by Lois Coady
How long has it been since you sat in church? Were you there right before the virus broke out or has it been a few years? When you are in church, do you listen intently to the message or draw pictures and doodle on the bulletin? It’s okay to be honest.
I have been known to doodle on occasion. I also like to jot down notes from the sermon. Sometimes I will place “special notes” in the sleeve of my Bible. Cleaning the sleeve of my Bible out recently, I found one of those special sermon notes from December 22, 2002.
Pastor Gene Kern preached that morning in 2002 and shared a thought that has stuck with me ever since. He was talking about being in the place where God wants us to be and shared this short quote, “
In His place, at His pace, with His grace.”
I immediately grabbed hold of that thought and began claiming this for my life. As I dug deeper into this quote, I discovered this set of truths:
In His place
Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”
In this scripture passage, we are encouraged to trust God with our whole being. We are cautioned to not take our limited understanding too seriously. We need to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over our lives and trust Him to know what is best for us, including the places where we work, where we live, where we worship.
At His pace
In Hebrews 10:35 we are reminded,
“So do not throw away your confidence, it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
This infers to me that God’s timing is always perfect; all we need to do is persevere, even if the pathway is rough. We have His promise that if we persevere and maintain our confidence in Him we will receive what He has promised. What a wonderful truth!
By His grace
Remember Philippians 4:19,
“And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
That is grace exemplified, He promises to meet not some but all of our needs according to the riches of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
I was claiming these promises daily during 2011 and 2012. I had worked in banking almost 17 years at that point. I was a Branch Manager and while I had been very successful at my first branch, I was struggling with a new branch assignment. The branch was in a shopping center where the vacancy rate was close to 75%, businesses had moved out due to the difficult economy, as well as a landlord who would not negotiate rents even with the economic downturn. On top of this, we had two other full-service branches within 3 miles of us and three in-store branches within 6 miles so the competition was tough!
I was getting intense pressure because the branch was not making “the numbers” our Regional Manager wanted from us. Let me clarify, we were making, and exceeding, the goals that had been assigned our branch at the beginning of the year, but it wasn’t enough. The reality was that it was costing more to operate the branch than the branch was making.
I applied for jobs that opened up regionally for the bank I worked for and interviewed by phone for a couple of these jobs. In the end, others were selected for those opportunities. Even though I knew that this was God’s will for me, I was feeling really stuck.
As the vise grip tightened, I continued to claim these Biblical truths, determined to trust God in spite of how I felt. By summer of 2012, I could tell the end was near for my then 18-year career at the bank. In fact, I was having nightmares and waking up at the front door checking to make sure it was locked. It was intense.
Then my husband, Calvin, anointed by God one day (which only happens on rare occasions in my opinion), said, “Why don’t you look into retirement, honey?” Retirement, I hadn’t thought of that. Could it be that I would qualify? And if I did, would we survive financially?
Being a very compliant wife (Calvin would dispute that), I did as he suggested and called the Human Resources Department the next day. Low-and-behold, because I was over the age of 55 and had been with the bank for at least five years, I qualified for retirement! My years of service would provide a credit toward retiree health care and I would retain my full pension. Hallelujah!
I talked it over with Calvin and the next morning I called my boss to let her know I planned to retire at the end of the following month. How do you spell relief? In addition to
, I added
The pressure was off. I could breathe again. The nightmares stopped and I spent the next 30-days exiting banking with grace thanking God for a wonderful 18-year career.
In His place, at His pace, with His grace.