I have been working my new "state job" as a vocational rehabilitation counselor since December 28th. I make the trek up to Beaver Dam each morning (32 minutes from our house in the suburbs of Madison), log onto my state computer, and busily help disabled people connect with the services they need to be able to find themselves gainfully employed one day. More than half the time is spent meeting with people who need help. The rest of the time is spent writing reports and purchase orders and e-mails and following up with vendors on the phone. Right away I decided if I was going to spend 40 hours a week in that little musty office, I was going to be sure I was happy while I was doing it! So, I added scented candles (pumpkin spice is my favorite), some well-placed pictures of Mark, the boys, and other loved ones on my desk, a Monet print on the wall to my right, and last but certainly not least....a lovely lamp Mark bought me for Christmas that has an attachment for my i-pod complete with speaker so I can pod-cast and worship-music my day away as I endlessly spend the state's money.
At one point, a couple of weeks ago, my friend Faith came to visit me for lunch. We brown-bagged it in my office and enjoyed my pumpkin spice candle on our lunch table. She asked me how it felt to be working up in my Beaver Dam office each day. On that particular day, I was feeling like I was in exile or something. Of course, I'm grateful God provided that job for me, fur us. It has just been an adjustment to move away from what I thought was my life's calling to a job I never expected to be doing. Of course, the selfish part is not having nearly as much control of my time as I once did. Faith immediately knew where to send me. "I want you to take some time to read the story of David in the Cave at Addulam this week in 2 Samuel. Ask God for an adjustment on how your viewing your assignment up here." Sigh....okay, Faith. Have YOU ever read that story? I couldn't recall it, so I dove into it that week. Here's what I got out of it....
David was running for his life. He found refuge in the Cave at Adullam. More importantly, he found refuge in the presence of the LORD in the cave at Adullam. And he experienced God there like never before. One by one, God started sending all these people to him. They sought him out in his CAVE! They were in debt, destitute, and without hope. God provided David to be their leader and to give them hope. and in return, they also blessed him. An unexpected result, I think, of someone who must have felt like he was in exile in that dirty, musty cave.
I realize I'm not David. But I think God had something for me in that story. It did feel like I was running for my life when I applied for that job. Our finances were about to completely cave in around us after five years of trying to "make it" in private practice. I felt resigned to go on up to Beaver Dam and "suffer for the family". God is surprising me with the blessing it is to have a long line of people at my door who are in debt, destitute, and without hope...people with handicapping conditions they never asked for. And I am sitting in this chair with practically an unlimited bank account to do whatever I can to help them get a job. Some need driving lessons, some need assistive technology, and some just need a job coach to walk alongside them and help them get started on a job. I get to bless them in creative ways and, in return, I am truly blessed. I see hope for our finances turning around eventually, and I am more aware of the fact that God Himself placed me in that little cave. I'm not sure how long He'll have me there, but by His grace, I remain open and willing to walk in faith.