21 Jun Purpose over Petty!
I’ve been dealing with a thing at work, y’all! My company is undergoing a corporate restructuring. The news (and process) was a serious gut punch to my spirit and I’d like to tell you that I behaved like a mature, well prayed-up adult and walked throughout the process embodying early 90’s Claire Huxtable grace and elegance. But, I did not! I started to take certain decisions personally and I even got petty. I let it show that I was hurt and responded angrily to requests and in correspondence. Some passersby even received hot and spicy comments (don’t worry, I apologized later).
Has something ever gut-punched you?!? By, gut- punch, I’m not talking about the punch that you know is coming or the one you had an inkling about, so you know to how to pray and braced yourself for it. I’m talking about the one that comes at you when you look and feel good, and you’re walking tall and proud and then, POP!
Gut punches can be insults, failures, or any source of hurt that can knock you off a steady place.
If you have experienced this, how did you react? Did you lay there for a while or did you get up and start swinging? When you got up, did you find yourself operating from a good place or did your petty Patty come out, like in my work situation? Maybe you don’t call it petty, maybe you call it what it really is, SCARED? When I’m scared, I get angry. I try to shield myself from the hurt by pulling out my “best weapon” anger.
This restructuring process that’s occurring at my job is long and it’s been hard. It can be taxing on employees sometimes taking weeks (maybe months) for things to play out. It starts to affect the confidence and attitudes of the people that you work with and for. This process started to affect me, and I started to doubt my worth, my purpose, and my position in the company. So, I kept praying and had to daily renew my mind before going to work. But still, something different every day would remind of the battle I was fighting. I felt defeated and scared. It felt like I was getting gut-punched all over again.
Wednesday…… you get the picture.
Needless to say, it has been rough both mentally and spiritually. When we’re hurt, we sometimes get distracted and lose focus on the “why”. This deviation from focus allows offenses to sting more than they normally would if we were head down and nose in the work. I’ve been praying about how to handle my work situation and operate in grace. Of course, God does not disappoint and recently, the story of Elisha and the widow’s oil repeatedly kept getting put in front of me. God sends signs to guide us, and I’m here for it! Thinking that this was a sign, I scurried home to read the story. This encouraged me because I know the story of the widow, and I know that in the Bible, oil represents the Holy Spirit and God’s anointing, and to be anointed means to be approved by God.
Like the widow, my faith was tested because I was getting stuck in what was going on at my company. We cannot pay attention to the world if we’re going to operate in faith.
If you recall, Elisha asked the woman two questions:
1. What can I do for you?
In a sermon awhile back, Pastor Michael Todd said that this was a question of vision. He was asking her, what has God placed in you? What is God’s purpose for your life? What is the work that you are supposed to be doing (or preparing for)?
2. What do you have?
Elisha didn’t ask what you have first because God’s ability to move IS NOT contingent on our resources.
Remember that your “little oil” is all that God needs to work with and it is way more valuable than you might think. People often excuse themselves from the miraculous because they don’t have a lot to work with. Put your head down, ignore the offenses, do the work and provide him with the vessel. He will fill it with oil. Whatever we have the faith to prepare for is what God will fill up.
Woman of Judah, I’ve realized that my fight isn’t generally with a person or entity. My fight is with the spiritual realm. People and institutions will discourage you, but me being petty or telling them, what they “ain’t gonna do!”, won’t solve any problems. We must be reminded that we are here to do things unto God, and not man. Remember, the oil that God provides is plentiful and faithful. There is fresh oil for us all.
Increase your Faith by reading 2 Kings 4.