In today’s era of remote working I am fortuitously ensconced in an office overlooking our small courtyard garden. With French windows framing a canopy of trees, I’m the unwitting beneficiary of delightful episodes of nature-watch. Often in the midst of business calls, I stop mid-sentence to watch the daily spectacle unfold. Whether it’s squirrels leaping with wild abandon to swing precariously from the bird feeder, or wood pigeons deploying playground tactics to bully the robins, it’s pure theatre. However, whichever way the drama plays itself out, it’s always the robins that leave empty handed.
The predictability of these encounters has left me with a deep veneration for robins. They return each new day with fresh hope and persevere in the face of tenacious adversaries, despite their helpless position. What resilience for such tiny creatures! Their temerity reminded me of the time when my fortitude was tested; after I lost my job. Initial hope and optimism faded, and as my confidence waned, I capitulated by pursuing a very different path. This wasn’t a choice I had ever expected to make and it left me with a sense of defeat. I was bewildered that the God who could make the impossible possible, had failed to deliver for me.
Sometime later, a dear friend lost her job. I commiserated and silently expected her to tread the same treacherous path of disappointment. However, within a few short weeks, she secured an amazing new position and embarked on an exciting future. The speed at which events unfolded left me reeling and I watched from the sidelines in quiet astonishment. I realised that this was what I had expected God to do for me. After all, I believed in a God of abundance who could restore a hundredfold, whatever was taken. Yet, He hadn’t done that for me. Why?
Ironically, this development didn’t erode my faith. It deepened it. My friend’s triumph convinced me beyond all doubt, that I was definitely on the right path. God could easily have fulfilled my conventional aspirations and the fact that He didn’t, left me convinced that something remarkable was on the horizon. I had sensed a seismic change at the outset, but had dismissed it as my imagination running amok. But now I knew I was onto something, and pressed God for answers. Why was I in this position and what correlation did it have to the life I’d led and the life to come? The answer came in a single word – Springboard. I was transitioning from one life to another.
Naturally, it took time for events to unfold and my patience was tested. But it was worth the wait. If God had swiftly answered my prayer when I lost my job, I would never have achieved my true potential. I would have remained incarcerated in a prison of tedium and ennui, too comfortable to make a courageous move. Instead, God pulled the rug from under my feet and set me on a path, which far exceeded the expectations I had for myself. As the Good Book says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5).