When the Earth Drops Out From Beneath Your Feet – Part One

Sharon JaynesA Sudden Glory, Dreams of a Woman, Expectant Living, General Inspiration, Trusting God 24 Comments

His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts,
(Isaiah 55:9 NIV).

Steve and I got married when we were both still in college. He was entering his fourth year of dental school, and I was just a few hours shy of completing my degree. The last year of school held many important decisions for us, such as where  Steve would set up his practice. Dentists don’t tend to move about, so this was an important, probably life-long decision for both of us.

All year we prayed, researched, and weighed various opportunities and options. Finally, in April of that year, we felt God calling us to Pineville, North Carolina, right outside of Charlotte. A dentist there was looking for a young associate and the pieces of the puzzle began falling into place. We had prayed. We had fasted. We had listened. We felt that this was God’s answer for our lives. It was a big deal.

So after graduation, we packed our meager belongings and moved to Charlotte. After setting up house in our tiny apartment, Steve went to meet with the doctor to finalize the work schedule and management particulars.

“Steve,” I’ve been thinking about it,” the doctor began, “and I don’t think this is such a good idea after all. I’ve changed my mind.”

He extended his hand to my twenty-five-year-old stunned husband and said, “Good luck to you, son.”

I was surprised when Steve came home much earlier than I expected. “What are you doing home?” I asked.

“Sit down,” he managed, “You’re not going to believe this.”

Steve told me the story and I was shocked. I was disappointed. A host of raw emotions collided with questions for God. How could You do this? How could we have been so wrong? Didn’t we hear You correctly? We prayed. We fasted. We wanted nothing more than to do what You wanted us to do, where You wanted us to do it. Now here we sit in a big city, with a big student loan, and no job. Now what are we supposed to do?

This was a lover’s quarrel between me and God, my friend, and guess whose voice was the loudest? I felt as though I had kept my part of the bargain by following all the right steps and saying all the right words, but God had not kept His.

Somehow, we’ve come up with the absurd idea that God owes us. That He is obliged to reveal Himself in a way that is acceptable…that fosters belief. If we do A and B, then He is obliged to do C. He’s not. One glance at Job chapters 38-41 puts my silly demands in proper perspective. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?” God questioned Job. “Who marked off its dimensions? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness? Have you ever given orders to the morning or shown the dawn its place? (Job 38:4, 8-9, 12).  (If you haven’t read those chapters lately, they are a great reminder of God’s magnificent glory.)

This career setback seems rather petty now as I hear of the tragic losses from hundreds of women who write to me every day. But I have discovered that the accumulations of petty disappointments tend to undermine our faith like little termites gnawing away at the foundation of our lives. They can leave us doubting whether or not God is really concerned about the everyday details of our lives. A lava flow of doubt covers over our faith and we wonder, why should I pray at all?

[tweetherder][/tweetherder]Our limited vision doesn’t allow us to see how God is working behind the scenes in our lives. But we must believe that He is.

Each and every trial is an opportunity to trust Him more. Jean-Pierre de Caussade said it well:  “You would be very ashamed if you knew what experiences you call setbacks, upheavals, pointless disturbances, and tedious annoyances really are. You would realize that your complaints about them are nothing more nor less than blasphemies—though that never occurs to you. Nothing happens to you except by the will of God, and yet beloved children curse it because they do not know it for what it is.” [tweetherder][/tweetherder]His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts (Isaiah 55:9).

Join me tomorrow as I share what happened in the months following what we felt was a setback.

Let’s Pray

Lord, help me to remember that You always have a plan. When life takes an unexpected turn, help me to remember that it is not unexpected to You. I’m holding on to Your hand, and going around the next corner with You. In Jesus’ Name,Amen.

What do You Think? 

Today, read Job 38-41 and sum up what You learn about God in one word or one sentence.

Let’s compare notes. Leave a comment or click over to my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/sharonjaynes and share your answer.

Want More?

