A friend of our family is having some difficult times with finding work and also a place to live. I went through a similar situation some years ago and thought I would relate my story since it really demonstrates the faithfulness of God and how his timing is so perfect.
FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE:
I remember that when I went on my first mission trip in Aug 1999 to Poland for 3 weeks I didn’t have a place to live.
At that time my 10 year old son was living with me weekends plus a day or two midweek. My former ‘Christian’ roommate had just gotten engaged and his ‘girlfriend’, now fiance, was moving in. So I had to go; I wanted to go. Obviously this roommate’s Christianity was not very meaningful and he was not a good influence for my son, so I was looking for a place to live, but I was on a very tight budget so my options were limited. My situation at that time kind of reminds me of the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”. I can really relate to that movie in a lot of ways.
My upcoming mission trip was fast approaching, and so far I didn’t have anything lined up for us to live. For weeks I had searched through the Christian publications for a roommate that had a place to share that was at a reasonable cost, that wasn’t too far off the route I needed to take my son to school and to church, and that would be suitable for me and my son. So far I still hadn’t found anything, and I was leaving the next day for 3 weeks and had to be out of my current apartment the weekend I returned.
What was I to do?
I just kept doing what my hand could find to do.
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”
– Ecclesiasties 9:10
The very night before my mission trip I was still packing and planning on leaving early the next morning at 4am, and would be gone for 3 weeks and NEEDED to line up a place BEFORE I left since I had to move out the weekend I was returning… I followed up on a lead from a friend to see a place with a Christian guy who had just gone through a divorce, had 2 kids, was lonely and hurting and needed some fellowship and strength, and might have a room to rent in the same city I was living so I knew it would be good for driving my son to school. I was still getting over my somewhat recent divorce too, so we had a lot in common.
So I went over to look at the place and to meet the guy at 10:30pm that very night (keep in mind I had to get up at 3am to leave for a 34 hour trip to Poland!). I met the guy and saw the place (at night in the dark). He seemed nice enough, but the place seemed maybe a bit small for my son and me, but it was dark and hard to tell. But I was desperate, and it was getting late, so I told him I would commit to a 1 month trial. This way I would have a place to go when I returned, and he would have at least one month’s rent. I planned on moving most of my stuff into storage for this trial run and just bring with me the essentials. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about anything while on my trip since we’d have a place to bunk for 30 days, and if it didn’t work out I had a month to look for another place. So after my mission trip I moved in with my new roommate.
The happy ending to this story is that the Lord provided for me at just the right time, in the nick of time, with just the right place and most importantly with just the right person.Turns out we were great for each other. What a blessing! I ended up rooming with this new roommate for over 4 years, and he became MY BEST FRIEND. Even his kids became great friends, like a brother and sister to my young son. I couldn’t imagine a better situation for that time in my life. Now about 10 years later we both live in different states from that time, but still friends for life.
FINDING A JOB:
Before I got married in fall of 2003 I had been out of work for many months. I had ‘milked out’ unemployment for all it was worth, making my money stretch like never before over these months.
During this time I began dating a girlfriend which became a serious relationship, and who later became my wife. At the time I had little to no money, no job, and no job leads. This was an especially important issue since she had a couple of bad experiences with earlier relationships that took advantage financially, so she was looking for me to be responsible and contribute financially. In faith, in spite of the circumstances with no money and no job, I proposed to her, relying on the Lord to provide. In faith she said YES :), so now we were both trusting on the Lord to provide for us so we could get married.
So we planned the wedding and moved forward…still I had no job leads and very little money.
On a Friday, the very day of our wedding rehearsal, the day before our fall wedding and a 2 week honeymoon…I received a call. It was from a work place I had submitted my resume to 1 1/2 years prior but didn’t hear back (that happens a lot, even more so now). They said that 1 1/2 years ago they had hired someone back then for the position who was now moving on to another company. They said they had held onto my resume back then since ‘I was next in line’ and they were still interested in me. So they pulled out my resume, called me the day before my wedding, and asked if I could come right over for an interview.
Here I was in my jeans, going to our wedding rehearsal in a couple of hours. You know how hectic things were for us just then! But I had to make room for this interview. So I told them I would interview with them today only if I could come in my jeans, and that I would have to keep it to a 1/2 hour since I was getting married the next day.
They said fine. So I went over, got the tour of the place, and went through the gauntlet of interviewing with 5 people at once within a 1/2 hour period. They said they would send me an offer letter over my honeymoon.
So once again I found myself leaving on a trip for a few weeks and not having to worry since the Lord was providing for me at just the last minute.
From our honeymoon in Lake Tahoe I checked my email regularly, to eventually find the offer letter for my new job waiting in my email inbox the day before returning (again at the last minute). My first day at work was to be the next day after coming back from our honeymoon, so from the day we got married and for the next 5 years I wasn’t out of work for even one day! And to make things even better this new job was a short 3 miles from the condo we were leasing after we got married.
To God be the glory!
One more point is that only 2 weeks after getting married and moving out of the apartment with my friend of 4 years, my roommate’s ex-wife moved out of state and took the kids with her. So my roommate moved out of state. So the timing was just right for both of us since I now had a job, and I would have had to move again if I had not gotten married and moved out, and my roommate would’ve had to find another roommate, but instead he found a great place t
o live and a great new job near his kids in a whole new state. Even though for my roommate this was not what he necessarily wanted, to have to move out of state and get a new place to live and get a new job, this was obviously all orchestrated by the Lord!
So to summarize, when things are tough and you don’t know where your next paycheck will be coming from to pay your bills, or where you (and maybe your kids) will lay your head tomorrow night, don’t worry because God sees you, he knows your needs, and he has a plan for your life. He knows your hopes and your dreams, and he wants to be involved even in your daily activities.
Be encouraged…things will get difficult, we will often go through the storm (not around it), but if we stay in the boat we will survive. Even if the boat crashes and is destroyed we will survive and be in his will, and have a testimony to share of how God preserved us for his glory (Acts 27).
Jeff Kemp, MileHighTechGuy (Golden, CO)