by Christina Rose
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV
When we have faith in Christ, we become a new creation, with hearts so filled with love that we feel called to share our blessings. We become a reflection of Christ who brings his Good News to the poor in spirit. Our desires begin to mirror his desires to spread His love throughout the world. Our deeds become a reflection of our hearts that are continually being transformed and renewed by God.
When my daughters left for college, life felt lonely, so I busied myself with finding a better job. I prayed for a job close to home yet after months of searching, the only job offered to me was in San Francisco. This meant a three-hour round trip each day, which was challenging, but it was a beautiful office, and I enjoyed the daily ferry ride across the bay.
A few weeks after I accepted this first offer, I received a second offer just minutes from my home. I felt this was an answer to my prayers. I quit the first job and took the second offer. Within weeks, I knew I had made a serious mistake. The second offer close to home was a grueling sweatshop with constant overtime and explosive tempers.
One day, an attorney I worked for called me into his office. He said, “I’ve just been fired, and I’ve been thinking about killing myself for a long time. When I do, I may as well take a lot of people out with me.” I froze, yet had to think fast. I knew I was on assignment and silently called for God’s help. I then stood up and commanded, “You’ll do no such thing! You’re going to dinner with me right now, and we’re going to talk you out of this nonsense. You have so much to live for.”
This man had a 21-year-old daughter. My father had taken his life when I was 21 over a despondent situation at work which devastated our family. I knew God was calling me to give this man the real deal of how hard his daughter’s life would be if he took his life and how much he would miss out on – weddings, grandkids, holidays. We sat at a restaurant talking for hours and I could sense he was starting to soften. He then lifted up his sleeve and showed me a tattoo, “Micah”, a prophet of the Old Testament whose name means “who is like God”. I said, “You believed once, you can believe again – have faith.” He then made plans to move near his daughter and look for work there. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” ( Galatians 6:10 NIV).
The next day my daughters came home from college for the holidays. I regretfully left for work, wishing I could stay home and spend time with them. When I arrived at work, I was given notice that I was being laid off with a full month of severance pay! My co-workers were dumbfounded as I burst out laughing, “Wow, that’s awesome – Merry Christmas!”. I had just been handed a month’s paid vacation with my daughters after completing God’s assignment. Not only that, but the first job offered me my job back with a big raise which I gratefully accepted.
When God calls us to serve the task may not be easy, but he always equips us through the process and then shines his grace on us in gratitude. I went back to work in San Francisco. One evening we had a live hula show on the ferry while commuting home. A glorious sunset filled the sky as the sun set over the Golden Gate bridge. I watched the hula dancers gracefully swaying to the Hawaiian music and I then heard a whisper, “There is so much to live for.”
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. (1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV)
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership. She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.
Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself. After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.
Join the conversation: Has God given you a hard assignment lately?