Trusting in God and His strength was the only thing I had left to keep me going at work last week. My best efforts seemed to fail me and those around me, but there was no choice but to press onward. As discouraged as I was, all I could do was lean on God and His purpose for placing me in that situation.
I was completely out of my element all week. As a night owl, working all opening shifts was a challenge. For a few days, I was at work for an hour before the sun even rose. After one particularly rough day, I tried my best to keep my frustrations to myself, but coworkers noticed. They tried to encourage me, but I was so down on myself that it didn’t matter.
I’m not the kind of person who always needs encouragement to know I’m doing my job well. But sometimes, when all we’re being told is what we’re doing wrong and how we need to improve, we start to feel worthless. We get nervous, and we mess up. We become uncomfortable. We’re inclined to give up.
But God wants us to grow. He calls us into uncomfortable situations so we can rely on Him instead of ourselves. Sometimes it takes a bad day or a bad week to force us into humility, to realize that our best is not always good enough, but that God in us is far greater than we can imagine.
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5, ESV).
I know God has a purpose for placing us in situations where we’re not naturally gifted. I feel out of place doing any job where my main responsibility isn’t news reporting, but that keeps me humble and reliant on God. Looking back on last week, I’m thankful I went through that experience. God is using that experience and that job to grow my character and prepare me for whatever other tasks He has planned for me.
It’s funny that on the day I broke down, God placed two people in my path who encouraged me several hours before it got hard. Their encouragements stayed with me throughout the day. In a way, they helped me see how my natural gifts benefited others in a job for which I was not naturally gifted.
I learned to pay attention to little things like that because sometimes they mean more than we think they do at the time, and they’re a godsend. I also learned to recognize that I work for the glory of God. While it might seem like my best work falls short in human eyes, God sees my efforts. I can pull through and excel when I keep my eyes fixed on Him. I’m not inclined to give up when I know I’m working for God. And when I do mess up, my failures don’t seem quite as discouraging.
If you find yourself in a tough situation this week, shift your focus from what is going wrong to how you can excel by relying on the gifts God has given you. A prayer that helped me last week was asking God for a heart of service and joy in doing so, so that no matter how the day went, I could walk in humility and keep my eyes peeled for opportunities to bless others.