(John 15: 16, 18-21 AMP).
I found myself saying in the last few months, “I’m beginning to hate my job.”
It was true. I was beginning to supremely dislike the job I was appointed to (John 15:16). It’s a position the Lord will not allow me to leave until He is ready for me to go. So I have no choice but to sit tight and wait.
What’s so bad about my position? Well, it’s not really my duties or the challenges, or the inconveniences of being in this field. If anything, I know I am called to do this, and the Lord has definitely equipped me. The Lord planted me here. The plain truth is I was uncomfortable due to a relationship issue within the workplace. More aptly, my relationship with one person in particular had changed. I fell out of favor with someone without knowing why. I believed the relationship to be as important, meaningful and congenial to them as it was to me. Over the course of a few months, I found myself being …ousted. I had been on the receiving end of passive aggressive behavior, the recipient of emails intending to make me look incompetent. My ideas were being dismissed, ignored or downplayed – only to discover the original recommended courses of action provided in the beginning – by ME – were indeed necessary. This frustrated them as well as myself. If we’re being totally honest here, it annoyed me…A LOT.
I’m a fixer and I wanted to fix the issue. How do you do fix what’s broken when a person is concealing information and won’t be straight with you about their problem with you? In order to fix the issue, I needed to understand exactly what I had done to offend or hurt them. Of course, I hit my knees in prayer about this situation as a trained warrior is supposed to do. NOT. Instead, I would replay incidents over and over; made myself crazy trying to cover my back and tried hard not to retaliate against accusations and overtones.
I failed. Miserably. Although this workplace relationship had been tenuous at best these days, and caused me a bit of distress, I still did not bring it to the Lord until this morning. And really, I didn’t bring it to Him. He brought it to me. This morning, the Lord answered a question I hadn’t thought to ask by leading me to this little nugget found in John 15: 18-19:
18 “If the world hates you [and it does], know that it has hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you belonged to the world, the world would love [you as] its own and would treat you with affection. But you are not of the world [you no longer belong to it], but I have chosen you out of the world. And because of this the world hates you.
It’s not me they hate. It’s the Lord. They don’t hate you. They hate the Lord you represent.
I’ve often prayed the removal prayer (as I like to call it). Funny thing is, I didn’t expect the workplace relationship I valued to begin to deteriorate. Revelation has sprung forth in both direct and not so direct ways. Opinions previously held about some coworkers have changed, while the strangest relationships and opportunities to share my faith in practical ways have been made available. The Lord is shutting some doors, while opening others in the hearts of the people, and that makes me and you, and others like us, dangerous.
When you begin to trust the Lord and follow the path he has set before you, do not be alarmed at these things (James 1:2-7). Expect complications and firey trials: falling out of favor with your boss, coworkers, friends, family. Expect hell to come against you because you are representing your Father in heaven.
The Lord told me this person doesn’t even understand why they are against me, or why the spirit of jealousy has come upon them in relation to me. I am to pray for them. To love them anyway. To be respectful and not to confront this person about their behavior. To the Lord I ask, “we’re just going to let them get away with this?” To me He says, “we’re going to give them the grace I give you daily.” I still have to respect them and obey, but now I have to do it without complaint to others and trust God to do what he does with people – change their hearts and my own.