If I were a pregnant woman, somewhere just prior to the due date, I would think the question you want to hear least, but the question you may hear most, would be, “Had the baby yet?”
“Yes, sir, I sure did. Just waiting for the swelling to go down.”
“Oh, I’m not pregnant. Why do you ask?”
Or, “Yes ma’am. Had the first one, but they said, there may be another one of those boogers up in there. Just waiting to see what pops out next!”
Similar, but not identical is the daily grind of those who are unemployed.
They are quite aware that they are without a job.
They do not need to be reminded.
There is a great line from the movie, Walk The Line, where Johnny Cash’s character, played by Joaquin Phoenix, is waiting just off stage before a show at Folsom Prison, and is told by the prison warden to try and not remind the men that they are in prison.
Johnny Cash says, “Why? Do you think they forgot?”
The unemployed probably do not wish to explain why they are without work, though, in most cases, for example, mine, would make for an interesting story.
With me, I hear questions like, “Got any leads?” “Any bites?” “What do you do all day?” “Found a job yet?”, and, “I see that you are writing more often. Just looking for something to do?”
Legitimate questions each.
However, probably, like the pregnant woman, not the questions you want to hear more than once.
Here is what unemployed people do.
If they are the responsible, hard working types.
They get up at 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
They make all the beds.
They take out the trash.
They clean up any left over dishes from the night before.
They vacuum the house.
They put the cats out.
They walk the dogs.
They get showered and dressed, just like they are going to a real job.
If they write, as I do, they write between 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
They transition mentally and at 8:30 a.m. they began diligently searching for the next step in God’s plan for their life.
They spend the morning filling out on-line applications for everything from being a flight attendant to a warehouse worker.
They hear more declinations than you can imagine.
“No.”, “I am sorry.”, and “Unfortunately.”, become common place phrases they hear.
You then take some type of break, as you normally would, around noon.
Then at 1:00 p.m., you resume your search, writing follow up notes, making initial inquiries and encourage yourself and others that tomorrow will be even better than today.
You then mentally clock out around 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
You change your clothes as any one else might.
If you are a runner, you go run for a couple of hours.
You eat dinner.
You return to your desk at roughly 8:00 p.m., check email, read the news and return to writing, researching and studying between 9:00 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.
You then repeat the process roughly four to five hours later.
So roughly, on average, you are working, again on average, Monday through Friday, around seventy hours per week.
Saturday and Sunday will average around three to four hours per day, typically early in the morning or late at night.
And that is roughly what unemployed people do.
Certainly not all of them.
Just the ones that believe God truly does have a plan for each of our lives.
That God gives us Hope, so that in turn we might offer that same Hope to others.
That all experiences, both good and bad, is meant for our good and God’s glory.
That we are to encourage others, everywhere we go.
The down and out.
The up and out.
The down and in.
The up and wherever they may be.
The middle of the roaders who have not a clue as to what their life’s purpose is, or, if they even have one.
During the three years of public ministry as recorded, Christ and his closest followers, the disciples, who were unemployed, were supported by women.
Don’t believe that?
“Not long afterwards he began a tour of the cities and villages of Galilee to announce the coming of the Kingdom of God, and took his twelve disciples with him. Some women went along, from whom he had cast out demons or whom he had healed; among them were Mary Magdalene, (Jesus had cast out seven demons from her), Joanna, Chuza’s wife, (Chuza was King Herod’s business manager and was in charge of his palace and domestic affairs), Suzanna, and many others who were contributing from their private means to the support of Jesus and his disciples. Luke 8:1-3 (TLB)
The Bible is so interesting if we will just read it.
What does all of this mean?
That whether you are gainfully employed, or currently without vocational compensation, we all have one thing in common.
Our Hope in Christ.
Our belief that today is wonderful and tomorrow will be even better still.
That the best is yet to come.
That the potential that God has placed within you and I is unlimited, and then some.
That the access to God and the altar at His throne is just like Waffle House and WalMart, open twenty four hours a day.
You can feel His presence at 4:00 p.m., or at 4:00 a.m., as I did this very morning.
You can be assured that if you do not lose hope in Him, the Hope that has been placed within you, will neither be lost.
Over the past few days, I have exchanged emails with a friend who is a business executive, who follows our website.
He is experiencing a difficult time professionally, where the loss of jobs, his and others, are imminent.
He emailed me earlier today, and wrote, “John I am hoping you will continue to pray for me. I appreciate it more than you can imagine.”
I replied, “I certainly will. You have a future. It is a bright one.”
In a separate email exchange, with another friend, regarding professional opportunities, I ended my email to her this way.
“If you hear of any opportunities, domestic or international, where I might be able to help people, and be moderately compensated for it, please let me know.”
You have been given your experiences, as have I, for one reason, and one reason only.
That we might glorify God by serving others.
There is no reason to be scared, full of fear, nervous or afraid.
Employed or unemployed.
We each have the same access to Hope.
“Yes, he alone is my Rock, my rescuer, defense, and fortress — why then should I be tense with fear with trouble come?” Psalm 62:6 (TLB)
You should not be.
Nor should I.