The Faith

The company that I work for as a store manager hires another company to inspect our stores. This inspection is unscheduled and very rigorous, and stores usually score in the mid 80’s to 90’s. When the company conducts their unannounced inspection, they want to catch you off guard, so you have to consistently ensure that your store is clean and ready, and that it manifests outstanding personal performance.

Over the last few months, many stores within the San Diego area have been having their inspections, but I hadn’t received mine until last week.

A few weeks ago I was on a conference call with my Regional Director and two District Managers, inquiring whether I was ready for the upcoming inspection. We went over a list of the top 20 most missed areas in stores. Near the end of the phone call the Regional Director asked me what score I would receive if my store was to be audited that day. I told him we would receive close to a hundred percent.

Last Thursday morning, I specifically asked God to please send us the inspection soon, as I felt good about where my store was in regard to its cleanliness status. I also asked Him to help us to achieve a good score. As I arrived at work and started my day, I told the employees that we would get audited that day. They laughed, and we went through the day, doing the things we needed to do.

As I had reached the end of my shift, clocked out and sat there, waiting for a drink to be made for me, I saw a lady in a blue shirt walk into our store, wearing a badge. My heart skipped a beat! Our inspection had actually arrived virtually at the last minute and on the very same day when I had earnestly prayed about it. I introduced myself to the lady as the store manager. She went ahead and started the inspection, as I waited nervously, saying quiet prayers. She finally came back to me with the result–an amazing 97%–which will greatly contribute to a year’s end bonus in addition to the bonus that I had recently received. As my wife has just delivered our baby, any additional income is helpful.

I can’t help but comparing our lives with this inspection. We have to be constantly cleaning, evaluating and eliminating the dirt in our lives. We don’t know the exact time when Christ will return, even though we do know that the time is near. If we give up and stop trying because it seems to be too hard and not worth the battle, then we will definitely lose out. And when the “inspection” comes, our score won’t be great. We can’t be like the unprofitable servant, burying his talent and not putting it to work. We must bear fruit. Otherwise, we would be like Peter before his conversion, when he walked on water for a short while, but when he focused on the wind and the roaring waves, his faith diminished and he sank.

If we are persistent, look to God and put our faith and confidence in Him, we will never have to worry about failing and about not making it. Christ told us that we can have total trust in Him, as He won’t let us down. 1 Peter 5:7 tells us to cast “all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you.”

How strongly do we believe this Scripture? Or the one in Hebrews 4:16, which says: “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we  may obtain MERCY and find GRACE to help in time of need”? Our time of need is now! Satan is walking about like a roaring lion, with great wrath, seeking whom he may destroy and devour (1 Peter 5:8). He will try to discourage us and to cast doubt and despair, attempting to convince us that we should give up. We must resist him by being steadfast in the faith (verse 9).

When we submit to God, Satan will flee from us (James 4:7). When we stay close to God, He WILL help us (compare Matthew 17:20; 6:30-33). Isaiah 55:6 warns us to seek God while He may be found. Our faithful prayers are not in vain. God hears them. And He may answer in most unexpected, surprising and unannounced ways. We just have to have the patience and the faith that He will intervene for us in His time.

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