For those of you who didn’t know, I’m currently in the throes of a job search. I had a promising trail that looked like was going to end well. I got through the phone interview with my interviewer audibly impressed. I went into the face-to-face interview and was reassured that the same interviewer was rather interested in me, despite my being thrown off by its unorthodoxy. I left feeling pretty good about the call back I would get the following week.

That call came. I’m still unemployed. I had been the runner up for the opening, but there was someone else who was better and more qualified than myself. He would be getting the job because I simply wasn’t good enough. I didn’t make the cut. Like a few soccer tryouts I’d had growing up, there was one spot to fill and I wasn’t the brightest prospect in the field. This is what I heard in that conversation.

What was said, however was vastly different. The guy on the other end told me that I was the runner up, yes, but then reiterated the fact that there would be another opening coming within the next two months and that he wanted to stay in touch over that period of time because the company was very interested in me. He also told me that the person transitioning out of the position, rather than transferring to another department had decided after my interview to put in his two weeks and so they went with the person with more experience given the much abbreviated timeline to learn the ins and outs of the position.

You see what I did there in my head? I heard, “We went with someone else for the position…” and spun that into some shot at my ability and ego. However, he said nothing intrinsically about me. I’ve been out of school for just over a year now, so they made their decision based on a factor that is completely out of my control and not at all characteristic of me or my ability.

If it wasn’t about me, then what was it really about? Was it about my interviewer? The company? How about the weather? You know what, maybe it was about the janitor. Each of these are just as ludicrous as the last. This opportunity, my entire job search and everything encompassed therein is about God.

“This God — his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” — Psalm 18:30

My job search is merely a side narrative in the greater story of what God is doing in my life, which in turn is a small part of the overall story of what He’s doing and been doing since before time began. God has a plan for my employment that is in accord with what He doing in my life and how that interplays with what He’s doing globally. I will have a job when it fits where I need to be in the greater context of things. Right now, I’m not there. I needed this deferment and the disappointment to bring me further toward where He wants me to be. He used this event to shape me a little more into the being He originally intended me to be.

This isn’t just happening in regards to this pursuit, but in all aspects of my life. God is always shaping, bending and molding me like a loving potter does a fine vase. All the while, I may feel like I’m being ruined, made uglier or on the verge of breaking (if pottery could think and feel). However, each gesture is deliberate and every event He uses to shape me has a greater and loving purpose behind it. It’s not torture or malice, but pure love.

I used the example of this job, but I try to make everything in life about me. It’s a common, but terminal condition called pride. Once I see through that fog, I can begin to see the beauty in my circumstances. This only comes through prayer for faith that cuts through the fog. The experience no longer seems painful, but joyful and glorious in light of God’s love for me. God loves me enough to painstakingly sanctify me every day, lovingly molding me into the masterpiece I will be when He is done.

So, what about yourself? What is that job search for you? Then, ask yourself if it’s really painful or that’s just your ego pushing back against God’s loving care for your greater good.