This time of sacred waiting has also given me permission to think about the future in new ways. Let’s face it; most of us are averse to change. I know I am. Though you might occasionally wonder whether it’s time to think about a new career and begin taking steps in that direction, in practice it’s easier, less risky, to stand pat. Well, a job loss gives you a clean break with the past. You don’t have to decide whether to try something new. That decision has been made for you. A job loss gives you a kick in the pants and tells you to get going. Sometimes a dearth of options is freeing.

In my current crisis, I have been diligently learning the tools of the job search trade—resumes, profiles, job groups, cover letters, search engines, etc. But by far the best opportunity so far arrived through none of them. It was ideal, well suited to our needs, and came down, as it were, out of the sky, a clear gift from God—not my own puny efforts.

Yet this gift has provided its own lesson about sacred waiting. A well-connected friend offered me the job over the phone and told me a contract would be forthcoming. Initially Christine and I were elated. But he was traveling, and no contract appeared in my inbox. My time of sacred waiting suddenly became excruciating.

As the days without further word dragged on, I began to worry that perhaps something bad had happened. So I enlisted friends to pray with me, and many did, telling me to let them know of any developments immediately. On the eighth day after the verbal offer, minutes after I had mouthed a half-sincere prayer of trust, the longed-for contract finally appeared.

I quickly signed it, relieved by God’s provision and a little sheepish about my own doubts. Then it hit me. Perhaps the Lord had delayed his answer so that God’s people could be a part of the divine provision by upholding Christine and me in prayer and rejoicing with us when it became reality.

Sacred waiting, after all, is best done in community.

Stan Guthrie is author of the new book, A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy: 60 Predictions Everyone Should Know. Stan blogs at stanguthrie.com.

Publication date: November 21, 2013