FAITH & REFLECTION — I am not indifferent to the plight of those who are unemployed. And not just because their cash flow is affected and the bills are piling up, but because their sense of self-worth can decline right along with the economy.
Unemployment and economic hardship are current realities and there doesn’t seem to be much light at the end of the tunnel. Some of the headlines I’ve seen recently say things like, “Alberta’s recession is one of the most severe ever; economists warn that Alberta recession could stretch into 2017; the Alberta recession is the worst in modern history; worst downturn in 30 years.”
I have taught, without hesitation or apology, that the Bible addresses every area of life for all people, in every age. It is my belief that what the Bible does not speak to in particular, it will address in principle. But does it address recessions and unemployment? I believe it does.
I recently spoke with an unemployed man. His wife was also unemployed. They had three teenagers to care for, a large mortgage and their EI had run out. In order to buy groceries and pay bills, they had accrued significant credit card debt.
When I asked him how he was managing, he admitted that it was tough, but he shared several Bible verses with me that had been encouraging and uplifting in their time of adversity. I will share just two of them. The first is 1 Peter 5:7, which says, “Cast all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” The second is David’s testimonial in Psalm 18:6 where he stated, “In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.”
When I asked this gentleman why he had not approached me, or others, for help, he replied that he’d been too busy asking God for help. I couldn’t argue with that, though I feel that there is nothing wrong with reaching out to friends or family.
This man went on to explain that a concerned individual at a food bank had passed their names on to another agency that was able to give enough help to tide them over for a brief time. He believed that God answered his prayers and kept His promise. The last time I spoke with him, though the recession still rages on, he had obtained full-time employment.
The foregoing testimonial indicates that turning to God is the answer for unemployment (or anything else for that matter). If this seems naïve or trite to you, may I ask you a closing question? Who else can you turn to?