Today’s devotion was taken from my newest book, A Sudden Glory: God’s Lavish Response to Your Ache for Something More. Disappointments are chock full of miracle moments…or at least they can be. If you need to have your eyes open to glory moments where God makes His presence known, then this book will help open your eyes to see Him, your ears to hear Him, and your heart to experience His love… even in life’s most disappointing times. And if you need a boost trusting God during those dark times, see our Girlfriends in God devotion book,Trusting God– a 12-week devotional that will strengthen your faith.

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Comments 24

  1. After reading this, I feel extremely enlightened. I love reading yours, Gwen’s and Mary’s devotions. Each of you are empowering, bold women of God, and I feel so incredibly blessed to be able to wake up each morning and read these inspiring and motivational words that each of you speak. To sum up GOD in one word MAGNIFICENT!!!

  2. Your devotional brought clarity to the reading.While I was reading, I kept trying to visualize all of His marvelous works. So that would be my word Marvelous.

  3. Sovereign— God made everything there is and he controls it all; his creation has no right or reason to question him , his ways or his decisions, which are far above man’s limited wisdom and abilities. So this speaks to me ——– God is in the midst of my situation. —–Thanks for reminding me, the last few days have been rough and I needed this reminder.

  4. God is omnipotent (all-powerful) and omniscient (all-knowing).

    Whereas for me, the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know. How blessed I am, we all are, that we have a loving Father in Heaven in charge!

  5. Hi Sharon and Hello ladies reading this today 🙂 After reading the devotional I was just thinking about how GOD knows better than we do. He may be leading us to do something and of course we don’t always see why right away! I love GOD! He puts everything into perspective in HIS time based on HIS will! As far as reading Job 38-41 goes, I was like, “Wow GOD! YOU are creator of it all! Who am I to question YOU?!” I had to say a big OUCH & AMEN as I read because God certainly revealed Himself and how wonderfully mighty HE truly is! By the time I finished reading and meditating on this portion of scripture I felt like Job when he responds in chapter 40 verses 4-5 “I am nothing–how could I ever find the answers? I will cover my mouth with my hand. I have said too much already. I have nothing more to say.” (NLT). There comes a point in life and this walk with God when we need to cover our mouths with our hand and trust GOD!

    God bless you all!! Thank you, Sharon, for yet another thought provoking devotional! Oh how I love the Girlfriends in God and the work they do for Kingdom building!

  6. God indeed knows best. His timing is on time, though we may not understand it.. in the end that open door awaits. I can relate to this scenario many times in my life. Keeping the faith…

  7. God is omnipotent and Satan has no power over Him; God can overthrow Him, God is our only weapon against him as he seeks out his prey every day.

    Thank you for this devotion. I would have never read this or even tried to understand it if I had. It took me until chapter 41 to realize who God was referring to. It really helped me realize that there i so much to know and learn in the Bible through these stories. Thank you again for this!!!

  8. Based on these chapters
    I’ve learnt that God is powerful, because if we are weaker than the most powerful creatures and nature He created then he must be EXTREMELY MIGHTY!

  9. Pretty sure that finding this blog site was a
    “God Wink”… I’ve been reading alot of your posts
    as well as some comments :O)

    Sharon, you are a gifted author…I live that you’re
    using your gift to expand His kingdom.
    Looking forward to tomorrows post

  10. After reading this, I find our GOD to be ‘AWESOME, CARING, COMPASIONATE AND LOVING’. It is inspiring beyond doubts especially now that it is shared on the beggining of the year, it helps build a firm foundation to help overcome the challenges a head. Thank you so much may GOD BLESS YOU.

  11. I believe that though your husband didn’t get the dentist job you went to North Carolina for, you were still where He wanted you to be because you had done all the right things in obedience to His leading. You thought you were in North Carolina for the dentist job when He actually took you there for something else. How wonderful He is!

  12. i”m in! the passages in Job definately put things in their proper perspective! i love God’s sarcasm in Job 38:21…i never knew that about Him before… more proof that we are made in His image. thank you sharon for this awesome devotional! i have found so much comfort in Isaiah 55:8-9 over the years. the quote from Jeane-Pierre de Caussade also speaks to my current situation and opens my eyes to new heights! i am done cursing Him…trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean NOT on your own understanding! what we call the end of the world, the Master calls a beautiful butterfly! He is definately SOVERIGN!

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