It wasn't a job he loved. In fact, Andrew had been trying to land an internal transfer for almost a year. In January, a position he had lined up was cancelled less than a week before it was supposed to occur. Another possibility fell through about a week after he found out his job had been eliminated.
For our family, the past 55 days have seemed like an eternity. That's how long it's been since Andrew was unexpectedly laid off. While we've been through this before, not nearly enough time has passed since then for me. I still remember how scared I was three years ago -- and we were both under 50 then. But I also remember that my worst fears never materialized. Grace really did turn out to be sufficient. God continued to provide for us as he always has.
I don't know why, but my first response to a difficult situation tends to be anxiety instead of trust. Perhaps that's the reason God keeps allowing me to repeat the test: I still haven't mastered the material. But this time, I did do better than before. I didn't catastrophize quite as much, probably because I prayed a whole lot more.
The answer to those prayers came today. After weeks of application and interviews, Andrew got the phone call -- and the position -- he'd been hoping for, just as the severance pay was about to run out. God is faithful; his mercy endures forever. And forever means well beyond the positive bank balance or social status or even good health. God's mercy extends even beyond death.
I'd prefer to live with a lot less drama, but it does make for a good deal more gratitude than I might otherwise have. Strange, in a way, that what has all the look and feel of a disaster could be so radically transformed into a "Magnficat moment."
Intercession should always give way to adoration and praise. The needs we have are certainly real, but they are not eternal. God's love and his goodness, on the other hand, are. The one thing I hope not to lose from this most recent period of stress is the habit of prayer. Fifty-five days should be long enough to establish that habit securely. I suspect, however, that in the next few weeks I'll need to remind myself that the moment a prayer is answered shouldn't be the moment the prayer ends.