In Lieu of Grief

Deciding to leave your job without a backup plan seems to have the same crippling effect as the five stages of grief. I’ve been in denial about thirty times, and I have bargained, or better yet, wrestled with God throughout this process. I’ve accepted it, only to start my walk through the stages again. Many people have asked me, “What are you going to do now?” Faking bravery, I smile and say, “I don’t know.” While this answer suits me most of the time, I am often completely freaking inside the rest of the time.

Yesterday, I was freaking out internally again when I stumbled upon something in my Bible that I had written almost a month ago. It was something that God had showed me the same week I decided not to return to my teaching position in the fall.

For the full story, I suggest that you read Genesis 24. In brief, Abraham decides that it is time to find a wife for his son, Isaac. Abraham sends his chief servant into his homeland so that he may find a wife for his son.

There are five major events that take place during the servant’s journey:

1. He prayed. Before reaching Nahor, the servant prayed, “[God], give me success today” (verse 12).

2. He watched. “Without saying a word, the man watched [Rebekah] closely to learn whether or not the Lord had made his journey successful” (verse 21)

3. He gave thanks. When he realized that Rebekah was a potential partner for Isaac, he praised God (verse 27).

4. He told others. After Rebekah brought the servant to her father, he tells them of how God moved on his behalf and timely answered his prayer (verse 40).

5. He did not stop. While he took the time to tell the others of God’s work, he did not stay for long. He even asked Rebekah’s family not to detain him since the Lord had granted his request. He wished to return to his master so that he could share the good news (and the success) with him as well (verse 56).

Almost everyone at one time or another has felt as if they were on a journey. As anyone who has ever stepped outside the flat lands of South Florida knows, journeys aren’t all smooth-paved. Paths, much like life, curve and dip, jag and slope. Through it all, we have to remember the One who establishes our ways. This is why I felt so drawWindingRoadn to the character of the servant. When doubt creeps in, these details can help to keep wavering faith in check. The first thing he did with Abraham’s difficult request was to pray. Amazingly enough, before he had even finished praying, Rebekah showed up at the well that God had led the servant to. There, he waited and watched (probably the hardest part for any of us!). When the servant was sure that Rebekah was the proper helpmate for Isaac, he stopped and gave thanks to God right then and there. Unable to hold in his excitement, he spread the good news to everyone around him. Lastly, even though his request was answered, he did not stop. He immediately continued the work the Lord had prepared for him.

Maybe you are like me, and you find yourself on a new journey. Maybe you too are struggling with doubt and uncertainty.

As we navigate through new territory, it’s important to remember the actions of the servant and:

•Pray for success.
•Wait and watch for the Lord to move.
•Praise Him when he answers.
•Share the good news with others.
•Keep moving forward until the race has been won.


Journey on, Sojourner. Journey on.