I’m in it right now.
In my third favorite movie of all time (#1 depending on which day you ask me) Garden State, there is a scene where Sam (played by Natalie Portman) is helping Andrew (played by Zach Braff) sort out bottled up childhood issues which have caused him to live off of a cocktail of anti-depressants since he was a child: “My mom always says that, when she can see I’m, like, working something out in my head. She’s like, ‘You’re in it right now’ and I’m looking at you telling this story, and you’re definitely in it.” So what is it that I am working out in my head right now? What is it than I am in?
In the middle of the summer of 2010 (about six months ago), I wrote Taking a God-Nudged Leap of Faith, explaining that in order to mature in the Christian faith, there are points in our lives where we have no option but to either trust that God is faithful and will provide. During and after that process, we are left with the option of either publicly praising God or keeping it to ourselves. I also said that I believe it is these times in life that as opposed to just leaving us as fools hanging high and dry, God would rather be glorified by providing us what it takes to get through the problem, not around or over it. And now, as I am in it, airborne from one of these major God-nudged leaps of faith, I stand by my word and perspective.
On December 4th, 2010 (nearly two months ago), my wife and I moved from Nashville with our then newborn son, where we had good solid jobs because we believed we were supposed to move to my hometown where we would be surrounded by family and a slower pace, which we knew for us, would improve our quality of life. We didn’t move with expectations of immediately finding a job. And it’s a good thing we have low (and yet realistic) expectations, because so far, we have made zero income for well over a month now. Granted, we saved a “nest egg” for the big move, but each week that passes obviously reminds us of the fact that at some point very soon, we will need to be able to make an income again.
But while it was important to have the proper expectations in our move regarding the level of difficulty in finding the right job, it’s also important for us to have the proper expectations of what God will do for our family of three, granted that we pray in all faith that God will provide a job so that we can provide for our family. At first, I would pray that God would provide the right job for me. But then I got more creative and started praying that God would create the right job- because I believe if that’s what it takes, that’s what He can and will do for us. It’s also important for me to keep in mind that my particular situation is not at all unique to me: Surely all of us have ancestors than ended up here in America either by force, by fleeing, or by taking a leap of faith in hopes of a better life.
Really, my situation is completely unoriginal. I am far from the first to pray to God about this, which to me is so much more of a reason to have faith in His faithfulness. One of my most favorite verses in the Bible regarding faith is Hebrews 11:1 which says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” That nugget of truth is ironic and a bit of a paradox. If I truly am assured in what I hoped for and I’m convicted of what I don’t see, my faith is no longer simply faith. Instead, it’s simply knowing. And that’s the kind of faith I’m choosing to adopt here.
Right now I am airborne- neither falling or flying. Just waiting to land this jump. I may be “in it” now, but I know that soon, in God’s time, this moment will simply be a memorable point of reference in my life.
Things God has taught me to pray for because of being in this situation:
1) I pray that God will provide so that I can provide for my family. I am completely recognizing that the only way I can support my family is if God supports me.
2) I pray God that will allow me to find favor with the right people. I am completely recognizing that it’s not up to me or any other person; it’s in God’s hands alone.
3) I pray that God will create a path for me. I am completely recognizing that maybe the way through this doesn’t already exist, but God is easily capable of speaking a path into existence.
4) I pray that when God does provide, that He will also provide multiple and creative ways that I can glorify Him for His faithfulness.