In spite of what the individual had done, I felt loyalty to the company. So after I made the decision to leave but decided to give my employer ample notice. That’s when things went wrong.
I was fired before I had an opportunity to get the necessary certifications set up with my new employer. Since I had no income or health insurance and had a diabetic daughter, I made the decision to call a competitor of my former employer who had been trying to hire me for years. He immediately engaged me. Two days later, I received a FedEx package stating I was being sued for taking a job with a competitor.
My lawyer said that there was no case, but I could leave a $1000 retainer with his secretary. In other words, this was going to be costly and painful. We wound up settling, he paid me a severance package, and I ended up opening my agency. But then things went from bad to worse.
People I knew wouldn’t speak to me. Former coworkers stopped talking to me. People in the industry I worked wouldn’t return my calls. People who had said they’d hire me for consulting work suddenly backed out. We proved two years later that my former employer had been attempting to blackball me.
I wound up taking a job in a factory, then later a call center, just to pay the bills. There was never enough money, and it was nearly impossible to keep the lights on and a roof over our head. My wife was forced to go back to work. Even our combined wages didn’t keep up with the salary I lost. I didn’t sleep for months.
I had to keep going for my wife and daughters, but there were times that I wanted to quit. My wife never blamed me, but the guilt I felt was incredible.
One thing kept me going during all this turmoil.
It was the promise that God would get me through. He never promised it would be easy, but he promised to get me through.
The words of Isaiah 43:1-7, give us God’s promise to always be with us through every storm:
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia, and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth—everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” NRSV