My 29 year old son faced cancer, chemo and radiation treatment, an insurance debacle, and an uncertain future. But God supplied grace: A little over a year after first being diagnosed, God had sustained him through his treatment and recovery, released him from cancer and delivered him from a crushing financial burden. One last breakthrough remained, a job.
As Austin, Rochelle, and I waited, we trusted God that He was preparing our hearts to receive His good gift, sought to learn whatever He intended during our time in His waiting room, and prayed for breakthrough. Here is text from one of my prayer cards: “Do him good in a way that provides grist to make much of You, even to those who do not believe.” I asked God to provide Austin with a job but to do so in a way that deserved an exclamation point.
For years, Austin had done all the things one is supposed to do to find a job. His efforts yielded nothing. It was time to adopt a new strategy, to do something radical. Austin wrote a letter to the senior litigator of a firm where he most wanted to work. The letter explained why he wanted to work at the man’s firm and under his tutelage.
Two weeks later, Austin followed up by sitting in the firm’s lobby on a Thursday morning, hoping for a meeting. The man was out of the office the entire day. Austin did the same on Friday with the same result. But on Sunday afternoon, he received a phone message inviting him to an interview on Monday. That evening, a “polar vortex” – that’s what the weather folk called it – dumped enough snow and ice on Memphis to shut down everything. Austin's appointment was cancelled. The vortex was still “vortexing” on Tuesday, so there was no meeting on that day either. On Tuesday night, the lawyer called and instructed Austin to come in for work the next day.
When he arrived for work on Wednesday morning, he was informed that he was being hired for a 30 day period, at the end of which a decision would be made. After 30 days, Austin was hired on a permanent basis.
Here is the exclamation point: Austin was hired for his dream job. The job opening was never posted. He had completed no application. He was granted no interview. He began his first day on the job never having met the man who hired him. Just like that, the door that had been sealed shut now swung wide in a way that shouted the goodness of God. Exclamation Point!
After earnestly pleading, “Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me; O Lord, be my helper,” Father gave Austin, Rochelle, and me abundant reason to join the Psalmist in declaring, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; You have loosed my sackcloth and girded me with gladness, that my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever” (Psalm 30:10-12)!