Flash forward 30 years and here I am, unemployed, bounced-off unemployment insurance (for doing the right thing, I believe), struggling to find clients for my business, driving a 15 year-old vehicle that won't last much longer and wondering where is the favor of God?
As the days roll on, and possible employment opportunities or clients become just smoke, I find myself tied up in a plastic bag full of fear. The fear expresses itself as anger at God, which morphs into guilt. Guilt because who am I to lash out at God when I could be a Syrian refugee; I could be a victim of trafficking; I could be shot at in Afghanistan; I could be homeless like a family member of mine presently is; I could have no food in the house because of an error at the state's welfare office which has happened recently to someone I know. In short, it could be worse.
So, what Biblical person can I identify with now? At the moment, I'd say Abram and Sarai in the 16th chapter of Genesis--this was before YHWH gave them new ID cards. They had been promised offspring, even though they were already beyond the usual age of fertility. Yet the couple kept aging and time kept blowing by like a strong breeze and they still had an empty cradle.
They do what most of us would do--if God's not coming through, it looks like it's up to us. Sarai tells Abram to have sexual intercourse with her young Egyptian maid, Hagar. This works like they thought it would, Hagar is impregnated and delivers a son, Ishmael. However, doing things their own way brings about the mythical origin of the Arab-Israeli conflict. Ishmael and Hagar are banished when Abram and Sarai's promised son arrives.
I want to hijack God's plan for my life (whatever that might be, I'm never privy to these things) except I can't. I can't make clients hire me; I can't produce money from oxygen molecules (I suspect I'd be a lousy counterfeiter, too); I can't do much of anything.
What I can do is trust and let go of the fear (1 John 4:18 & Revelation 1:17-18) though that, as the proverb says, is easier spoken than acted upon.
I cry out to God, I stare down my icons of Jesus, and I think those sounds and gestures never penetrate my roof line, but somehow when I least expect it, He comes through, He provides. Not how I would have it done, mind you (my lottery tickets have never netted me more than $10), but little things fall into place. Little by little, He shows me how stupid I am to doubt Him.
His love is hard, like a solid tree trunk at times; a love to be feared because it can't be reasoned with or cajoled, but it is the strongest love one could ever conceive of (or even the creation of one million and one monkeys banging away on typewriters, keyboards, and tablets).
"It's about vision/my vision..."