Trust in the Lord with all your heart . . .
— Proverbs 3:5
It’s going to be a bad time in the job market. As Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong warned in a recent ministerial broadcast, the Covid-19 pandemic is poised to bring Singapore into one of its worst recessions ever. Already, news reports have been warning of the terrible prospect of retrenchment for workers and futile job hunts for fresh graduates as companies downsize or close down altogether.
It reminds me of my own experience when I graduated in the late 1990s. Fresh out of college, I had thought I wouldn’t have trouble finding a job. But then the Asian Financial Crisis hit Singapore in 1997, and I took nine long months to find full-time work. People I knew were retrenched and couldn’t find a job too.
What got me through that difficult time was the comfort and strength that God’s Word gave me. He reminded me of certain truths even as rejection letter after rejection letter arrived in the post:
We are made special in His eyes.
With each disappointing reply from prospective employers, I began to doubt myself. I’m sure some who are retrenched, and other job seekers, will wonder: What’s wrong with me? Am I not good enough?
But Psalm 139:14–18 reminded me that God made me “fearfully and wonderfully”. It says: “Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” God showed me that I was no less to Him because of what others thought. I could continue to lean on Him, knowing that everything in my life mattered to Him and was in His loving hands—including my job.
God will take care of us.
As my savings shrunk month after month, I wondered how long I would have to rely on my parents. That was when I saw Matthew 6:33 both as a challenge and a promise. Jesus said: “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
For a long time, I wondered if I could really trust God’s words to give me “all these things”. But God gently taught me to live by faith and not by sight in the midst of great uncertainty. Another passage that encouraged me was Proverbs 3:5–6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
God is always with us
The nine months of job search was an emotional roller coaster ride. There were days when I was filled with faith and hope. And days when all I had was doubt and despair.
Then I was reminded of how God provided for the prophet Elijah when he was hiding in the wilderness (1 Kings 17:1–4). God sent ravens to feed Elijah and refreshed him with water from a brook. And when the brook dried up, God directed the prophet to a widow who gave him shelter and food.
While many of us would prefer abundance provided in advance, God often gives us just enough for each day. Perhaps He is saying to us: Trust Me.
No matter how impossible it may seem to find a job, we can count on God’s love and power to meet our daily needs. The faithful One will never desert us.
Lord, You know how I feel about not being able to find a job, or my fears of losing it. Yet I know I can continue to trust in You always, for You have promised to be with me forever.