The Answer Is Not Far Away
“That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.” (I Timothy 4:10)
I enjoy working. Most of all, I enjoy operating my own business. Over the years, I have found the catering business to be fulfilling. I also know from past experience that personnel issues can be a cause of great frustration. Today is one of those days. Thankfully, the Bible puts it all into perspective. “Honest toil, done in a joyful spirit, is like a prayer to God.” (Deuteronomy 15:10)
Lately, however, it has been hard at work. I have had three key people quit in the last couple of weeks. Two employees left because they wanted to move forward and open a similar business. The third employee didn’t like the other two and had already found another job before she got the news that these two employees were leaving. Of course, for me losing three employees all at once translated into panic. Indeed, anxiety took over every part of my body. I can’t stop working, I thought. But finding suitable replacements was not so easy. Three weeks of interviews and still no luck. Clients started to mention that employees had left which didn’t help. I prayed everyday for the business to run smoothly again but the hiccups just kept on coming. In fact, not only was I running out of steam but I was running out of options too.
I knew however, that throughout this ordeal, I had my faith. I knew that when we give generously to others and do so without a grudging heart, the Lord our God blesses us in all our work and in everything we put our hand to. (Ecclesiastes 3:22) That all hard work brings a profit, and those that work will eat the fruit of their labour and “blessings and prosperity will be yours.” (Proverbs 14:23 and Proverbs 12:11) But it is difficult to believe when everything around us is seemingly falling apart.
Then I recalled another verse that John wrote in the book of John. It states, “Labour not for the meat which perishes but for that meat which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you, for Him hath God the Father sealed.” And then later in I Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” In other words, stand firm in the faith. In spite of the challenges, don’t be tossed to and fro in the wind.
What I began to realize is that my faith was misplaced. Rather than trusting Jesus for my future, I was frantically trying to do everything on my own. Making business decisions without praying first. Working overtime to compensate for the lack of employees. Spending money unnecessarily on ready prepared foods because of contract constraints. Once I humbled myself to realize that without Jesus, all was for naught, my life changed. So did my business prospects.
Last week, I reached into my past and called up some of my co-workers and peers from 20 years ago. They spread the word to everyone they knew. The very next day, I received a phone call from a very talented chef, willing to take on the job. He could only dedicate certain hours to my workplace each day but his talent and keen understanding of the business complexities made it work.
But the Lord’s blessings did not end there. Soon after, I was asked to quote on a contract worth 3/4 million dollars. I was speechless except to say, “Thank you Jesus!” He has never failed me yet.