14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful desert, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 1
6 He gave you manna to eat in the desert, something your fathers had never known, to humble and to test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.
Earlier in my career, I was quite cocky about all I had done to get where I was. It was all me and all my hard work.
My first two jobs I didn’t even apply for, but was asked to come on board. I thought it was because I was really a lot better than every one else. Of course I never said this out loud to anyone.
Just six years into my career I lost my full-time job due to the economy and was laid off. It was then I cried out to God why? I could have easily seen God wondering why am I asking him to intervene, since I had done it all myself. Just like the scripture says, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.”
The next three years were ones where I had my wilderness experience. I was just surviving and not having lots of fun. But I was grateful to be paying the bills. I decided to go and get my seminary degree during this time. My experience was only 3 years of turmoil, not like Israel’s 40 years.
My job right out of seminary I was hired without ever having met my employer face to face. This time I knew it wasn’t me but God who was in charge of this journey.
Today when I get jobs I still want to celebrate about my talents being honored. However, today I am even more aware of how many other photographers could have been hired to do the job. Now when reading the scripture, “…remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today,” I pause and remember my three years.
If I had not experienced the layoff, I doubt I would have come to understand how much I accomplish not due to me but because of my God who has given me blessings of health, opportunity and relationships which allow me to succeed.
While I would like to say I learned my lesson—I didn’t. There are times as a full-time freelancer the phone doesn’t ring. I have thought of everything I can to promote myself. I have consulted professionals and taken there advice after much prayer, but I am still finding myself every once in a while sitting up at night and wide awake.
This is when I am reminded of what hope is all about. Hope is the assurance of things to come (it will all work out) because of looking in the past of things done (Jesus’ victory over death) that is now a settled, unshaken, well-grounded, immovable persuasion and certainty.
When we forget where God has brought us from we will loose hope. Remember all he has done and is doing.