This past week focused my attention on several new realities it’s difficult for me to admit. When my company first temporarily shut down, the concept of being unemployed seemed somewhat appealing. I could get paid for staying home and “relaxing.” What could be better?
Unfortunately, the reality was not “relaxing” at all! Each passing day, my mind returns to a conversation I had with my father when I first sought steady employment. He told me work would bring worth to my life. At the time, I remember rolling my eyes and thinking he was crazy. I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to work and appreciating the value of the work I did.
Yet now I wake up every day wishing for work. While talking to friends who complain about their heavier work load, I am envious of them. During these times, I have a growing desire to work. I want the struggles, the annoyances, the irritants – all elements I used to complain about in my job.
As difficult as my tasks at work used to be, they gave me a purpose. Coming home at the end of the day, I had a reason for my exhaustion because I had put in a good day’s work. Now I am discovering how plagued I am by anxiety. My biggest concerns are not even crucial issues – they are minor worries about preparing dinner or calling a friend at an appropriate time or returning a text.
Among all these trials, the Lord keeps taking the opportunity to teach me. Whenever I am confronted by a new concern about work or another stimulus to my anxiety, I am learning to seek Him out. There is absolutely nothing more important that should be placed as a higher priority. If I go to Jesus first, I receive His promise that He will take care of everything.
At this time when I really do not have that much to do, my gaze must remain fixed on the Lord. With each moment of every day, what can I give back to Him? This may be the best time to evangelize. There are so many people suffering and falling into despair, losing sight of the Lord.
In the moments when people approach me with concern, instead of admitting to my fears and anxieties, I can turn the conversation around. The truth is that amid all this chaos, I have found peace and even joy. When I can overcome the external voices making me afraid of my future, I can hear the Lord’s soft and calming voice.
He has not abandoned me nor has He abandoned this world. He is actually more present than ever and the best use of my time at this moment is to profess this to others. It may appear that I am in a difficult spot: I am not working, I have no guaranteed income and I am living on my own. The truth is I have my faith and it has set me free. I am not on my own; I am living in my Father’s house and He is taking care of me. There is nothing to fear.