Posting resumes on-line. Filling out on-line applications. Reading endless job descriptions. Networking. It’s not an easy or quick process, whether currently employed or looking to hire. Maintaining hope in today’s job market is like wandering the desert searching for water.
What is hope?
Psalm 44, written by the sons of Korah, tells the story of the ancient Hebrews entering Israel and finally understanding that their ultimate victories come only from God. The setting is Canaan, their Promised Land, in what is known today as Syria, Jordan and parts of Iraq. The protagonists are the Hebrews. The antagonists are the peoples already settled there. The drama: battles over land ownership. “God gave the land to Israel – they [the Hebrews] were supposed to enter and drive out anyone who was wicked and opposed to God. Israel was told to settle the land and to be a witness to the world of God’s power and love,” explains my Bible commentary.
Yet the battle in Psalm 44 is a crushing defeat for the Israelites. They recognize victories that God gave them in the past, but then lament, “But now you have rejected and humbled us. You no longer go out with our armies. You made us retreat before the enemy, and our adversaries have plundered us.”
But then verse 17 changes in mood, “All this happened to us, though we had not forgotten you (the LORD) or been false to Your covenant. Our hearts had not turned back; our feet had not strayed from your path.” The Israelites are doing everything they know is right. The ending is my favorite because the authors seem to be issuing God orders, “Awake, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself Do not reject us forever!”
In America today, the battle is no longer over land acquisition, but jobs. My adversaries are other job seekers. Enduring disappointment and setbacks is how God teaches me patience, trust and hope. I can do everything I know how to do in a job search, and still feel plundered by the email or letter stating “someone smarter and more qualified was hired.”
I make myself focus on God’s goodness. Each day I write and review the list of the ways in God has already delivered me. I also thank and praise Him for his 10-year restoration project on my soul. I am grateful to be in different place spiritually and geographically. I focus on the blessings I have for today, which include but are not limited to a roof over my head, bills that are paid, food on the table and an amazing husband.
Hope is the expectation of better things to come. It is what God promises all of us and keeps me alert. The more I learn about the true character of God, the more I am filled with peace and hope.