The Variable Life

Day 1 of 8 • This day’s reading

“Where Is God When You Feel Stuck?”

Just after the 2008 economic recession, I graduated college, moved back home, and sold cameras in a big box store to make ends meet. Dreary from winter, I grew embittered and felt stuck when life was supposed to be taking off. I wasn’t supposed to be working a dead-end job, living with my parents. Even God was bored with my life; I wasn’t even sure he cared, or if he did, why he wasn’t doing something.

Over time, faith slowly erodes. When the object of our hopes is still far on the horizon, and we don’t seem to be making progress, faith is the first casualty.

There were many days of frustration and helplessness working that job. I instinctively knew the truth Anaïs Nin wrote: "Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death." I didn’t want to live the slow death of monotony. Sure, I could’ve quit and gotten another job, but I was waiting on something else to unfold — hoping in something I wasn’t even sure would happen. I had a broadcasting degree and expected a radio job offer a month into searching, not eight.

Paul wrote 1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NIV) to people, like me, who were having trouble figuring things out and weren’t where they needed to be: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.”

I wasn’t being strong. I felt weak and out of control of my own existence. I certainly wasn’t being courageous or doing everything with love. Love is risky, and I was risk averse.

In the midst of our routine, staying faithful in the daily grind of our work, play, and living, God meets us in a way we didn’t expect. He always brings changes. The changes are rarely what we expect, but they’re ultimately for our good because he is.

Perhaps that’s the state God likes to find us in: vulnerable but expectant. Waiting for a new transition only works when we prepare for the next step.