Let’s face it. Our identity and work are closely aligned–and rightly so because God made us to work. But it’s possible to let work be the defining reality of who we are. When we lose a job or can’t get a job, our very understanding of who we are can unravel. But good can come from this kind of identity crisis according to an article RELEVANT entitled, “Find God in Unemployment: What you can learn when you can’t find a job.”
Recent college graduate Brian Livingston writes about what it was like for him to go jobless and the important lessons he learned while waiting from the life of Moses.
Moses graduated with Latin honors, and he ended up watching sheep. There’s no Biblical record of it, but I imagine Moses had a couple bad days, and I bet he occasionally thought man, this really sucks.
It might have made more sense for God to have opened the door for Moses to pursue his world-changing assignment while he was a prince of Egypt. But pride and overconfidence obviously got in the way. God often waits to speak to us at times when we are disoriented.
Moses’ move from prince to shepherd was a significant downward trajectory that impacted his sense of self-worth and confidence.
God didn’t come to Moses while he was powerful or remotely clean; the Lord who spoke matter out over the dark void chose a moment of insecurity and lack of direction in the life of Moses to end years of divine silence …
God likes these barren wastelands, because it is there, amid the sheep and the identity crises, that we change.
What’s often missed in Moses’ story is that Moses knew God had called him to lead his people out of bondage, according to Acts 7:23-25.
When Moses was forty years old, he decided to visit his fellow Israelites. He saw one of them being mistreated by an Egyptian, so he went to his defense and avenged him by killing the Egyptian. Moses thought that his own people would realize that God was using him to rescue them, but they did not.
The problem of course was that Moses’ identity was wrapped up in his position. The 40-year relocation to herding sheep in the dessert changed Moses forever, making him the most humble servant of God in the Bible.
Now Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth. ( Numbers 12:3 )
Without the wilderness and sheep, it’s likely that Moses would have missed his calling altogether. Not only did Moses find the humility that helped him listen clearly, he learned that God was Lord even of the desert and would use him and be with him in any circumstance. Read the article from RELEVANT.
Reprinted from the Center for Faith and Work at LeTourneau University. Image: CFW.