It’s hard to unexpectedly lose your job. The uncertainty of how lost income will be replaced and how financial obligations will be met can cause much anxiety. I have been in this uncomfortable situation four times; each time felt more difficult than the previous one. I know what it is like to be dislocated from a job and the resulting uncertainty of being unemployed. I also know God is able to turn difficult situations around and how great things can be the result. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.
My most recent layoff was in 2003 while working as an office manager for a small technology company. I liked my job. While employed this company, there had been opportunities to form special friendships and to mentor a friend in a life-changing way by helping her find her faith. I was grateful for the chance to be involved personally in this type of a relationship and was hopeful of being able to do the same again wherever I went next. I prayed, God, send me someplace where You can use me. This “Send Me” Prayer was a sincere prayer from my heart that would be answered in ways I could never have imagined. My small mind saw God using me to help another individual, but God had much bigger plans.
God sent me to a Fortune 500 company, a premier and highly respected employer in my community. While a job was certainly an answer to prayer, the realization of the “Send Me” Prayer was still ahead. Armed with no prior knowledge of the term “workplace ministry,” I accepted a position on the council of a Christian workplace group only one month after I started with my new employer. This was the beginning of the real journey.
An organized Christian group in the workplace has the potential to help many people. Our group has offered prayer support, Bible studies, faith speakers, and Christian events open to all employees. I have had a variety of roles and responsibilities on the council’s leadership team, including Chairperson, in the last seven years.
God is still expanding my responsibilities as He continues to use me. It is a pleasure and privilege to serve God in the workplace. God continues to surprise me as He allows my workplace ministry role to expand into the community. God answered the “Send Me” Prayer by changing a lost job into a whole new direction for my life, giving me a ministry and allowing me to help many people in the workplace. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me’” Isaiah 6:8.
I challenge you to ask God to use you in your workplace. God can change your life through one simple prayer.
Shari is currently serving as a Hospice Chaplain at Olive Grove Hospice. Shari is a certified coach who lends a blend of business and ministry experience to her every endeavor. God has given her a passion to encourage people to integrate work and faith. You can learn more about her book, Walking in Faith: Stories of Hope and Encouragement on her website: www.sharjharris.com and contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org