Count it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, be should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:3-5 NIV 84
Some years ago, while serving as the Social Services Director at a large skilled nursing facility in Florida, there was a sudden “regime change.” The administrator who hired me had been replaced by another from corporate, who had the reputation for firing department heads beginning with the Social Services Director, whenever she was assigned to a new facility. In spite of the fact, that I had never gotten less than a superior rating from our state inspections, I began to “catch the heat.”
It felt like our new administrator was attempting to bully me into firing myself. Frustrated and ready to quit, I resorted to seeking help from “the Wonderful Counselor.” Rising early one morning, I prayed, poured out my complaint to the Lord, when He seemed to say to me, “If I want you to remain in place doing your best and enduring the heat for me, would you be willing to do it?” To this day, I don’t know what possessed me, but I said, “Yes, Lord, I’ll stay until you move me and not one day sooner!”
Suddenly the weight of all the abuse and nit picking was lifted. I went to work that day with a totally different attitude. And then it happened! At about 11:00 AM, the phone rang in my office. It was Larry B., the administrator of a modest 50 bed ALF just down the road. Larry knew nothing about my circumstances, nor did I ever disclose them to him or anyone else. His first words were, “I’ll bet you are wondering why I’m calling?” Somehow, I knew the moment he asked, that I was about to be hired as his replacement.
God had an opportunity for me that I didn’t seek in any way, but it wouldn’t have been mine unless I was truly willing to serve Him anywhere He chose regardless of the difficulties. Oh, and by the way, that new administrator, who made life so miserable for her staff and me, she left for another position just one month later!