Today I received an email telling me that I didn't get the position that I applied for at a local company. Although I know that God will take care of everything, and that I'll have a job, and my fiance will have a job, I can't help but feel hopeless.
In our faith, we are taught to believe that no matter what happens, God is there for us and with us, working things out, and creating bigger and better opportunities. I teach my Religious Instruction kids this, telling them stories of bible greats who fell to the mighty power of doubt and hopelessness. But in their defence, who can blame them for giving up? For not fighting harder? For not getting stronger in the face of greater and greater adversity?
Thinking about men like Moses, John the Baptist, and Apostle Peter, I am struck by the incredible things they did - and how much we think about their weaknesses, held up as examples for how we must not be.
Moses lead people through the desert for forty years, listening to them grumble and complain, trying to understand why they had to take the long way, and watching people around him die, be born, grow, and die again. Can you imagine how hopeless of a situation that would be? One can say that they had everything provided for them - they never knew want in regards to food and shelter, and God was always with them, even talking to Moses in the form of burning bushes and the like. But after forty years, how faithful and hopeful could one human being possibly be? I would smash a rock for water if I were Moses, regardless of God's providence. In his position, I would.
John the Baptist was a prophet, heralding the coming of Jesus and baptising people. In the end, he ended up in jail and beheaded, because he was doing what he was told. Sitting in jail with Jesus alive and working miracles outside, John lost his faith, saying that maybe another was supposed to come because Jesus didn't break him out of jail. And one could say, it doesn't work that way - you don't just get everything you want because you've done good. You get what you need and should have because God knows that you should. But, how faithful and hopeful could one human being be if they did everything they should and still ended up in jail? In his position I'd rethink things too. I would.
Apostle Peter was the foundation of the first church that Jesus established. Although Peter denied his involvement with Jesus, Jesus still kept faith in him, and Peter in Jesus. But in the end, one can relate to Peter's denial. How faithful can one man be in the midst of a mobbing crowd of people who want to kill Jesus and anyone related? In his position, I'd at the very least be thinking about denying Jesus. I'll admit it. I would.
But that's what growth is for and what services are for - to become stronger and more hopeful. Going to church is a renewal of hope and of strength, so that in the face of greater adversity, one can stand up and ask God for water, sit in jail and think of how great Jesus is, and in the crowd of angry, murderous people, say proudly: "I know this Man. He is the Son of God, and I love Him."
And after this Wednesday's service I'll be able to say, in my unemployed, engaged to an unemployed man, state: "I will have a job, my fiance will have a job and God is great because He is the great Provider."
After this Wednesday's service. For now, I'm going to have to hold back the tears and the feeling of dread, and work on being stronger and more hopeful.