Even This
Marybeth Whalen

"So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them." Genesis 50:21 (NIV)

I hung up the phone, still not believing what I had just heard. My husband, our main income earner, the provider for our family of eight, had just lost his job. I felt numb. I felt sad. I felt angry at his employer.

But by later that afternoon, all of those feelings were melting away and being replaced by one feeling: peace.

In the months that have followed, we have seen God at work. We have felt His presence. We have learned to trust more and pray harder. And we have felt that abiding peace in the midst of uncertain circumstances. We have practiced true childlike faith in that we don't know what's coming next, and yet, we simply trust. Our faith has been shaken but not broken. We have come to a new level in our marriage and in our own individual walks.

As we have faced this trial of being jobless in a bad economy with six little faces looking at us for provision, we have learned what it means to not worry about tomorrow (Matthew 6:34). We have learned to say "We have everything we need for today" and leave it at that. We can't predict or control the future, yet we know with certainty that God has already been there, reaching where we can not go and making the rough places smooth, just like He promises in His word (Isaiah 42:16). God has used this job loss to make Himself more real and reachable to us than He was before.

Is it odd to say that this job loss has been a blessing? A pathway to a new place we could never have reached if things had stayed the way they were? God uses everything in our lives to draw us closer to Him. Even the bad stuff. Even the stuff we never would choose. Even the trials that shake us, that leave us different than before.

In my novel, The Mailbox, the main character Lindsey finds that God used some unexpected circumstances in her life to bring her to a place she would never have imagined. She learns that she can even be grateful for the heartache and welcome the paths that looked like wandering. These paths weren't on her map, but they were on God's. She can see His fingerprints on every wrong turn, every tear, every setback. And in the center of all of that, she can see the grace and mercy that were extended to her time after time. She sees a loving Father who can take our scraps and make a beautiful garment.

Throughout this trial, my prayer has been for God to take even this and use it for His glory. As I write, I do not know what will happen with my husband's job. I do not know what direction He will take our family in. But this I know: I can trust wherever He leads. And I can know that He does use everything—even job loss, even the hard things of life. In the end we will find Him faithful. In the end we will find Him true. In the end we will see what He has done and marvel at His ability to use everything and waste nothing. Even this.

Dear Lord, I know that You will use even this in my life to radiate Your glory. Help me to worry less and trust more. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on You even as the waves crash around me, for I know that You are there in the midst of this storm in my life. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know Him?

The Mailbox by Marybeth Whalen

Visit She Reads for an exciting giveaway today!

For more encouragement, check out Jobless – Hopeful

You are My Hiding Place, Lord: Finding Peace in God's Presence by Emilie Barnes

Application Steps:
Spend time journaling about something that are hard in your life right now. Do you believe God can use even this? Write down what you are feeling and thinking and then copy today's verses in your journal.

Is worry or anxiety or fear gripping you? How can you stop hanging onto those feelings and let God's peace replace them?

Power Verses:
Hebrews 12:11, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." (NIV)

Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)

© 2010 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.

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Blogger Unknown said...

Hi, I am new here and I just wanted to take a moment and say Hi. My husband has been laid off twice in two years. Right now he is unemployed and we have 3 children. We have seen some hard times but God has always remained faithful. We have lost our home, our jobs, ect but none of that matters. What maters is that we trust God and He has always provided for us.

Due to the trails we have been though I started my blog a year ago Honoring The King. I blog about how you can get items for free, save money by using coupons, and I share words of encouragement with my readers. I would be honored if you would stop by.
Take care!

Blogger Christa Allan said...

Thank you for the reassurance and for reminding me who truly is the source of all we need.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lost my job a year and a half ago and was the main bread winner for our family. In the midst of this we had our 3rd child 12 years after the first two. It has been a roller coaster of emotions. But God has blessed us over and over again.
We don't know what tomorrow will bring but God is Good All the time!

Blogger Familyof6inTX said...

Thanks for the reminder. Last year my husband and I made the decision to close our business and move halfway across the country where opportunity seemed better. This meant we were moving to a new place, both unemployed and with our 4 young children. I was able to find work fairly quickly (about a month after we arrived) but my husband is still searching. We have found a closeness in our family that I would not trade. While I know my kids would love more "stuff" all our needs are met and we are happy. I know God will provide as HE knows we need if we just trust Him.

Anonymous Laura L. said...

I'm so glad I took the time to read your devotion today. It is very reassuring. Sometimes we all need reminders that God is in charge and providing for us even when we do have a job. It's all Him, all the time. He is an awesome God that cares for us beyond our understanding.

Blogger DaB0se said...

My first thought after reading the blog and comments is "but for His grace..."

We have been so fortunate, and my thoughts and prayers go out to each and every one of you who have had to face uncertainty and turmoil.

I am impressed by the show of faith and courage in you all.

May God bless!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the wonderful post and reminder that God is love and we are blessed always!

Blogger Sharon Sloan said...

"The LORD does not let the righteous go hungry..." Proverbs 10:3

I love this devotion and how God has brought you to a deeper place with Him during this time. Thank you for all you shared.

Continuing to pray for you all. Praying and watching what He will do...and then will give Him the praise and rejoice with you!


Blogger T-Reese said...

God is always faithful. I lost my job 2 years ago. I couldn't understand why especially when I was pregnant with our second child. But God has been so good to us. He has made our $ stretch beyond what we could ever do with 2 jobs. My hubby has had an increase of over $10K in one year and God has granted me my desire to be a stay at home mother. Again it has been 2 years and I have NEVER seen the righteous forsaken NOR their seed begging for bread. God is awesome and I have learned and am still learning what it is like to have that childlike faith as well. Thank you for this reminder to keep my eyes on the prize. Amen.

Blogger The Craig Family said...

i havent been reading proverbs31.org as often as i used to, but am reading this morning as I help a friend whose 2 year old prob. wont make it. I have now read the 2nd "plug" for the book "the mailbox" and disgusted as this shameless plug disguised as a "daily devotional", twice in the last couple minutes. Please adopt a no-plugs rule or your site will continue to become devotionals/classified ads.

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