Work

3 handles for when you feel like quitting

Priscilla Ong // June 25, 2019, 5:24 pm

WAITING ON GOD

I wanted to call it quits.

The toxic work environment fuelled by a lack of direction, career progression, unclear reporting lines and poor communication had taken its toll on my mental, emotional and physical well-being. This toxicity spilled over into my everyday life – I developed a short temper, was always moody and irritable.

I didn’t even know I had changed until the people around me noticed it. They asked me: “Do you realise how easily you flare up these days?” and “What happened? I realised your attitude has changed recently.”

That was when I realised something was wrong.

Should I quit my job?

I had been wanting to call it quits for a while now – two years to be exact – but to no avail. I was getting impatient and frustrated. The situation at work was progressively getting worse and my patience was running thinner with each passing day.

I felt trapped. I wanted to move on – anywhere – but I couldn’t. Doors to job opportunities were shut and the option of quitting without a job was a luxury I couldn’t afford. So, checkmate.

The work situation did not change, but something changed – I changed.

For two years, during my time alone with Him, I cried out to God for a way out of this misery.

But something changed one night. That night, with a defeated soul, I came to God in complete silence. My words had run dry. Tired of the wrestling, all I could muster was one word in my heart. I cried out: God!

And out of that silence, I saw a picture. There was a boat in the middle of a lake, between two shores. I could see where it had departed from and where it was headed to, but the issue was that it wasn’t moving – it was anchored. And then I saw myself standing there, eyes fixed on the other shore.

There were so many things I wanted to achieve. I wanted to press on, I wanted to move forward. I said: “Jesus, I know where you’re bringing us to – over that side. Let’s go. Hurry, let’s move!”

Silence. I turned around and there He was, ever so patient, seated with a smile. Then came a still and loving voice.

“For now, just sit here with me. Spend an undivided moment with me. Don’t worry if we’re not moving or progressing. Just sit here with me and enjoy my presence.”

So, I finally yielded. And I did exactly what Jesus wanted me to. I sat with Him every morning, pored over His word, committed each day to Him and made a conscious effort to host His presence every day.

Hosting the presence of God

The work situation did not change, but something changed – I changed.

Whenever I felt negativity rising in my life, I gave those feelings to God and asked Him for wisdom and peace. It was a conscious effort I had to make, but it was much easier and more manageable than dealing with the situation through my own energy and efforts. Before I knew it, I had sat with Him for six months in a stationary boat.

A peace that I had never experienced before took over and for the first time in years, I felt contented. I viewed where I was as His appointment and a ministry He had gifted to me. I began to wait on Him in my wait for Him. I started to see my workplace as a place where I could serve Him – to be a light wherever I am placed.

I’ve learnt three valuable lessons from the six months I spent seated in a stationary boat with Him.

1. HE IS WITH ME 

He was in the boat through it all.

Through the up and downs, through the silence, He is in the boat with me. I just have to quiet and still myself – it’s always in that place of stillness where I hear Him.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (Psalm 139:7-10)

2. FOCUS ON HIM 

Sometimes I get so clouded by my desires that I lose sight of Him. I fit God into my plans rather than follow His plans.

But the truth is, God cares more about my standing with Him than the things I could do for Him. That’s not to say that my achievements are not important to Him. God desires us to always recalibrate our focus onto Him, so that we can be propelled even further in the next season of our lives, as children rooted in His love

“In their hearts, humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” (Proverbs 16:9)

3. STAY FAITHFUL WHEREVER I’M PLANTED

One morning, I came across this article by Desiring God. This sentence, in particular, struck me: “See your life today as an assignment from God. And stay faithful at your post until the Lord moves you.”

Sometimes God does not change the situation because He is shaping and moulding us to become who He wants us to be. He sees our future; we don’t. He knows what we need for our future; we don’t.

God of my waiting

So how did my story end?

I was brought out of that toxic environment. In fact, the exit door opened swiftly the moment I began to wait on God – when I had contentment in my workplace, seeing it as an assignment from God.

That was a character-building season for me. God had done what He wanted to in that season, I had learnt what He needed me to and I was brought out once the lesson was complete.

Now, I’m onto my next lesson. It’s a different journey than the previous one, but one thing’s for sure: I can be sure of Jesus, His character and heart for me.

THINK + TALK

  1. What are you waiting for in life right now? Or what are you struggling with that makes you want to quit?
  2. Where is God in all of this?
  3. What does it mean to sit in the boat with Him? Would you do that?