I remember sitting in a high school class one day, looking at my teacher, and wondering, “What could possibly possess a person to become a teacher! Why would anyone voluntarily commit themselves to be in school again once they had finally graduated…and escaped?” I mean, she looked like a reasonable, rational person.
My next thought was, “I would never be a teacher!”
So, in college, I decided to major in mathematics. My plan was to use my minor and become a computer programmer.
However, after I married and began to consider one day having children, I did what I said I’d never do. I changed my major to secondary education!
Things were fine until I found out I’d have to take a speech class! Being deathly afraid of public speaking, I quickly went back to the School of Science for a B.S. in Mathematics.
Again, I thought, “I will never be a teacher.”
Since then I have learned why people say, “Never say ‘Never’.”
And that’s because God has a way of working His plans regardless of my plans…and declarations.
God made me a teacher in spite of my plans.
Over the years, as God has opened the doors, I have wound up teaching Sunday school, homeschooling our girls for five years, and then teaching in Christian school for eight years! And loving it!
As a young teen, I couldn’t have seen myself as a teacher, but God has a way of directing our career path and putting us where He wants us to be to fulfill His plans for us. Those plans that He has “before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10)
As I read about Joseph this week in Genesis 40-42, I thought how he probably would never have thought he’d have the career path he did. God took him from a slave to the ruler of a kingdom!
And from a dungeon, to a palace!
Joseph wound up being put in command of Egypt, second only to Pharaoh! What an amazing career path! An impossible career path.
Yet God led him step by step.
What about your career path? Are you where you thought you would be at this point?
Or, are you in a place right now that seems like a dead end?
Maybe you are in a job with no opportunity for advancement.
Or, you may be a stay-at-home mom who has put her career dreams on hold and now that your children are older, would like to move forward…but there seems to be no way open.
Or, you may be like me and no longer have the job you loved. And are wondering, “What now, Lord?”
If so, then look at how Joseph handled his journey, his “career path,” and take heart. God will get you where you need to be. Eventually.
The glaring absence of complaint from Joseph during this time in his life makes it easy to forget just how hard Joseph had it for those thirteen years from the time he was sold into slavery by his own brothers and finally put in command over all Egypt. Yet, Joseph did suffer. He mentions “my affliction” and “my toil” and “all my father’s house” as he names his two sons. (Genesis 42:51-52)
So, what made the difference for Joseph? What kept him going when he couldn’t see his way out? When it seemed that all he would ever be in life was what he was at that moment…a slave and a prisoner?
His faith in, and fear of, God.
Joseph’s faith in God allowed Joseph to wait on God’s timing and to accept God’s path. Joseph embraced each step of his journey to the place God had for him ultimately to serve Him. He determined to be content and do his best where God had him.
As a result, Joseph was given more opportunity to grow in his abilities to manage and to lead. God was able to use Joseph’s trials to prepare him for greater service. And to lead him further along the career path He had for him.
Joseph’s fear and reverence for God led him to seek to always obey God, and to take his responsibilities seriously, even though they weren’t what he would have chosen for himself. Pleasing God was Joseph’s first concern. (Genesis 39:9)
Joseph saw no need to complain against the men who mistreated him or falsely accused him or forgot him. He also freely forgave those who wronged him. (Genesis 39:19-20, 40:23)
Joseph understood that God knows all and is in control of this world. And his life. (Genesis 41:16,32)
Joseph understood and lived the truth of Proverbs 3:5-6…that God directs our paths.
Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
When I lost my job in 2014, I had already learned that lesson. Praise God! I had already learned…more than once…that
As a result, I was able to just go on trusting that God would handle whatever needed handling and would take care of me and my family.
Although it was hard to no longer think of myself as a teacher…or be able to answer people’s questions with, “I’m a teacher”…God has guided me to the next step of my journey—here to Ladies Drawing Nigh!
Whatever your goals are or wherever you are on your path of life, know that God is in control. And, like Joseph, keep your heart free of resentment, complaint, unforgiveness, covetousness, jealousy, defensiveness, impatience, gossip.
God will direct all of our paths…including our career path.
So be content and do a good job…and
…as you watch for the next door God will open for you.
Drawing nigh to Him,
LET’S TALK ABOUT IT
Do you have a career path story to share? How has God directed your career path?
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