Earlier this month, Mia and I were talking about our future and how I would react when God takes me out of my comfort zone. As a believer in Christ, I confidently said, “lead me where my trust is without borders.” I didn’t know how swiftly God works. Within 2 weeks, God presented an opportunity at work which would take me out of my current location and be moved into a totally different area. A new location, a new team, a new environment and a new set of clients. I was confused and frustrated with God. I’ve created a good atmosphere at work since moving there early May 2014. I was already comfortable. Why does He want to move me again, for the fifth time, and now farther away from home?
1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, 2“Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” 3But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord. —Jonah 1:1-3a
Like Jonah, I was ready to be a servant of the Lord, to allow Him to take me where ever He needs me, but when it didn’t go with my plans, I refused. Jonah was a prophet, who taught about repentance and to seek God in prayer and fasting. He was chosen by God to teach His Word, but Jonah plainly refused and ran away from God. He went the exact opposite way of where God wanted him to go, believing that his own plan was greater than God’s. After a series of unfortunate events, Jonah was swallowed up by a fish. He repented to God, and was then spat out of the fish and God commanded him to go to Nineveh, where God initially told him to go. Everything could have been avoided, if Jonah just trusted God and His plans.
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” —Isaiah 6:8
I had a few weeks to decide on whether or not I wanted to accept the offer from work. I had to really pray about it and figure out what God really wanted me to do. A part of me wanted to say no, so that I could stay in my comfortable little bubble. I’ve established a great team in my current location. A team that continues to surpass all objectives and goals—winning against other teams in our district. I would leave that to start and lead a new inexperienced group of individuals in an outdated store. I was scared that I wouldn’t do well and annoyed that I would need to build new friendships and team dynamic with coworkers who are all new. What if they don’t respect the things that I believe in? What if they turn out to be terrible to manage and would not take direction well? There were a lot of issues that I needed to think about before making the decision.
I didn’t really tell anyone how much this situation bothered me. I wanted to just bring it up to God, to the cross and rely on Him. In that moment, I found Him testing me, and wanting me to prove that I would follow Him. After many prayers and searching for His direction, I decided to accept the path He laid out. I prayed and continue to pray that I will be more effective as a servant of God at the new location. I’ve come to the conclusion that in anything that I do, I do it in the name of the Lord, giving Him thanks (Colossians 3:17). He always has a purpose and maybe being at the new location, I would also be able to lead others to Jesus Christ. It might seem like a long shot to others, but all things are possible with God. I don’t want to be like Jonah, to go my own way and then end up to where God had originally planned for me to be, but stumbling along the way.
I came into my new store location and I already had a positive interaction with one of my coworkers. We were having a conversation about our life outside of work. He shared that he was born in China, moved to Peru when he was 7 and then came to Canada when he was 15 years old. The common thing he had in all three places were that his parents took him to a Christian church. He stopped going to church after high school and hasn’t gone back since then. After a long talk, he found out that I’m a believer. He asked me to pray for him and his wife, as they’re expecting their first kid. God is incredible! In the first few days, He already used me to remind my coworker of the love God has for him and his family. If I had chosen to go a different way, God would have used someone else and I would not have the pleasure to be used by Him.
8For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. 9For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. —Isaiah 55:8-9
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