Tony shared today that Habakuk 3 was written to be a song of prayer and instructed that it was to be sung, from chapter 3, with all their hearts, with wild passion and high spirited praise in spite of their trials and suffering at the time. Habakkuk inspires us to remember the faithfulness of God, even when he’s slow in coming. Even at our lowest, we need to be patient and wait for God’s victory because it just hasn’t happened YET.

Tony mentioned several going through difficult health struggles in our own congregation. It’s just so easy to internalize our own difficulties and think we’re going through a unique hardship.

Here’s what I’ve been dealing with: Finding a job has always been fairly easy for me. In my teens I cleaned boats at a dealership, sold shoes, worked in a grocery store and then a toy department of a large retailer, for brief times before being fired from each. Eventually I found a more permanent position as a telemarketer selling a small local newspaper. For some reason they’d hire dozens of telemarketers and fire most of them very quickly, but this came very natural for me and I wondered why more folks weren’t more successful. It was also very convenient as I went to college all day and then sold newspapers from 5-9pm. It was also right down the street from the Flanders roller skating rink (yes, very popular activity in NJ in the early 80s). The company identified me a management candidate and I learned that this business was responsible for circulation sales for some of the largest newspapers in the US. They offered me the opportunity to run the inside sales team for the Paterson News, one of the largest publications in NJ. I decided that since I was going to college to become a senior manager, I was already there at 18, so I didn’t re-enroll for my last semester and became the call center branch manager for the Paterson News.

Fast forward to today: I’ve been looking for a new job since late last year. In November, I was fired from Ricoh after 10 very successful years. The writing was on the wall after they changed the comp system and I was looking to get out anyway. I actually found a great opportunity at a competitor, but after Ricoh wiped out my whole sales team, the VP asked me to stay (even though I candidly told him I was on-boarding at a new company) and he even promised to interview me for the vacant manager’s role. I turned down the other opportunity and stayed, but a month later they wiped me out too for a bogus reason. Now I had neither job… I’ve been looking for a new permanent home ever since. I thought a job for a Ricoh dealer as the VP of Sales was the answer. After 90 days they breached the agreed upon contract, so I left. Another job a few weeks later ended similarly. I’m still in the midst of this pursuit and it’s consumed me. Then you get to put everything in perspective when you have a day like today.    

Nicky’s mom had risky brain tumor surgery recently. Then she received a call, that a close relative with inoperable cancer was going downhill fast and needed to fly to San Diego this week. She just called to tell me he breathed his last as she was holding his hand and speaking to him. Then Stephen Mitchell called to tell me our brother Charles Jamerson died in sleep. He had been diagnosed with cancer and was beating it. The prayers of Joe Stearns, Louie Avila, and Denise Janis (all who are battling severe health crises) at service today brought me to tears. I’m sure every one of these folks would trade trials with me in a minute.      God’s plan is that we’ll be patient, no matter what we’re going through, and wait for him to reveal his will for our lives. I hope that we can see the needs for everyone all around us and that we can keep it all in perspective. Our sufferings can be even more extreme, so we need to “consider it pure joy when we face trials of many kinds…” and pass the test with our faith.     Have a great week everyone !