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    The Mudslide that Swallowed Philadelphia

    October 9, 2010

    Dave had a job interview Tuesday in which they pretty much told him they’d call by the end of the week with an offer.

    But yesterday (Friday) dragged by, hour by snail-paced hour without a phone call (I’m sure the acid in my stomach increased by the fluid ounce with each passing minute once the afternoon hit.). Based on the way they talked at the interview, we figure that either a mud hole suddenly opened up and swallowed Philadelphia, or Bill Gates put in for the job right after Dave, agreeing to do it for free.

    From the time that I figure all business offices in the Eastern Standard Time zone close for the day, I curled up in my green La-Z-Boy and cried until dinner. I ate a tiny bit of whatever Dave threw together, and then cried some more. And, I must admit, I felt just a teeny, tiny bit madatGod.

    We’ve been at this for five years now (including three years of full time grad school, which is dignified poverty, but still poverty). That’s 40 years Israelite wilderness time, right? We should be done. Haven’t I learned my lessons?

    I don’t need more shoes. Check.

    I understand people who are unemployed. Check.

    The purpose of wealth is to help those in need. Check.

    I must pray for and bless my enemies—those scrumptious darlings that seem to know exactly what Dave should do to get a job, and why he doesn’t have one. Check. [This was one of the hardest lessons to learn. But the day I realized that “God turned Job’s captivity when he prayed for his (judgmental) friends”  was the day I decided to forgive mine.] See Job 42:10 (parenthesis mine).

    I am NO DIFFERENT than those who don’t. seem. to. care. Check.

    I need to learn patience, and to trust God in times of perplexity. We’re still working on that one.

    There I was last night, telling God that I’d learned my lessons, and stating all the reasons this job is perfect for Dave. And what did I get? Silence.

    Then I had one of those “Peter moments,” like when a bunch of disciples got offended at Jesus and ran off for good, and Jesus looked at his closest friends and said, “Are you going to bolt too?”

    And I found myself saying–like good old temperamental, unstable, double-minded Peter–“Where else am I going to go?”(John 6:66-68).

    So I stood there at my kitchen island, chopping tomatoes and onions for salsa, tears streaming down my face—partly from the onions and partly from my dilemma: The source of my utter frustration and borderline despair was also my only source of hope. I saw myself beating His chest with my fists and finally collapsing into Him, surrendering in His embrace.

    And then I did the only thing I know to do when nothing makes sense:

    I rejoiced. It hurt at first. But I kept priming the rusty pump.

    I thank you that Dave just came bounding in the door, knowing he didn’t get the phone call, and yet he’s happy. I thank you that my husband has never once in five years been depressed over this.

    I thank you that we are all healthy. We haven’t as much as a cold.

    I thank you that we all love each other.

    I thank you that we have everything we need, and more. In fact, we are filthy rich.

    I thank you for this fresh salsa.

    I thank you for this happenin’ log house.

    I thank you that you have our back.

    I thank you that you won’t let Dave get the wrong job.

    And on I went. Within minutes I felt something that I hadn’t felt for a while. It was better than what I’d felt two nights ago, when we all went out to celebrate the job we thought for sure he’d bagged.

    That was happiness. Which always depends, of course, on what’s happening.

    But this—this was Joy.

    On Monday Dave will call and tell them that he is in fact better than Bill Gates for the job. If they don’t agree, I’m still good.

     “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 43:5

    7 thoughts on “The Mudslide that Swallowed Philadelphia

    1. j frost says:

      I think I understand what you are experiencing…maybe more from our hubby’s perspective, but either way I know it isn’t a fun place to live.
      When I do get what looks to be a wonderful opportunity in front of me, my reaction is to become very hopeful, very focused on the potential…and then when the opportunity crashes in front of me my reaction becomes one of almost dispair. The next opportunity that looks so good then comes along, and my reaction is one of more guarded hope…and when that has crashed as well, dispair in actuality begins to set in. It has happened too many times….and I find myself once again with an opportunity hanging out there like a carrot on a string, and I want to hope, I want to start to focus on the potential and see how well I can fit into the job and situation….yet I find myself in a place of fear of hope being deferred once again, and the stresses grow.
      I like your reference to the praise…as if priming a rusty pump. I feel that is what must come now…and that the pump has just about been seized up, rusted tight, and that any motion of any sort will result in breakage…
      But you have encouraged me to begin to put oil to the machinery, and attempt the process once again, regardless of whether the job works out or not.
      I guess we all need to continue on, encouraging one another…

    2. Faith says:

      Thanks for your feedback, Jack. Someone in church today asked me about the job status, and when I gave her the report, she said, “And I bet it didn’t even phase you, did it?” (Thanks for the vote of confidence!) I wish I could say that I pass all these tests with flying colors, but “one thing I do, forgetting those things that are behind (like my momentary lack of faith), I press forward….” I take comfort in the fact that even Peter, who had the faith to walk on water, suddenly lost his bearings and started to sink. I’m glad Jesus didn’t respond with, “You are so done with surfing lessons, loser!” He pulled him back up out of the water, and of course Peter went on to become the great, fearless world-changer of Acts. We’ll get there!;)

    3. Anonymous says:

      You are human, and God has taught you so much through all of this. You went right where you needed to go…into the arms of God. He is the only ONE who loves you unconditionally! We’ll keep praying for God’s will. Love from North Carolina…:)

    4. Faith says:

      Thank you, Mary! <3

    5. Anonymous says:

      as much as i am not happy for you and your family to have to struggle through these real life issues…

      i must also confess that seeing your public and humble accounting for your trials has brought me closer to you, but really HIM in my own job struggles.

      it is part of a deeper mystery of why we are allowed to struggle despite our prayers. my antidote has been strong praise and gratitude for the trials (and tons of scripture) in the face of constant rejection.

      that has not only gotten me through, but deepened my love for our Lord in a way i could never have imagined. at first it was “fake it till you make it” with the gratitude, now it is turning into intimate joy at His love for protecting me from others, but especially myself.

      i want some “good” things, but i am starting to fear the easy things and my fall… oh, we humans are something! anyway, thank you, Faith. hold fast to these times, and each other. i know they are being used for good in ways you will see after this life. we are but a few commenters here.

    6. Faith says:

      You have encouraged me. Thank you! 🙂

    7. Love you, my friend… You encourage me, too, in ways you can’t even imagine. Walking through the desert seems easier when you’re not walking alone.


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