I have quite an eclectic work history. I began in fastfood, working at Dairy Queen from the age of 16 through high school, with a short break to work at a country club. Since then, I’ve worked in most areas of retail and most areas in food service. Then I entered vocational ministry full time in 2006, serving for four and a half years until January of 2011. Since then I have had three other jobs.

In retail I eventually rose to the level of hourly management, which gave me access to some of the hiring practices that the store used in bringing on new employees. I had a similar experience in food service, rising to the level of hourly supervisor. In both instances, I saw how management looked through applications and resumes to determine whether to pursue or purge applicants from the process. You know what the biggest variable on a person’s application was? Work history. There were two questions, if I remember correctly, implied in looking at work history: (1) Are they qualified? and (2) Are they dependable? A person whose work history had little related to the area to which they were applying was not qualified. A person whose work history goes no further than two years back—an application usually has space for three jobs—is viewed as not dependable. A person’s work history indicate whether they are a strong or weak applicant.

So last week when I was driving around to apply for work, I was particularly down about my work history. You see, if I were a hiring manager and I saw my application, I wouldn’t think twice about moving to another applicant. I have a terrible track record of dependability in the work force. Sure two of my last four positions have been temporary/seasonal, but it still doesn’t look good. I have an extremely weak resume.

Graciously, God reminded me through a choir recording of a truth that chronically evades me when I am in the midst of trials: God is strong when we are weak. This truth is best illustrated in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 where Paul reflected on a thorn in the flesh that God had refused to take away. After asking three times, God finally told Paul, “Hey, I’m enough for you.” Paul’s conclusion boggles my mind: He actually chooses to take pleasure in his weaknesses. He changed his mind and said, “This thorn, I love it because God gets to show his strength in my weakness.” Wow. I don’t know how to do that.

But God brought to my mind that in the weakness of my resume, he is strong. It’s still my responsibility to frame my experiences and skills in the best light I know how, but God is the one that is strong where my resume is weak and can providentially provide me with a job where I need one. I’m still not where Paul was, choosing to boast about my weaknesses. Then again, maybe I am by writing publicly about them. This is my prayer though: that God will give me pleasure in my weaknesses and show his strength through them.


In My Weakness

by Mike Harland and Cary Schmidt

When living life for Jesus Christ become too hard a task,
When obedience means sacrifice that seems too much to ask;
That’s when I learn that my own strength isn’t really strength at all,
And I find rest in humbleness when I surrender all.

In my weakness He is strong;
In my need He leads me on.
When I come to the end of all I am,
And I place my trust in Him;
That’s when His strength begins –
In my weakness.

When failures in my human strength have weakened all my pride,
And ruined hopes in fallen dreams have crumbled me inside;
It’s then by grace I fin’lly see the strength of Jesus Christ,
His victory is real in me when weakness fills my life.

In my weakness He is strong;
In my need He leads me on.
When I come to the end of all I am,
And I place my trust in Him;
That’s when His strength begins –
In my weakness.