When your Life’s Work Gets the Dreaded Pink Slip – Job 1:21

Does God fire people who work for him? I don’t know about being fired, but I received a pink slip terminating me from my life’s calling several years ago.

When I attended a staff meeting at church, I observed the discussion about how the different ministries should be managed. It was insightful.

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Each leader felt his was the most valuable part of the church’s work, and it soon turned into a lively debate. The temperature seemed to rise in the room when they had little success bringing others to their point of view.

The first, a youth pastor sharing his passion for teenagers, revealed his plans for reaching teens before they graduate high school.

Another pastor, whose focus was on adult education—helping people move on from their past, brought up how whole family trees could be changed if they had the knowledge he brought. A third, the leader of the worship ministry, was just as convinced worshiping God should be the church’s top priority.

How do we let go?

I listened and inwardly criticized. Couldn’t they see they were holding on to their ministries too tightly? If God gave them their particular ministries then he can also rearrange them, or even take them away. It’s his business, after all.

When it happened to me, it wasn’t so easy.

My life’s work

When I recovered from the birth of my first child I threw myself wholly into family management. By the time my third arrived, I was sailing in my mothering ministry. My thinking became a bit skewed at one point when I believed “what this world needs is for me to be every child’s mother.” After all, what could be more important than loving and teaching children to be followers of Jesus, giving them the tools they need to navigate their lives?

I had a list of excellent reasons why my fruitful ministry should continue forever. I volunteered to drive friends’ children to Christian school, I had a childcare business in my home, we sponsored orphans in other countries. I even home schooled three of our foster children.

Accepting the pink slip

Can you imagine my shock when I got my pink slip? Yeah, I tried to stall the termination of my work with children by taking in more foster kids, but even then I couldn’t escape the fact my cup was running dry. My Lord was calling me from a vibrant, productive ministry to follow him in new ways. To let it go.

Eventually, after a time of grieving, I clutched my pink slip and watched it change to a travel ticket, or a boarding pass, to my next adventure with God.

“And he (Job) said, ‘Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord’ ” (Job 1:21 ESV).

We can skip along in our blessings and say the Lord did this or the Lord did that, but what will we say when those good things come to an end?

Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you …” (Matthew 4:19 ESV).

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

 

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