Colossians 3:16-17 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
This was the text for the sermonat my former church last Sunday. I remembered writing it in my journal a few years ago along with some other verses, so I looked up the entry.
Ephesians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love.
Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God--not the result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.
Luke 12:32 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.
Philippians 2:12-13 Therefore, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed me, not only in my presence, but much more now in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Philippians 1:6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me.
Ephesians 4:25-27 So then, putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.
Ephesians 4:29-32 Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you.
Philippians 2:1-8 If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing (including the things mentioned above) from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death--even death on a cross.
Ephesians 5:3 But fornication and impurity of any kind, or greed, must not even be mentioned among you, as is proper among saints.
Philippians 4:4-8 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints.
Philippians 4:19 And my God will fully satisfy every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
What does all of this say to me? When I started thinking about these verses on Sunday afternoon, I knew only that God was calling me to a life that is pure and holy through Christ. I knew that He was calling me to commit myself to using my gifts as He enabled me and to trust Him to provide for me.
I have been working on my current contract since July. In November, my supervisor told me that she had gotten approval to continue working with a contractor. There has been some miscommunication about how many hours I could expect to work. The bottom line is there is no way to know what kind of income I will bring in. That frightens me. I like living here with Christy and Deedra, but I also want to establish my own life here. How can I do that when my income is so variable?
Monday afternoon, my supervisor and I reviewed my contract. That was hard enough because I had to face the unpredictability of my schedule. What was even harder was hearing her say that if a full-time position opened up, I would not be the person who would meet the needs she has. The reason is that I can't see to work with graphics to do the manuals for some of the products. Two of the three writers working now are also blind.
I understand why she said it, but it hurt a lot, especially after her saying after she didn't take me for the last full-time position that I would have a good chance at the next. I have no chance, and it's all because of something I can't control. It makes me feel just the way I felt when companies refused to hire me or let me interview because they didn't want to accommodate me. And it makes me angry.
I started getting panicky. I found out there was a tech support position open, and I thought about applying. I could do it. I would have insurance--something I need badly. I would have a steady income...
But I would hate the environment because of some of the other people working in that department, and I wouldn't have any energy at the end of the day for the things God is calling me to do. I didn't apply.
I came home last night and decided to work a bit on a writing project I started several years ago: a book about my eye condition. I opened up the file and wrote ... and wrote ... and wrote. The only thing that is stopping me from writing tonight is the fact that I am tired and really craving a good night's sleep.
I have only coughed a couple of times in the past few hours. None of the times I've coughed today have been painful. I have been visited by Dr. God! Thank You, Lord!
I made the right decision. I had no clue what would happen if I didn't apply for the tech support position. By all appearances, I should have expected to continue living marginally, being sick, etc. Instead, I have my health, my confidence, and I am working on a project that will help families like mine and where there is a wide-open market. Thank You, God!