Reprinted from the Salt & Light Australia Daily Devotional.
1 You have searched me, Lord,
and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before,
and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
In the United States they are calling this The Great Resignation, as many people have used the Pandemic as an opportunity to stop and reflect on their work, and their future, and resigned from their job. In Australia, it appears there is a similar process underway. Regardless, this time of year is often a time of change, as people wonder if they want to start the new year in the same role or organization.
I am currently chatting with a woman who has just resigned and wondering what the future holds. In the process she is learning that her work represented too important a part in her life. She has also discovered that she is frightened to let go of control of her future. She is not sure whether she can trust God to provide for her.
These are important issues that she is wrestling with, and she has accepted my challenge to use this time as an opportunity to reflect on her relationship with God, and what he is teaching her.
Psalm 139 is a poetic and beautiful reminder that only God truly knows us. He searches us, watches over us, and knows our thoughts. He is familiar with everything we do, everything we say.
I love the image of him hemming us in. He’s surrounding us with his warm arms of love and protection. It is almost impossible to comprehend, but reading this psalm reassures us that we are known and loved.
As we take the “risk” of surrendering to God, we are putting our trust in an all-knowing, all-powerful being who knows our future as well as our past.
In thinking about her future job, I am telling my friend to do the three Ps:
- Pray deeply, seeking God’s prompting and leading, and let him know your desire to align your future work with his purposes.
- Push on any doors that might be in front of you, praying that God would keep closed the ones that you should not do.
- Carefully choose an option, and trust that God will give you peace about the right choice.
Think It Through
- How much do you trust God with your career? How do you demonstrate that?
- What areas of your working do you need to surrender to God?
Thank you that you have searched me, and that you know me.
Thank you that you know when I sit and when I rise; and you know what I am thinking.
Thank you that you are familiar with all my ways.
I know that before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely.
Thank you for hemming me in behind and before, and laying your hand upon me.
I admit, Lord, that I am in wonder that the all-knowing, all-powerful God would care about me.
I believe, Lord, help my unbelief.
Kara Martin is the author of Workship: How to Use Your Work to Worship God, and Workship 2: How to Flourish at Work. She is also a lecturer with Mary Andrews College. Kara has worked in media and communications, human resources, business analysis and policy development roles, in a variety of organizations, and as a consultant. Kara has a particular passion for integrating our Christian faith and work, and helping churches connect with the workers in their congregations. She is currently conducting research on how to effectively equip workplace Christians to integrate their faith and work.