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Would that be fair?

You’ve been waiting for God to act, and something wonderful appears. What do you do?


Grab it with gusto? Maybe.


Two weeks ago, we reflected on the importance of waiting on God. Consider today’s post as part two of that subject.


One year after starting work as a Hospice Chaplain in Washington State, I began to apply for a similar position in the Central Valley of California. Why? Linda started her regular “job” in the Fresno area.


Due to some recent changes in their work schedules, Ben and Ashley needed care for their children, Cooper (4) and Reese (2). Starting in August 2019, they flew Linda down monthly for ten days to be the live-in grandma. Ashley’s mom, who lives close by, provided care for the remaining weekdays in each month. A sweet deal for everyone, and it was cheaper than shuttling the kids to daycare.


My resume’ drew some interest over the next nine months from Hospice agencies in Fresno, Santa Cruz, Modesto, and Turlock, and I sat for two interviews. But no offers of employment were extended.


Again, we prayed. Again, we waited for God to provide.


Granted, this time it was different. No pressure, no deadline. Just hopes. I had a great job, and we didn’t have to move.


Still, I was puzzled. We wanted to live in Sacramento, the largest metropolitan area in the Central Valley. But I had not received the slightest nibble of interest from any agency, which didn’t make sense.


On a whim in June 2020, I called the headquarters for Bristol Hospice, a national company with offices in several cities in Northern California. I asked the recruiter this question: What does my resume’ lack?


Nothing, she said. My applications had been ignored. They assumed that out-of-state applicants were not really interested in relocating. I assured her that my cover letter accurately conveyed my intention: I want to move to California.


Within a few days, I had a virtual interview with a team from the Sacramento office. They called back the next week, informing me that they would be checking my references before extending an offer of employment. California dreamin’ was taking shape, and we were excited.


At which point the wheels hit a speedbump. My employer at the time, Community Home Health & Hospice (CHHH), has two branches – Longview and Vancouver, approximately thirty-five miles apart. Four chaplains are equally divided between the two teams, seeing patients both in the field and in the two twelve-bed dedicated hospice care centers.


I served in Longview alongside Joel, who surprised everyone in late June by giving his two-week notice and was moving to Kansas City. This was exactly the time I was planning to resign. If I followed him out the door, CHHH would have no chaplains in Longview during the hiring and training process. Would that be fair? Would that be right?


You’ve been waiting for God to act, and something wonderful appears. What do you do?


Following Jesus is never simple. Although guiding principles abound, we must wrestle with the hard questions at the intersection of faith and life, which involves seeking the face of God and the counsel of wise believers.



Here were some of the questions confronting me as I pondered whether to resign:

  • Are our decisions all about ourselves – what’s good for me? – or do we consider the good of those who are affected by our choices?

  • Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.* What would be the effect on the reputation and name of our Lord if I left the organization at this time?

  • If our actions cause significant hardship, can we casually walk away and mutter it’s not my problem?

  • For decades I have been directed by the prophet’s word to the priest Eli – Those who honor me I will honor.** What would it mean to honor God in this dilemma?

  • For whom do we work? Our employer or the Lord? ***


My decision came easily. I had to stay. Tough in the sense that I was giving up a great job offer. Yet the choice was obvious. I had to do the right thing.


I called the Bristol Hospice recruiter and explained the situation, adding that I was not available until September 1 at the earliest. As expected, they couldn’t wait that long, so my name was removed from consideration. They resumed their search while I put my search on hold.


End of story? Nope.


You may recall that I presently work for Bristol Hospice in Sacramento. An excellent chaplain named Jana was quickly hired in Longview, and she was fully trained by the middle of August. I resumed my search online, and saw on Indeed.com that the Sacramento office was once again looking for a chaplain. I called in, they checked my references, and in two days I was offered a job. Naturally, I accepted, and began work on September 14, 2020. California, here we come!



Once again, questions abound about God’s timing. But I don’t need answers. What I need and what I have – and I hope you do too – is a God who seeks to walk with us daily, and will direct our paths, just like he promised.


He does that because he is faithful. Always. And he seeks to develop faithfulness in us, the topic for my post in two weeks. Stay tuned.


Benediction of Blessing

  • May you call to mind the times that God has been faithful as you waited for him.

  • May you ask him to open your eyes to see him by your side, daily guiding and providing.

  • May you seek to honor him in all your decisions, knowing that he will honor you for it.


* The opening words to The Lord’s Prayer, also called the Our Father.

** I Samuel 2:30.

*** Colossians 3:22-24 Although Paul was specifically writing to bonded slaves, his counsel is pertinent for us: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.


Credits:

Subway - Photo by Pedro Hartmann on Unsplash

Thinking - Photo by Landis Brown on Unsplash

Kangaroos - Photo by David Clode on Unsplash


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All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, NIV. Copyright 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc. TM