Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

A step of faith

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One day the wife of a man from the guild of prophets called out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead. You well know what a good man he was, devoted to God. And now the man to whom he was in debt is on his way to collect by taking my two children as slaves.”

Elisha said, “I wonder how I can be of help. Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Nothing,” she said. “Well, I do have a little oil.”

“Here’s what you do,” said Elisha. “Go up and down the street and borrow jugs and bowls from all your neighbors. And not just a few—all you can get. Then come home and lock the door behind you, you and your sons. Pour oil into each container; when each is full, set it aside.”

She did what he said. She locked the door behind her and her sons; as they brought the containers to her, she filled them. When all the jugs and bowls were full, she said to one of her sons, “Another jug, please.”

He said, “That’s it. There are no more jugs.” Then the oil stopped.

She went and told the story to the man of God. He said, “Go sell the oil and make good on your debts. Live, both you and your sons, on what’s left.”–2 Kings 4:1-7 (MSG)


This has been a trying year. No gory details at the moment – it just has been that way.

In all that, God didn’t forget about us. He didn’t rub His hands together and cackle with glee at our suffering. He didn’t decide He had something better to do. He didn’t think, “Oh, there are three young ladies that have been imprisoned in a house for years in Cleveland who need to be found and set free, so your problems aren’t really on my radar right now.”

It also has nothing to do with magnitude. God didn’t say, “Oh, I have to make sure you have grocery money this week, so I’ll ignore Boston while they have that marathon this year. After all, nothing exciting ever happens during a marathon.”

And yet, four months ago on Labor Day when I decided to look for a new job, I had no idea the twists and turns that the road would take.

I turned down two job offers that weren’t very good. Praise God that I had the freedom to do so when so many would love to get even one job offer.

I interviewed at places that seemed like slam dunks, but yet God closed the doors. I interviewed at places where I felt I botched the interview completely, and yet God gave me favor.

My almost 8 years at my current job ends on Thursday. My new job starts after the first of the year. I am honestly terrified, but I decided long ago when the twists and turns began that I would have to take a step out in faith at some point.

So, one step: I get a promotion.

Another step: I have to buy my own benefits (and before the end of the year so Obamacare doesn’t come nail me for going without).

Another step: I’m working on a high-profile project for our state. Think if this thing goes belly-up.

Another step: I have to go 28 days between paychecks.

So, yeah… maybe instead of a series of steps in faith, I might have taken a whole leap. See you on the other side.


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