Forgive me, this may be long.
When I read that passage that I highlighted over the past three days here from 1 Kings 17 in the Bible, it jumped out to me that I have been waiting where God has told me to wait, I need to act on something he wanted me to act on, and I need to continue sharing what we have when he lays something on my heart.
Waiting: Remember those months of overtime I had, then remember work started drying up and work was being sent offshore? Well work started going away in the fact that I was running out of work on days I was scheduled to work, volumes were low or nonexistent. Previous to this, I never ran out of work except maybe on holidays, but never during the middle of a work week. Got me panicky a bit because I'm the main breadwinner here and I was wondering what would happen to us United States transcriptionists. Would all jobs go offshore and would we be laid off?
The policy is when a person runs out of work before their shift is over, they can take the time off as PTO time or without pay. The times I didn't have work, I took it as PTO and also got some hours paid under California state law in that I was available to work, they had no work for me, so I got paid so many hours of my shift without using my PTO.
The last time this happened when I worked for this company over three years ago and the account I was on at the time moved offshore, I totally freaked out and jumped ship, so to speak, getting another job at another company which turned out to be a disaster and three months later I was rehired at my old place and had worked steady until this past few months. So I took that into consideration thinking if I should try to find another job but I was leaning towards looking for something else.
But then I got a feeling that I should just stay put and not take matters into my own hands, that God wanted me to stay with my present company for the time being, sort of like Elijah waiting by the brook. I decided to stay put. I have quite a bit of PTO time and with the work availability that I could get for living in California, plus if work continued to be slow or nonexistent, I could get partial unemployment too. So I figured at least some money would be coming in for a bit.
Waiting is not something I do well, kind of like being impatient at times. But I know, like Elijah, I'm meant to stay where I'm at. Reading that part of the story that he stayed put until God told him what to do next helped reinforce my decision.
On the upside, work has started picking up again and I haven't run out of work for a few weeks so that's a good thing (thank you God).
Acting: About 6 weeks ago, even before the work started drying up, I was working and the thought went through my head "I need to get my certification". It went through my head a day or two later. Mind you, I've been thinking off and on for the last 10-15 years about getting certified but have never done so. But this time there was a sense of anticipation with thinking of it that I resolved to seriously look into it and "get it done" so to speak. But I kept putting it on the backburner this time around too until after I read when God told Elijah to go at once to the town where the widow was. It dawned on me God wanted me to go through the process of getting certified, perhaps for something that he is preparing me for down the road, so I made a big commitment to arrange for it.
I basically need to take a series of two tests that I can probably "ace" only because I've been in the business for over 30 years, but I will have to study a bit just to make sure. I scheduled the test for April so I could take the time to study, which means I'm going to have to work on a study schedule, which means I might have to slow down blogging for a bit.....we'll see. (Word Tornado too......)......we'll see.
But I don't think I would have acted on scheduling the test unless I had confirmation of it by reading about Elijah and realizing God was telling me to do something. What I do want to do is be more sensitive to listen to him and obey him sooner when he tells me something I should be doing.
Sharing: One of the gifts God gave me was generosity. I consider myself generous and I'm not "bragging" about it. If there is a need, I try to help and I look for needs of others. A lot of you are like that too. When we first moved down here two years ago, I stopped being as generous since we were on a budget. There were sometimes needs I wanted to help out with, but I felt like I couldn't because more money was going out just for our basic needs than we were bringing in (remember hubby quit his job to move down here to help with his parents and his student load for guitar lessons wasn't coming in enough to meet our needs along with my salary). But in October 2011, I decided I was going to start giving a small amount each month to the homeless shelter here as long as I had money, I would send this amount to them.
In 2012, I kept giving more and more than I had the previous year with this and that as I believe God laid needs of others on my heart. We've been supplementing our expenses not covered by my salary and hubby's teaching with our savings and hubby got a bit of inheritance from his parents' estate. But like the Elijah's brook, that will eventually dry up if hubby does not get full-time employment, yet I know that I am going to continue to be generous as God lays it upon my heart.
When I read about the widow sharing what little she had with Elijah, who had nothing, it reminded me of something hubby and me did this past Christmas for dear friends of ours. I'm going to be real vague about their circumstances, but this past fall this particular family received devastating news that changed the course of their lives and careers 100%. They were working on what they could to keep afloat so to speak. Shortly before Christmas God laid it about my heart to send them gift cards to a few stores here. I told hubby what I thought we should do, as directed by God, and told him the amount it would be. He agreed with going with it. I had already spent more than I should have on getting gifts for son and his girlfriend and her children so I was way over budget, but I knew we were to do this.
We sent the gift cards and of course got a thank you, but also got "you provided our Christmas dinner".
Blew me away that God would use me like this to provide something I would have taken for granted and I was so thankful I had listened to him and obeyed what he wanted me to do.
I'm going to continue being generous; I know God will meet our needs. Maybe the brook will run dry before he acts, but I know he will act. I just need to be sensitive to his word, to stay put when he wants me to stay put, to act when he wants me to act, and to give as generously as I can to help others.
What amazed me is I had read this particular story so many times, I hadn't made the connections with it like I made this time. Like I said before, and will say again over and over again, God's word is alive and will always teach you something new with it if we just keep on reading it and studying it.
So I'm definitely going to apply what he taught me, wait, act, share.
For God's glory...........