I had used a staffing agency for the first time several years ago.
About a month into my second assignment in the automotive industry, the Quality Department Manager and Supervisor had met with me and, being pleased with my work, had requested my full-time presence at the plant.
When I started full-time they had changed my role from Data Entry to Data Analyst. However, as promising as the position had turned out to be, I left the agency and the plant shortly after the new transition.
Which is another story for another time.
The short background is to say, I had an interview about a month ago with a company that works primarily in—get this—the automotive industry.
To be transparent, I was a bit floored by the proposition because this industry wasn’t even on my job-search radar.
When I resigned, I had continued to seek Abba’s direction and hadn’t thought it likely that my steps in Him would circle back around to this industry.
But, there I was, reading a message on social media from a recruiter who wanted to schedule me for an interview with the company’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and General Manager (GM).
The morning of my interview.
Because I had experienced a stint of discouragement, which I’ve shared about in older posts, I was more nervous than I’d normally be about interviewing. So, the Holy Spirit (HS) reminded me to start by encouraging myself in the Lord (confessed favor in Christ and prayed in the spirit).
In fact, I prayed in the spirit as I updated my resume and as I typed up a cover letter and picked out an interview outfit. I asked HS all kinds of questions.
Like the cover letter, for instance. I wasn’t even asked to have one with me, just a resume, but I believed that HS prompted me to type one up.
I used a writing style different than my usual one. In fact, I asked, “HS, is this too brazen?” But, He spoke into my heart and told me that the letter would be especially impressive to the CEO—which turned out to be spot on.
I was encouraged in the Lord (drunk in the Spirit, actually) going into the interview room.
The GM asked if I had a resume with me, which I handed to him along with the cover letter and asked the CEO if he’d like copies too.
I glanced back and forth between them as they read, waiting joyfully.
When the CEO finished reading, I watched as his countenance changed into quiet reflection and then he said, “I am very impressed. I’ve never received a cover letter like this.”
I said, “Really?”
He scanned it over again, not looking at me, as he shook his head and said, “No.”
Boom—like a rocket, the interview took off. And, it went really well.
In the break room before the interview.
When the GM walked me into the break room, you could hear a pin drop. It was the sort of quiet that had been sitting for awhile and that had very likely come from a group of folks wondering who would start a conversation first.
A few of the interviewees sat silently, staring in different directions, and a couple of others, who also sat silently, stared at their phones.
I beamed a smile and said hello as a few of them looked up.
I bee-lined for an open spot at the wooden picnic table (which made me think of comfort), but decided to sit in a chair beside an older gentleman who wore a sweater vest and coat jacket (thinking the look of him was more comforting than the table—a little of my associative thinking here, folks).
Well, glory be to God for speaking to me through word pictures, and effortlessly, because it turned out that the gentleman I sat next to was absolutely unashamed about his faith in Jesus.
Between the two of us, we got the others sharing details about themselves. But, after the first woman went in for her interview, the conversation, led confidently by the man sitting next to me, quickly turned to focus on our faith in Jesus.
As the others continued talking with each other, this gentleman and I kept drawing the Word out of each other and built each other up.
He told me it was rare for him to meet another believer who enjoyed talking about Jesus the way we were. He told me I was bold in Christ. And, by that point, I was drunk in the Spirit.
HS gave me a word of encouragement for him as our laughter subsided.
I said, “Sir, I believe the Holy Spirit just gave me a word of encouragement for you.”
He said, “Well, alright. Let’s hear it.”
I told him, “You are bold like the lion of the tribe of Judah.”
He turned halfway, looking at me, and said, “I receive that! Someone else said that to me earlier this week. Yes! I am bold like the lion of the tribe of Judah! Praise God!”
He popped up out of his seat—confessing the truth and praising God some more.
The joy of the Lord was like a domino effect in that break room. We were all laughing and talking (and sharing deeply too, not that polite conversation). We were Church in that break room and everyone who walked out and into their interview went with peace and joy in the Lord.
After the interview.
I started to drive back, the peace of Christ ruling in my heart, and I thanked Jesus for what happened in the break room and my interview. I knew, no matter the outcome of the interview, that I had delivered a gift of the Spirit to a brother in Christ, and it was a word in season.
Humorously enough, he had a gift from the Spirit for me too (the same one, in season)—we are bold like the lion of the tribe of Judah.
Hebrews 3:13 (NASB) says, “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called ‘Today,’ so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.”
The Holy Spirit led me to Hebrews 3:13 and then into The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of The Bible (1996). The Greek word for encourage, or exhort, is parakalĕō which means to call near or (be of good) comfort (Strong’s; entry #3870).
Christ in me. Christ in my brother. Unity of the Spirit. And. Being encouraged. Comforted.
Abba Father, thank You for my big brother in Christ through whom You called me near to You and comforted me with Your Word, who is Your Son and our Savior—Jesus. Thank You for doing the same for him through me, Jesus.