We sat around yesterday morning before we started school, as we do every morning, and read once again more of the story of Joseph. It seems like we are often in that part of the Bible. It reminded me of all the posts I've written about being in prison or in the pit like Joseph. What struck me yesterday was how long it was before he was able to see his brothers again after all they had done to him. It was also such a long time before he was able to see the fulfillment of the dreams he had been given so many years earlier.
That reminded me of another thing I had read while away the week before. It may seem like an unlikely book for me to read, but it was on the shelf of the condo we were in and I've heard this man's name so many times, but didn't know much about him so I picked it up and read as much as I could before we left. It was called The Warren Buffet Way. Funny, I know. I actually found I really enjoyed it! It had biographical parts to it, not just about investing, so that made it a little more interesting. One thing he said jumped off the page to me, with respect to investing wisely, "Noah didn't wait for the rain to start building the ark."
Believe it or not, these two things are tied together. Joseph and Noah. Just as it took years for Joseph to see the fulfillment of his dreams, it also took years before Noah saw the rain. Yet both were required to be faithful in the meantime. As the kids and I talked about this idea, other names came to mind from the Bible who also had to wait, Abraham, Sarah....it seems to be a regularly occurring theme, this waiting thing, being faithful....
We have longed for our kids to have good paying jobs for a long time. We wanted them to be able to put money away regularly so that they could one day buy their own cars and even their own houses. They've had odd jobs here and there over the years, but really, my daughter who teaches piano and also at a co-op, was really the only one with a regular income and that wasn't enough to get a car and save lots. We prayed about this a lot. We were also kind of picky. We didn't want them to be in an environment that was dangerous or could be a dark influence. So many jobs can be the undoing of someone's faith because of the influences of the other co-workers. We wanted to make sure it was a positive, healthy environment, ideally. Was that too much to ask?
Our kids put in application after application to certain places we thought would suit them, were close to home, etc., but time and time again, it just wouldn't work out for a variety of reasons. How can you save money for a car and one day a house if you don't have work. I was frustrated for them. They were frustrated!
One day, I casually mentioned that my kids were looking for work to my friend, as I'm always their biggest advocate, and she said, "I'll ask my friend whose dad has a greenhouse." Within a few days, my kids were called, interviewed and hired, just like that. When my daughter saw how easy that was, she said, "Can I work, too?" I asked the owner and he said, "Have her call me." Next thing you know, she's working, too. Suddenly, my older 3 kids have work and lots of it, as much as they want. This may not seem like a big deal, but it's so great, and this is what I was trying to tell them with respect to Noah and Joseph. Now that the money is coming in, there will be huge temptations to spend it. That's what I did at their age. I tried to remind them of what it must have been like to be Noah's kids. Noah probably went up to them and said, "Hey, I need your help building a boat because it is going to rain in who knows how many years, what do you say? Can I count on your help?" They probably thought their dad was bonkers, but then again, maybe they didn't think like that at all. Maybe, just maybe, they knew their dad's faith was strong and that he had a walk with God and maybe, they didn't ever question him, they just said, "Sure, Dad," and went to work. Yesterday, I asked them to believe me. I asked them to trust me. I told them the Warren Buffet quote about building the ark before it rained. I begged them to put their money away and to even invest it so that one day, years from now, they would have so much money saved that they'd be able to not only have a car, but a house.
This job is a miracle for so many reasons. We love that it is fairly close by. We love that all the kids can drive together. They all have a great relationship, the boys in particular. This allows them to work together, too, which they love. Working together is also always that much better as family watches your back more than non-family. It is a great environment in that they are surrounded by plants! It is a family-run business and they have a great work ethic. His own children are involved in it and our kids are witnessing a bunch of kids working for their dad, just as they have for thier dad for years.
How is that related to Joseph? I just saw the fact that we don't always see when things will work out. It seemed like this job thing just wasn't coming together. I really had to trust God for His timing. He knew they needed work. He knew they needed an income. He knew they wanted to start off in life by being ahead financially not behind. Now they have university to pay for, piano tuition, cars and houses to buy....it wasn't going to be coming from us! With Joseph, all God wanted was that he would remain faithful where he was. God was with him all along. I knew that in my head, but once in a while, those doubts would creep in. This week as we've reflected on the work they have now, we are amazed at God's goodness to them. We can be so grateful for all the other jobs they didn't get. Who knows what God was protecting them from?
It's just such another great example of trusting our kids to the Lord, even the jobs they need, and waiting on His timing for them. It sometimes takes years before we see the fulfillment of His plans for them. We had prayed many times about work. God always knew what He had in mind. We just had to keep being faithful where we were.