Now one of them …
glorifying God with a loud voice,
and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him.
Been watching my phone for, oh, about four months now. Each time it’s jangled (that popular old-fashioned ring tone that sends half of us diving for our pockets when we hear it in a crowded room), my heart has convulsed a little. Could this be the “yes” I’ve been holding my breath for?
Each time it hasn’t been. An appointment reminder maybe. My daughter saying she’d be home late. My grandson calling to FaceTime me. But never the call I hoped for.
Until two days ago. That’s when I heard these words: “Hi, this is __________ from MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). We’d like to offer you the job of Writer and Communications Coordinator.” My voice spoke calmly even as my heart boogied down. “That’s awesome. Thank you.”
Picked up my phone and started calling, emailing, and texting. (Good thing my keyboard is routinely blue-toothed to my iPhone.) Seems my whole world has been praying with me about this: Greg, my kids, my dad, my siblings, dear friends. I felt the need to tell all of them, right away.
As responses flew back to me, each one felt like a warm hug: “Can you hear me cheering from here?” “All in His timing, my friend!” “Praising God with you, woo-hoo!”
9 + 1 + me
The very morning of the phone call, I’d spent some time considering the ten men with leprosy whom Jesus had healed. Only one of them had returned to thank Him. Jesus had asked the grateful man, “Where are the other nine?”
In my journal, I wrote that perhaps they were anxious to be declared clean by the priests. Perhaps it didn’t occur to them to return and thank Him.
Or maybe—just maybe—they were too busy sending a flurry of texts to all their family and friends.
Standing in my kitchen to take a breath that afternoon, it was as if the gospel of Luke bopped me on the head. “Hey, you’re like those nine clueless guys!” It’s possible I had breathed a quick “thank-You” after hearing the good news from MAF, but I had no recollection of it. So I stopped that moment and thanked my gracious, faithful Father.
I’ve been trying to remember to thank Him ever since.
Today’s post may be my last for awhile. I start my new job on Tuesday, and I want to give it my best attention. It feels like a sacred trust.
So, today, it seems appropriate to wrap things up with gratitude.
First, I want to publicly express my gratitude to God.
It was He who flooded me with sudden, undeniable peace the moment I heard the words, “There might be a job opening at MAF.”
It was He who opened the door to that job, then closed it. It was He who opened a second door, and a third, each quietly clicking shut. Finally, it was He who opened this fourth door and—with one phone call and a glint in His eye—invited me to walk through it.
It was He who gave me the three prayers to pray, providing a framework for my faith all these months:
- Lord, please till my heart so it’s ready for whatever job You bring me
- Please lead me to the job where You’ll be most glorified in me
- I trust You
It was He who answered not only those prayers, but also the desires of my heart penned boldly on a page of my journal back in February.
And it was He who graced me with a host of comrades in arms who had my back during the moments when my faith faltered and my resolve wilted.
It is toward these prayer warriors that I now turn, with full heart, in gratitude:
To each of you who has prayed with me, hoped with me, commiserated with me, encouraged me, and counseled me as I’ve waited for a job, I offer my most profound and humble appreciation. I absolutely know I could not have endured this stretch of the path without you.
Furthermore, to each of you who has read my blogs, shared my blogs, commented on my blogs, and expressed what my blogs meant to you, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. You have honored me beyond words.
Until next time, I will be—as always—
Listening to the Shepherd (with you),