Have you ever wondered, Why am I here? Maybe "here" is a certain job, location or even a church. I think we've all been there. No doubt, it's challenging to withstand something you're not passionate about or be surrounded by people you just can't seem to click with. Certainly, being stuck where you'd rather not be is a real test of your attitude and faith. Going through plenty of my own moments like these, I've learned a lesson that just might help you see a silver lining in any waiting season.
Beginning with my first job at 16 years old, I was very blessed. My passion and experience in those days was in internet programming, and I landed a part-time position at a local organization that paid me well for my age. A couple years later, I left for a faraway university to study more about the computer industry. I believed I'd go there to earn my degree and then instantly pick up at the level I left off. But I didn't.
After graduation, I spent months submitting applications, only to be met with curious and frustrating silence. 'Has God placed me on a shelf?' I wondered.
A Step Back
Eventually, some friends who managed a local Christian bookstore heard my plight and offered me a position there. But it didn't make sense. At the risk of sounding spoiled, the pay was lower than I ever made, the job had nothing to do with what I studied, and it included hours of standing, which I wasn't accustomed to. "This is a step back!" I complained to God. But my reserves were running thin, and I needed something. So, taking a punch to my pride, I accepted the job, and spent the next nine months at a place where I wondered, Why am I here?
Much has happened since those early years. I went on to other jobs—some of which I really enjoyed and others, not so much. But years later, as my life redirected into ministry, and the opportunity came to write my first book, I began to draw, not from my experience as a programmer, but from those nine months at that local Christian bookstore.
For years, I never understood the purpose of my short time there, but suddenly, it all made sense. And through it, I profoundly understood what's become one of my favorite Scriptures: "The Lord directs the steps of the godly" (Ps. 37:23a, NLT).
God Orders Your Steps
Your path won't always seem as though it's moving forward. Sometimes you'll experience what feel like sidesteps and setbacks. But be encouraged: One day, you'll look back on those jobs you hated and the places you didn't want to go, and you'll marvel at their purpose in your plan. Trust me, God knows what He's doing when He orders your steps.
Kyle Winkler (kylewinkler.org) is the creator of the popular Shut Up, Devil! mobile app. His latest book is Activating the Power of God's Word: 16 Strategic Declarations to Transform Your Life. Kyle holds a Master of Divinity in biblical studies from Regent University. Connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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