My Plans vs. God’s Good Works

For we are God’s handiwork,
Created in Christ Jesus
To do good works,
Which God prepared in advance
For us to do.
Ephesians 2:10

Two and half years ago…

I was laid off from a job that I enjoyed. It was near my house. I no longer had to commute 52 miles one way to go to work. It seemed the answer to all my prayers. In my limited viewpoint, this job looked like where I was going to stay until I retired. Then five months after I accepted the position, the unbelievable happened. The company I worked at was funded by a government contract. It was up for renewal. My employer expected the contract to be continued. No one was concerned. It came as a complete shock when another company was given the contract. All 65 employees were laid off. The new company re-hired 3 people and I was not one of them.
Since I was laid off, I was eligible for 6 months of unemployment compensation. I figured that I would find another job within that time. I knew that God had another job for me. I prayed the above verse daily and sometimes many times during the day. I prayed for the job that he had prepared in advance for me to do in this season of my life.
Because of the rule for unemployment, I had kept a running log of every job I applied for. Every resume that was sent out was accounted for and every interview I went on was listed. Six months came and went; no job. One year came and went; no job in sight. I had applied for jobs in a 50-mile radius from my home. This included two large cities and many smaller cities. I interviewed for jobs making right above minimum wage. And some making double the wage at my previous job. In the first year, I applied for 500 jobs and interviewed for 50 positions. No job.
My husband was the first to suggest that God wanted me to stay home. While this was a desire, I was too busy feeling like something was wrong with me. I have a degree; I was a professional. I had lots of experience and a killer resume. So why, oh why did no one want to hire me? It was a big hit to my self-esteem.

God had me right where he wanted me.

He showed me that I was prideful of my accomplishments. I was seeing my value and worth in my performance. He spoke tenderly to me that I was his child. He loved me and was proud of me. I didn’t have to do a thing to receive his love. Nothing I did could make him love me more or love me less. He loves me.

He is the Good Shepherd. He loves his lambs.

It is something that I have learned. But, it will be something that I continue to learn until the day I see him face to face. The God of the universe, the One who created all, loves me. His love is pure and holy. He is not upset with me. I don’t have to do a thing to earn his love. I just have to accept it. He freely offers it.
With this understanding, I see Ephesians 2:10 in a new light. He may have paid employment in my future. But, it is not the only good works that he has prepared for me. When I think of the things that I have been able to do for my family and friends in the last few years it is amazing. Many of these things would have been difficult or impossible to do if I had been employed full-time. Yes, our financial situation has been difficult without me working but God had a greater good in mind. He had good works prepared in advance for this season of my life. They couldn’t be done if I was working. I don’t claim to understand the intricacies of God’s plans for my life. But I do see this truth.

What about you?

God has good works planned for your life too? Is your self-esteem faltering because your life doesn’t look like you think it should? Are you wondering what is wrong with you? If you are on the wrong path, God has a superb GPS. If you are willing he can get you back on the correct path. Sometimes, like me, the path you want and think you need, is not where he is leading.
What is God saying to you today? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.

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