by Jonathan Malm
I ran a conference for creative minds. Then I didn’t. I got fired from my dream job.
“We like you, and we think you did a really great job with the conference. And this has nothing to do with you as our friend. We just think…”
The words began blurring as my brain raced through a thousand thoughts. Would I be able to survive financially? Do they even know what a big mistake they’re making? Will anyone want to work with me again after they see I’ve been fired?
The minutes passed by as I struggled to wrestle with my own thoughts and listen to his. And finally, it was over. He dealt the deathblow: “Because of that, we have to let you go. Do you have any questions for me?”
This was my chance to react. I could either react in anger, in silence or with peace. I chose peace. I didn’t understand the guy’s decision. Nothing my ex-boss told me could give me closure. I knew I’d be taking a financial hit. And I felt like the sole reason God brought me to Dallas was completely stripped out from under me.
But I knew God had a plan for me. I knew He wasn’t done with me.
I know many people think creativity is about being artsy. They think it means you paint or sing or cry watching indie movies. But that’s not really what it is.
Creativity is merely seeing something others don’t. It’s seeing beyond the obvious and into future possibilities. It’s solving a problem with the third option when it appears there are only two options available.
Losing my job was my chance to be truly creative.
God continually showed this type of amazing creativity in the Bible. Yes, He created the heavens and the earth. But even after that initial masterpiece, He saw things we couldn’t see. Then He let us in on what He saw.
My favorite example of this is in Judges 7.
Gideon and his army were outnumbered: 32,000 Israelite troops to 135,000 Midianite troops.
Then if that wasn’t enough, God dealt what seemed to be a deathblow. He told Gideon to whittle down his army twice. At the end of the series of tests, Gideon was left with only 300 men. That’s 300 men fighting an army of 135,000.
If I was Gideon in this situation, I could probably only see one real outcome to the situation. Death. Gruesome, humiliating death. But God had a creative plan, and Gideon chose to follow His plan.
God, through Gideon, crushed the Midianites with a crazy battle strategy. Torches and horns. No weapons.
The enemy woke up in the noise, saw the torches, and killed themselves. They literally turned on each other because they couldn’t figure out who was the true enemy. And the Israelite 300 swept down into the valley and chased off the remaining survivors.
There are two things I see in this story.
1. I see the amazing creativity of God. While Gideon could only see the potential for massive death toll and sure defeat, God saw a perfect victory with zero Israelite casualties. Not even an injury.
2. This story tells me I can trust God to choose the best solution. God sees options I couldn’t possibly see. And if I’m willing to submit my plans to His will, I can trust that all things will work together according to my good (Romans 8:28).
When I allow my knowledge of creativity to intersect with my knowledge of the greatest creative Mind in the universe, I can’t help but trust God. I frankly can’t help but feel a bit invincible. There are limitless creative possibilities.
That’s how I was able to respond to my termination in peace. I knew when my boss chose me to direct the conference, that was God’s creative plan for my life. And I knew when my boss no longer needed me, God had a new creative plan ready for me.
I could try to fight my own battle. I could wound a few enemies in the process. I could go out in a blaze of glory. But I’d ultimately bare the greatest defeat.
Or I could trust that God’s plan was greater than I could possibly see. I could trust that I had no real enemies because God would fight my battles in a way I couldn’t yet see.
God has creativity in store for you. He has a third option when it appears there are only two. Look for God’s creative solution, and you’ll find it.
Jonathan Malm is a creative entrepreneur and the author of Created for More, a 30-day devotional to help you develop a more creative mind.
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