Written by John Miltenberger
At first, it never occurred to me that anything could go wrong. I had finally been able to define what career I wanted to have, and beginning the process of finding a job I felt I would be snatched up after the first interview. After all, I was college educated, able to present myself fairly well (I thought), and I just knew that any organization would be lucky to have me. No lie! That was late in 1977.
After my fifth interview with five different employers, it was a severe blow to my ego that each batch of interviewers consistently felt I was under qualified! 1978 dragged by, during which I had numerous job interviews, and one pending, in which I was to meet the mayor of a small suburb after hours in his garage (I backed out of that one!). I can only surmise what it would have been like to work for that organization!
I suppose I was a slow learner….it took me most of 1978 to realize the “perfect” job was secure, but I would have to go through God to get it. I began to pray in earnest, and over the course of that year my prayers evolved from “Please give me the right job..” to “Please make me right for the job You have given me..”. During 1978 I actually became comfortable with a humility I had never known. In fact, by the end of year I felt I could hide under a piece of paper! I desperately needed the transformation, but at first, I had no clue that I was spoiled, arrogant, full of myself and woefully immature for the job I wanted.
By April 1979, I had become a much different man than I had been in 1977. In fact, when I was finally offered a job (a really good one!) in April, I had to take a mental double-take just to realize it was really happening. For the next twenty-five years I felt honored and grateful to work alongside of so many overqualified men and women.
One lesson I learned from that experience is that most of the time, we don’t know we are proud and arrogant until, and only if, we face the kind of adversities that bring those traits out into the open. Even then, it is all too natural to sweep the issues under the rugs of our minds and avoid dealing with them. I was extremely fortunate that in spite of myself, I had to face my own flaws and beg God to make me right.
I learned another lesson after I had backslidden in my faith for about twenty years; and it boils down to this statement: God is ALWAYS faithful; it is His very nature. Also, God does not give up on us – He is no quitter.
After twenty tumultuous years, with my morality finally in the gutter, I came back to God like the prodigal son with my hat in my hand…head down….and He not only still loved me intensely, He was overjoyed I came back! Now that’s incredible, but that’s Who He is!
Not only that, I should also testify that even as I was running from God, incrementally lost in ever increasing sins, He never reneged on the promises from His word that He had given me way back in April, 1979. No matter what – God is faithful, and I saw His faithfulness in action nearly every day I spent on the job.
I know there are many men and women in the world that are very much like me. We have, (or had) a lot in common. Many are disappointed in themselves, their role in life, and life itself and everything in between. Perhaps all you see with any clarity is a dull, boring treadmill that extends into a yet to be determined end. Everything looks dark, and it doesn’t seem possible it will get much better. Maybe you’ve asked, “Is this all there is?” “What is going to happen to me?” “What’s going to happen to my country?” It can all be very depressing. I’ve already been there; there is a way up, and out, but it has nothing to do with us making America great again…it is up to God, as it was at our beginning.
It is interesting to me that America, in my general overview, seems to be today, very similar to where I was as an individual in 1978. Or perhaps it’s more accurate to picture this nation being where I was after my twenty years of running from God. The answer is the same: We need to get back home to Him!
As a nation we had a Godly beginning, but over the years our reverence and appreciation for Almighty God waned, concurrent with our rising pride and arrogance in ourselves. Our dependence upon God was gradually exchanged for more modern “concepts”. Now we seem confused and bewildered as we ask, “How on earth did we get where we are today?”, and any of us can complete the sentence: “I never thought I’d see the day when…..!” Realistically, I don’t expect any changes to occur in America that don’t begin with individual American Christians rekindling a vital dependence upon God and urgently praying. Nations aren’t people, although there are some unavoidable similarities. We have to change
one person at a time, and in my opinion, any remaining time we have is getting more precious by the day.
America needs new goal-oriented, Godly visions of our national destiny as per the heart of God. Without that, we will continue plodding on in our confusion and frustration over the latest political, media-touted, national band-aids. If we continue looking at our feet we will only be able to take one step at a time, and we could forfeit God’s view of our destiny.
Was there ever any real doubt that our country would one day span the continent? We had geographical vision then, and today we desperately need spiritual vision. Due to explorers like Lewis and Clark, we were able then to expand our vision and our dreams.
Lewis and Clark are dead and long gone, but Jesus Christ was and is, ageless. The dreams He has for this United States need to be seen and proclaimed by Christians alive today, who will press into the heart of the Ageless One and shamelessly share what they saw.
America has a destiny in the heart of God. Let’s not miss it by staring at our feet of clay and failing to look up into the face of God in prayer. Let’s ask Him to make us into the ones who are willing to be changed to suit His purposes once again. America was brought into being by God because He has specific and glorious plans for the country.
I want to see God’s Plan A come to pass in my country, and I’m willing to do anything He tells me to do to see it through.
God is always faithful. That’s Who He is.
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