Even our dream jobs have deadlines, performance expectations and customers or constituents to please. The emotional and psychological stress can be debilitating and lead to obesity, hypertension and other illnesses. And we depend upon jobs for income that help us fulfill our dreams and goals in life. Losing our job can be devastating.
Then, so often it is circumstances and opportunity that lead us into certain work – more so than our deep resonance or calling or desire. It is quite possible that I could’ve pursued a life of writing much earlier in my career. Writing from my inner reflections and expressing the work of the Spirit in my heart was always just below the surface. It was difficult to speak, but writing could’ve given me an outlet earlier like it has done more recently.
Circumstance and opportunity equal convenience for many of us. And we follow the path of least resistance rather than the path of truth and freedom. But the path to a specific destination is not always a straight line and we have valuable lessons to learn on the journey, too.
The local church that we’ve been a part of for over 30 years, has recently started small themed-prayer-groups called “kindling groups” as a way to provide support and prayer for those inside and outside our community who have specific needs. The first series of groups met around the need of “Caring for Elderly Parents” and now a second series is starting this week around the theme of “Job Stress and Job Loss” which practically covers most everybody!
I’m going to be assisting this work-related group. We’ll be meeting on Thursdays for the next four weeks at 7:00 PM at Intown Community Church, 2059 Lavista Road, Atlanta, GA, 30326 if you’d like to join us. Our primary activity will be hearing from each other and praying for the needs expressed from our own lives as well as the lives of others.
So, what are some of the spiritual things we can do when we are in distress or difficulty?
1. Pray for others. Through this the Lord may give you clarity regarding your own situation.
2. Ask others to pray for you. Admit your need and ask for help. Suffering brings about community if we will allow it to. This also takes the burden off of yourself and shares it with those who care about you.
3. Focus on compassion. As you are suffering might God be using you to complete the suffering of Jesus for the Church, thus fulfilling Colossians 1:24 – Now I rejoice in what I am suffering for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church.