Warning: mention of God to follow - if it offends you, replace term with the 'entity' of your choice.
I have a hard time looking to God for the answers because I used to never think he would give me an answer or was even listening for that matter. But lately, I've made a conscious effort to try to pray and actually listen for an answer. AND - I've received a response and it blew me away!
For example, I struggled with extreme anxiety when I started my new job. Every morning I would feel like an insignificant impostor. One morning I prayed that God would remove this anxiety and help me feel significant and of worth. Something a little more powerful than the affirmations you hear by Stuart Smalley (SNL), "I'm good enough, smart enough, and doggone it - people like me!" I was walking into this huge, luxurious office building tower surrounded by affluent people who were well put-together, feeling insignificant and anxious, and a thought popped into my head like God speaking to me, "I am bigger than all of this."
A simple sentence with huge meaning. It stuck with me and helped me grow closer to God and stick with him. I felt more significant, special, loved, cared for and at peace. I've carried it with me and it has helped in many new, intimidating experiences.
Now I just have to think of something else to ask, like, how can I be more productive at work and stop getting so distracted by the Internet? That's a tough one!
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Career Plans @ Work by Helen Mitchell
“For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” - Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
When my daughter was 8 years old and in third grade, we were talking about the life that lies ahead of her and what she wanted to be when she grew up. We read this verse together and I explained it this way.
I asked her to imagine that she is going to take a test and the teacher told her that she had two options to complete the test. First, she could do it on her own or a second option would be to ask the teacher for the answers. She looked at me as if this was a trick question. I reassured my daughter that if she chose to ask her teacher for the answers to the test she was taking, she would not lose grade points and the teacher would actually give her the answers to the questions she asked.
Through her big blue eyes I could see that she was considering what I just asked and was weighing all the options. I asked her what she would do and she said, ‘ask the teacher for the answers.’ Exactly!
Isn’t that like life? God has already told us that He has a plan for our lives to be prosperous, joyful and full of future. So why do we try to do it all ourselves? God is the great career planner. He gave us our talents, skills and abilities and He knows just how to use them so we will have both joy in our work and glorify God through our work.
“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” - Jeremiah 33:3
Jeremiah 33:3 is a promise. If you call out to God, he will answer and give you wisdom that you cannot fathom. So why do we try to do it all ourselves?