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  • Writer's pictureRenata Joseph

My Kingdom for Some Answers!

Four weeks ago I wrote a blog entitled, "Upgrading my House of Straw." In it I said. "If God wants the NGO job idea to happen, it will. But instead of wracking my brain to figure out how all of this is gonna work-out, I'm going to 'hear His words and do them.'" The day that blog went live, I got a call from a multinational aide organization, requesting an interview. Within 24 hours I was offered a temporary consultancy position, working from home here in Belize. Finally, the answer I'd been seeking!

There were some roadblocks to my being hired, among them my immigration status and foreign bank account. I hurriedly set about completing the steps I could, to secure a work permit. After a long day of standing in line, filling out forms and driving from one office to another, my part of the application was complete: background check, stamps, passport photos, you name it. I couldn't believe how quickly my life could change! I went from being clueless about my next steps, to almost employed within 48 hours!

It turns out almost is the operative word. My part of the work permit packet was complete, but then my emails and voicemails went unanswered for the next 3 weeks. What happened!? I knew they had my email and phone number, yet received no reply for weeks on end.

To me, the consultancy wasn't just a 60 day gig that would give me something productive to do. It symbolized a path that could take me into development work, fund our ministry, legitimize our presence here. It meant a clear path where previously there were too many potential possibilities.

After a week and a half or so, I made peace with the door closing, but still I had questions, TONS of questions, and I wanted answers. Time and again I would pray and journal my questions of what, how, WHEN and why, only to hear a deafening silence in return. During a family devotional about a week ago, I was talking with the kids about these questions and felt God say, "You keep asking for answers, but answers are not what you need. You need comfort. Ask for comfort." So I determined to stop asking for answers; to instead seek His presence and comfort.

And then the call came.

Just as quickly as they'd disappeared, the employers were back and ready to move quickly to get me hired. They said the issues with my immigration status could be figured out with some creative use of the Covid 19 situation. They would write a letter misrepresenting my stay here and hopefully the powers that be would grant me a permit. This did not sit well with me, so I took a day to think, pray and seek counsel.

Why would this opportunity come back after I'd let it go? Was there a way for me to take it without compromising my integrity or jeopardizing our status here? My emotions were tossing me around like a rag doll. Then I remembered that I don't need the answers, I need His comfort.

I drove to Belizean friends' house and burst into tears on her couch Why was it so hard to let this opportunity go? Why was I fighting so hard? Through our conversation and prayer I was strengthened to let it go. Nothing was worth aligning myself with dishonesty. As I left her house, my phone rang. What is with their timing !

I immediately declined the job, but then was almost talked back into it, with them saying I wouldn't have to lie after all. My head was swimming all over again. Did this mean I could take it? Would everything be OK now? Did I pass the test? I took the rest of the evening to reflect.

Luke 4 tells of the time when Jesus was tempted by the devil. Verses 5-7 says, "Then the devil took him up and revealed to him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 'I will give you the glory of these kingdoms and authority over them,' the devil said, 'because they are mine to give to anyone I please. I will give it all to you if you will worship me.' ”

As I fought back and forth about whether or not to take the job, I felt that my flesh was wrestling against my spirit. I knew I shouldn't take the job. I wasn't comfortable with being ghosted for three weeks, or the encouragement to lie, among a few others things. But it was like I was being offered kingdoms and I just had to compromise here and misrepresent there. What a slithering snake he is!

After all that turmoil, I finally declined the position. I am trusting that whenever the right opportunity comes along, I won't have to chose between my own kingdom and His.

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