Have you ever found yourself somewhere between a rock and a hard place when there is nothing you can do except stay focussed and take one day at a time? As I sat here at my desk waiting for the sound of the postman’s scooter one afternoon recently I recalled a far off day when Doug was a trainee Postie.
It was in early 1977 when we made a life change and moved our family to the river city of Mildura. Once there I wanted Doug to take a break but he was anxious to get work immediately. Initially he went grape picking and soon afterwards got temporary employment as a storeman. This was followed by a week of bricklayers labouring. At least with bricklaying he knew what was expected as he had spent six months with a bricklayer almost a decade earlier.
Later the Job centre sent Doug to the post office to train as a postie. It was to be a month’s trial as was usual and he managed to stay there for six weeks until they took pity on him and terminated his employment. Posties did not deliver mail on scooters in those days. Instead, Doug had to ride a very well worn bicycle under the blazing Mildura sun for kilometres. His first bike just fell apart, another had a puncture and each time something like this happened Doug had to walk the bike to the nearest telephone booth and wait for a replacement.
I was so glad when they terminated Doug’s employment as there was no way he was going to give up. It was taking from six in the morning till late afternoon and he was coming home sunburnt, saddle sore and exhausted. The next day he would do it all again. We had trusted God was guiding us but things were really tough, we were sure He had promised through His word that if we followed His leading He would bless us. It seemed like God wasn’t even noticing what was going on.
Then we walked into our new church and it was announced that they needed a bricklayer for their new building, ergo a bricklayers labourer. I smile as I reflect. Doug had refreshed his knowledge of a labourer’s task prior to his post office experience. The rest is history; he had work and earned an income for some time. There would be other jobs before our journey of faith led him to employment that he was passionate about and which he stayed with for over twenty years until he retired.
In hindsight we think that the post office job was only supposed to provide us with income until the bricklaying job was available. In Proverbs chapter three verses five and six we are exhorted to trust in the Lord with all our heart and not on our own understanding. To acknowledge Him in everything and He will direct our paths. So, if you are doing it tough at the moment take this scripture as your personal promise, commit your way to God and trust him to see you through.
PS Months later we happened to meet the head postman. In passing he complimented Doug for sticking at the round as long as he did. He also pointed out that the previous trainee had dumped his bike and mailbag in the middle of his round and walked off the job on his very first day.