Finding rain in the desert.
In the past few years, I’ve had repetitive experiences in the workplace that produced much confusion and disappointment inside my heart and mind. God has given me the undeserved grace of living out the beauty of a poured-out life. I knew the unspeakable fulfillment of giving of myself out of love for God in order to bless others, but somewhere along the way, the enemy targeted exactly there. I had people take advantage of my desire to serve God by throwing me in the hardest places and misunderstanding my effort to humbly serve God for lack of confidence and foolishness. It happened over and over again until I got to the point of seriously questioning whether or not it is worth ever giving my all in love. The enemy’s lies seemed much closer to the truth than what I knew to be true and I was hurt after such repetitive attacks. To me it was a real battle and it started debilitating me to the point that I felt like I was coming to the end of my faith. If I was doing the right thing, why was I being exploited and why wasn’t I receiving peace in return? It was’t until recently that God helped me to see that I’ve allowed the evil that was done to me to be instilled inside of me because I started picking up the weapons of darkness instead of those of light. I was starting to believe and live out the lie that in today’s society, the only way to survive is to live an inward-focused life instead of an outward-focused one. It is a miserable existence and I never thought I would end up living this way but the enemy knew exactly where to hit in order to disorient me from my true calling. One morning a few weeks ago, I was reading a devotional on the story of Abraham and Isaac and the writer posed the question, “What is your Isaac?” In that moment, I knew that I was holding on to something that I needed to surrender in order to experience the joy and fulfillment I once knew. My Isaac was my right to receive fair treatment in the workplace but I was rather expected to always do more while others purposely did less and got away with it. I questioned why this was happening to me and I found it hard to trust that it was allowed in my life for a purpose. Nothing made sense to me but I started asking God to help me discover the peace that I so longed for. I wanted to enjoy the gift of work that He had so faithfully provided but work was sucking the joy right out of my life. In His mercy, God started to give me the strength to lay everything down and to start doing everything for Him again and to look to Him only. I chose love instead of resentment and as I stepped out in faith where there seemed to be nothing to step unto, I found a firm foundation underneath my feet. Miraculously, within a few days my perspective completely changed. It was no longer about me but about brining honour to Christ by showing love when it was least deserved and choosing to do the hard thing when others would choose self-preservation. I can’t even begin to explain how much peace and refreshment I received. It has changed my life! I am able to enjoy my work again and to shine a light in the midst of a crooked generation. I was able to overcome every hurt and the voice of God became clearer to me again. Of course, there are times when the enemy tries to attack me again but I pray for strength to choose the road less taken of self-denial in a world that serves self at any cost. I know that God has allowed me to be in this hard place for a beautiful reason and it is not something to be resented but cherished. He has rained blessing upon my life in the midst of my driest desert!
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.
Proverbs 11:25 (esv)