Rick Warren wrote that Wallace Johnson was one of the founders of Holiday Inn, and a dynamic Christian. When he was 40 years old, his boss fired him from his saw mill job. It came as a devastating shock. This was during the Great Depression. He and his wife needed the income from his job, small though it was. Wallace felt that the world had caved in on him.
His wife worried. She asked him, “What are you going to do?” But Wallace had been thinking, and he answered by saying, “I’m going to mortgage our home and go into the building business.”
His first venture was the construction of two small buildings. Within five years, Wallace Johnson was a multi-millionaire. In an interview, he said, “Today, if I could locate the man who fired me I would sincerely thank him for what he did. At the time it happened, I didn’t understand why I was fired. Later I saw that it was God’s unerring and wondrous plan to get me into the ways of his choosing.”
I wonder how many of us miss what God is doing because we’re so short sighted or lacking faith in our God? Did you catch what he said… “If I could locate the man who fired me I would sincerely thank him for what he did.” WOW!
Have you ever been fired from a job? I have. Right after Pam and I were married I was working for a CPA firm in Birmingham. And on April 16th (Note the date), they told me my services were no longer needed. Great timing! We’d just bought a new car and moved into a nicer apartment… and I was fired. There’s nothing like the rejection of being fired. It is tough to say the least.
But I can tell you this without hesitation. If I hadn’t been fired then, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I was planning on studying to take the CPA exam but getting fired changed my mind (Plus I saw what those guys went through during tax season!). Instead I worked as an internal auditor or SouthTrust bank for a while until God reminded me I had been called to the ministry. Me getting fired was an unexpected life change God ordained to keep me on the path I needed to be on!
I don’t care where you work… who you work for… or who you work with, there will be bumps in the road. You might even get fired. You might get fired because you did something stupid… someone else did something stupid… or there are stupid people who make stupid decisions. But note this… God overrules and controls stupid people and bad situations!
I am so thankful for everything that has happened to me. People who intended evil for me ended up being emmesaries of God’s grace that has led to greater blessings. In fact, I’m convinced that if those people knew just how blessed I was as a direct result of them… they probably wouldn’t have done what they did!
So if you’re struggling… if you have been or are about to be fired… take courage! God is in control! Who knows what God may have in store for you!! Keep this in mind… God uses peopel who think they are hurting you to make you stronger, wiser, more mature, and more like Jesus. As Paul wrote, “If God is for us, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US?!” AMEN!!
Like Mr. Wallace, there are people I’d love to give a sincere and hearty thank you. I’m sure they’d misunderstand it, but God used them and what they did to help me more than they’ll ever realize! They thought they were getting their way… accomplishing some great task… doing what was right even though the way they went about it was wrong. But bottom line, God used them to bless me! And to Him I give the glory!!