Contentment in the waiting

The news was officially in this week that my position was merged into one subject and I had to be bumped out due to my temporary contract status. While I knew it was inevitable, it still didn't relieve the heartache that I felt as I began packing up my things and processing the fact that I have to say goodbye to colleagues and students I have become so connected with over this year. I poured my heart into my job because it was, during this season, the absolute best job I could have asked for. I was so privileged to have been called a staff member at my school, and a teacher to my students. And yet, my hope throughout this process is that beyond what I can see, this might mean I'm going from "good" to "great" without even knowing it; or from "great" to "amazing."

As I took a break from packing my room yesterday, I stopped to read my devotional. It was so perfectly fitting  that I couldn't help but just thank God for His comfort in those words. Rather than try to re-articulate what was written, I'm just going to write excerpts from it for you below, so that if you're experiencing any time of uncertainty in your life right now, you can be encouraged as well: (From the June 10 - 11th devotional in Streams in the Desert)

"I once met a poor woman who earned a meager living through hard domestic labor but was a joyful, triumphant Christian. Another Christian lady, who was quite sullen, said to her one day, 'Nancy, I understand your happiness today, but I would think your future prospects would sober you. Suppose, for instance, you experience a time of illness and cannot work, or suppose your present employers move away and you cannot find work elsewhere. Or suppose--" "Stop!" cried Nancy. "I never 'suppose,' The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. And besides, it's all that supposing that's making you so miserable. You'd better give that up and start trusting the Lord. "Be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.' So we say with confidence, The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?" (Hebrews 13:5-6)

Romans 8:28 "We know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose." What a tremendous claim Paul makes in this verse!He does not say, "We know some things," or "most things" or even "joyful things," but "all things." This promise spans from the very smallest details of life to the most important, and from the most humbling of daily tasks to God's greatest works of grace formed during a crisis. Paul states this in the present tense: "God works." He does not say, "worked" or "will work." It's a continuous operation. 

Then, when God orchestrates "all things...for the good," it is a beautiful blending. He requires many different colors, which individually may be quite drab, to weave into harmonious patterns. Separate notes, tones and even discords are required to compose melodious musical anthems; a piece of machinery requires many separate wheels, parts and connections. One part from a machine may be useless, or one note from an anthem may never be considered beautiful, but taken together, combined, and completed, they lear to be a perfect balance of harmony. We can learn a lesson of faith from this, "You do not realize now whatI am doing, but later you will understand." (John 13:7). In a thousand trials, it is not just five hundred of them that God "works for the good," of the believer, but it is nine hundred and ninety-nine, plus one.

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