Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Through the Fire # 2 - Back to work

My testimony.
On Youtube

This is a continuation of my testimony - "Through the Fire."
It took place 25 years ago, or started 25 years ago after I came back to Jesus after I had been severely back-slidden for about 12 years.
I lost my job, I did not fit into the job anymore because I changed so much after taking Jesus seriously that I was dismissed from my job there, they asked me to resign. I want to make one thing clear, and that is the country I come from does not have any safety nets. There is no social services, there are no food banks. When you lose your job, you've got a problem. You've got to make a plan. I was fired from a management position, and that was quite a shock.
And whenever I tried to get back into industry,get a job, it didn't work. I went for interviews, and I didn't find a job. I went for interviews where I was, I was certain I can do this job with ease, I had the qualifications, I had the experience, I had the connections, but I never got the job.
After some time I stopped looking for a job because I realized that God was talking to me, He was fencing me in like He did with Job, because God wanted to teach me trust in Him.
I didn't really understand it at the time, it was extremely difficult. But I could take the good times, so I decided, well, I'll take the bad times as well. If I've got to follow Jesus and things go bad with me, that's fine.
Job said, "I can take the good times, and I can take the bad times, too," so that was my resolve.
And in that time, which was about 3 1/2 years, I was forced to do minor jobs, stuff that I would never even have looked at, and my financial situation kept on deteriorating. Whatever money I had in savings was disappearing.
And we were living from basically day to day, just with what little bit we earned, I earned from little odd jobs.
I was doing anything - I was doing mechanical work, I was doing construction work, whatever I could lay my hand on, I tried to do. I was doing shop fitting, building shop fronts, anything you can think of just to keep going.
But in that time, I got to know Jesus because where previously the preasures of work had kept me awake at night, I started relaxing in the knowledge that God is in control, He knows what He's doing.
And I resolved, I said, "Lord, even if I never find a good job anymore where I've got a regular pay and medical aid, whatever, I don't care, just as long as I can serve You."
I had a wife, three little boys, but during that time, my wife never had to go and work because it was our resolve that the man of the house must earn the keep of the house. If you cannot work and care for your family, then you're worse than a gentile. So my wife never worked, she never went out to work.
But it so happened that after 3 1/2 years, we came to a period where the small jobs also dried up and we were down to rock bottowm, basically nothing. So one day the phone rang, and a personnel agency called me. They offered me a job about 60 miles (100 kilometers) away from home. I was amazed because I did not apply for any job, I had not been applying or sending my resume out any more.
I said to this guy - "Where did you find my details?"
He said to me, "Sir, you went for an interview 3 1/2 years ago and a friend of mine remembered
you and he pulled your file."
Now, Friends, that doesn't happen.
Anyway, I laughed at him and said -"Listen, you're offering me a job 60 miles away.
How am I going to get there?" He says, "Well, they'll pay your gas.
The company needs a manager to run this steel pipe factory."
Well, I went for the interview because this guy kept on calling me back, but it so happened that at that
stage, I had lost my car, I was driving an old little Mini, which was a stick shift, or manual as we call it. The battery was flat on this thing, so I had to push start it.
I went for the the job interview, and when I came out of the interview, the person that interviewed me had to push start my car to get me back home.
I got home, and my wife said to me - "How did it go?"
I said, "Well, I don't know. The interviewer had to push start me, so I don't think they'll be interested in me."
The very next day the employer called me and said:"When can you start?"

I started the following Monday. And as I arrived at the job, the personnel officercame to me and he said to me, "Sir, this job has got traveling allowance attached to it, do you want to take the money now or at the end of the month?" I took the money there and then because we had nothing. We lived off that money, and I paid the gas and fixed the car so that I did not have to push start it anymore.
There God changed our fate, but I want to tell you one thing, I went back into the industry a different man, a man with a different way of working, with purpose. I took a bankrupt company and turned it around in a matter of nine months, from severe loss to profitability, because I was there with a purpose. I did not accept any mediocrity because I was working for Jesus. I had changed, my management style had changed because I realized that God does not go with half measures.
The 3 1/2 years I had been out battling on my own, that was the school of God to teach me to do everything that I do to the Glory of God. I was not a compromiser, I took no half measures. Whatever we promised a customer, we delivered - And God blessed us, and there God changed our fate.But the big thing was that God had CHANGED ME!
The time I had been unemployed and battled to find a job was the schooling of God to do a work in me.
We've got to learn to put our eyes on Jesus and trust Him. I learned from that, that all His ways are beautiful ways. It's all grace and kindness - God can give us anything. God is not poor, God can supply all our needs, but sometimes we need teaching from the Holy Spirit Himself, from the mighty Hand of God Himself to teach us to trust in God to work character in us.
May Jesus Bless You.

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