I work one day a week in a dementia home. When I first started, I was employed to do drama with the residents but quickly realized I’d been employed as a standard carer because they were so short staffed. My heart dropped and I thought:
“I’m better than this job, I’ve just graduated I shouldn’t be doing this. Surely this isn’t what Jesus wants me to be doing. He wants me to be successful and use my gifting, right?”
For the first couple months I cried after my shifts, frustrated that I wasn’t getting to do drama, annoyed that God had allowed this to happen and confused why Jesus would let me do a job I was so bad at. I mean, in the interview they asked me what the average body temperature is and I said 26°... it's 37°
But slowly, through the tears, God was working on my heart and showed me that this job was exactly what I needed. Not because I’m “destined” to work in end of life care, but because Jesus fiercely loves me and deeply cares about who I’m becoming. He put me in a job where I would never receive thanks or encouragement, so I would learn to look to Him for affirmation. He put me in a job where I have to choose to love and serve people that don’t love me or remember what I’ve done for them, to show me how he loves. He put me in a job I thought I was above because I need humbling.
On Monday I got to my knees, took my residents socks off and looked at her infected feet. With gloves on and teeth clenched, I washed wee, puss and flakes of skin off of them; then carefully applied cream as she swore at me and told me how much she hated me. And I thought of Jesus.
He is the God who washed feet, willingly, with no gloves on.
He is the God who touched the leper, with tenderness and love.
He is the God who gave his life for people who swore and spat at him.
He is the God who embraces entitled people like me and you.
It’s good to have ambitions. It’s good to have dreams. But we shouldn’t put our identity in what we do, because we'll never be satisfied. As Christians we have the amazing freedom of knowing that we're worthy whether we're starring in a West End musical, teaching workshops, or working in a care home. He cares more about your character than your career. He has a much bigger perspective on your life than you do. That screams freedom. Through the temp jobs, the rejection, the auditions he's doing work on your heart. You can trust him.
Do you believe God is good when he doesn't follow the plan you have for your life; when he doesn't answers your prayers in the way you want?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11