When I was gone one Sunday, my aspiring mega-church pastor offered my job as music director to someone else. He never told me I was being fired, he just… replaced me and didn’t plan on telling me.
My wife and I had just bought our first house five months earlier based on a housing allowance raise that was given to us by that same pastor. We had to move out of the house to avoid financial trouble. My wife was devastated. I was an emotional wreck.
But looking back now, I’m actually really glad I lost my job. Here are five reasons why:
1. I was comfortable and it was holding me back
Comfort is often your enemy when it comes to pursuing dreams that God has put in your heart. It’s far too easy to sit back and say, “Well, the timing isn’t right on what I really want to do. I’m going to wait on God here in this comfortable job He has provided.” And then you never leave.
Losing my job forced me to take the little side gig I’d been dabbling in seriously. Now I’m doing it full-time and I love it. It’s quite possible that there is something great in your future that God needs to get you out of your comfort zone to accomplish.
2. It was a test
I hate tests, but when you pass them you get to move on to the next level. I believe God allows those tests to give us a chance to advance, if we handle it correctly. Keep a pure heart. Don’t get bitter.
This test was hard. I felt betrayed and abandoned. But I held on to 1 Peter 1:7: “the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honour at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
Losing my job gave me a chance to show how mature I really was in my walk with God. I had good days and bad, but based on what I see God doing now in my life, I like to believe I passed the test.
3. It reminded me where I get my security
When the money stops flowing, you figure out in a real hurry where you’ve been placing your trust. It’s easy to talk about trusting God when everything is within your power. But when you really have to lean on Him, trust takes on a whole new meaning.
Security is a myth. Your only true security comes from Jesus and His promise that He will never leave or forsake you. When something in life rocks your sense of security, make sure you run to the ultimate source of security.
4. I would have been miserable staying at that job
I always believed I had more in me than that job. But I convinced myself I loved what I was doing. I did like it, but it definitely wasn’t my sweet spot. In truth, it was actually starting to get a little monotonous for me. I often wonder how many years I would have spent living just short of what God really had for me. Thankfully, I was forced out. I can’t imagine how difficult it would be for me now if I was still there.
It’s easy to lie to yourself about how fulfilling you find your work. Maybe it’s because lying to yourself is easier than acknowledging that a change is in order. Losing my job made the decision easy. It’s important to remember that God is the one who truly knows who you are. He made you for a purpose. Let Him lead you to that purpose (however he decides to do it) and you’ll find true fulfillment.
5. It reminded me that my future is in God’s hands
I pray it all the time, “God give me direction and clarity.” He did. I lost my job. It was really clear. But rather than see it as God giving me clarity and direction, I got mad. How could you let this happen to me? All the while I was still asking for clarity.
I don’t understand God’s methods. But I know He’s determined to get glory from impossible situations. The harder it is, the better for God. If you are truly surrendered to God’s will, He is guiding your path. He’ll make it clear what roads you need to take. Even if that requires Him forcibly taking you off one road to get your feet onto an even better road. Trust God’s leading. He’s got a good plan for your life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Photo (Flickr CC) by José Manuel Ríos Valiente.