As I am looking for a job here in Kansas City, I can’t help but reflect back on a job that God put in my life to sustain my wife and me until moving to the seminary. About a month ago I worked at a factory where I operated a machine that packages panty hose. I didn’t like telling anyone what I was doing. I graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. I wanted to be a news writer. That never happened. My plan after college was to go to seminary. Then I met a young girl who I wanted to marry. I couldn’t find a news-writing job, and so I had to pick the next best thing. I went after the first job that was offered to me which was operating machinery in panty hose plant. There are days that I wanted to quit, but God used this job to provide for my wife and I. This job allowed me to have time in the evenings to work on class work. I worked during the day, which made me available to meet up with others to disciple and serve in my local church.
I started working at HanesbrandsInc in November of 2014. This job has had its ups and downs. I had the opportunity to share the gospel with a hand full of people. I didn’t see much fruit though; however, I remember seeing men and women who wanted to have conversations about biblical truth when I began my transition to moving to Kansas City. There were a variety of people that came from a church background. However, these people avoid the church due to being “hurt” by the church or concluding that the Bible isn’t true. I heard things like “the Bible is 2000 years old how can we trust it?” or “I am a Christian, but I also believe that I don’t have to go to church.” There were a lot of misguided people where I worked. But God led me to that job for His good purposes. As I apply for jobs today I know, there will be more people that I need to be ready to make a defense for the hope that is inside me (1 Peter 3:15).
If I claim to believe that God is sovereign, I cannot discount the fact that He is sovereign over leading me out of that ordinary job. I cringe every time I am asked about what I do. I usually just quickly tell them I am taking seminary classes and I am moving on campus in a couple of months. It helps me, but I shouldn’t be ashamed of God who establishes my steps and directs my path.
Awhile back I was able to meet up with a guy who graduated from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. God used this guy to encourage me. We discussed how God gives us jobs during seminary for our good and not to frustrate us. God had led him to a job to minister to Korean immigrants who owned a donut shop. The Lord will take us even when we think we know how to plan out our life and He flips it all around for His glory. He does this to show us that we need to depend on Him and trust in His goodness fully.
Like God uses our marriages and friendships, the Lord uses our jobs to sanctify us. These are opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise to talk about the gospel. There were times when I would question God on why He thought it best to keep me at such a tedious, obscure job. Too often we neglect being obedient where God has placed us because we are focused on where we want God to place us. Every day I am seeing the Lord help me in my contentment even as I think about what job and people He could lead me to in Kansas City. I can easily become discouraged if I do not remember that He directs my steps. (Proverbs 16:9) He used that job to show me that even factory workers need the gospel. Whatever job God leads you to in the future no matter how unglamorous it may seem, it is never pointless.