Keeping Faith While Unemployed
There’s something about being unemployed that takes it out of a man. The days drag on. You lose motivation to do the simplest chores. Inevitably you start to feel like a failure.
I remember reading about this phenomena before. About men becoming depressed and facing a crises of identity when unemployed. I always assumed that wouldn’t happen to me. People who get depressed about not having a job put too much of their importance and identity into what they do. I know that life is more than what you do for a living, and that we have purpose and value regardless of whether we’re working or not. Yet now I find myself unemployed and I’m feeling the same sadness, the same troublesome identity crises. I think I know why.
While I was working toward my degree I was confident I’d find a job quickly. Why? Because I’ve always trusted that God has a plan for my life. Sure the job market is tough these days, but somewhere out there is a position where God wants me to be. I figured that I’d look for a week or two and then find a job by an amazing act of providence. Some place would be looking for someone like me at just the right time and place. I was confident that it wouldn’t take long for God to put me to work.
Yet here I am, almost three months after my graduation, and still jobless.
That’s the reason I’m having a crises of identity. I always knew what I was: a servant of God, and a willing one. I’ve always been confident that God would find a place for me to be useful, a place where I could work hard and provide for my wife and for those in need. Now my faith is wavering. Was there ever really a plan? Did I do something wrong? Did I make some huge mistake somewhere and I’m on my own now? These are frightening thoughts.
I must remember to keep my faith. God has not abandoned me. Really it’s silly to have a crises of faith (even a minor one) over this. I have money in the bank that will keep us afloat for another month or two, and we have friends and family who can help us out if things get bad. When I think about all the people who have gone through far worse struggles, who have lost everything they had and kept their faith in God’s goodness regardless, I feel ashamed. If God wants me to be unemployed right now then this is the best place for me to be. If God wants me to be a pauper then I would not become a millionaire for anything. If God came down and told me that his plan for me was that I would lose everything (my money, my things, my wife, my family, my friends, and my health) then I would accept that plan as cheerfully as I could. God can see the whole picture of life; I can only see a tiny piece. I trust that his plan for my life if the best plan.
I’ll keep applying to jobs, and in the meantime I’ll try to write more and make more videos. That’s something useful I can do for him right now. Who knows? Perhaps I’ll get a job offer tomorrow. Perhaps I never will. Either way, I can take comfort in knowing that I am a servant of the most high God, and that he is a wise and caring master.