IIT UBF - University Bible Fellowship at IIT

Stories

God Redeems

Author: Dan Bockenfeld

In 2009, I lost my job because of the economy. It was one of the worst days of my life, but two years later God made it one of the best of my life.

In 2009, I was working for a company that make electric motors and actuators for the aerospace industry. I was an engineer in the space products division. It was a small group of about ten engineers. I had been working for the company for nearly two years, when the faltering economy caught up with me. In 2008, there was a collapse in the financial markets that reverberated throughout the economy. The company that I worked for weathered the storm, but on April 16, 2009, the company laid off about 20% of their workforce. It was an across the board layoff. Everyone from engineers and technicians to maintenance and custodial people were affected, and I was one of the engineers.

The day the layoff happened, the entire company assembled and we heard a speech needing to let people go. When it was over, we all went back to our areas and we waited to hear our names. If we heard our names, we had to go to a designated area. It meant that we were fired and we would receive our severance package. While there, the remaining people were sent home and we never got to say goodbye. We were given a box for our belongings and had to leave.

It was an odd time. I think I was in shock because I didn’t feel anything for a while. Also, I really didn’t know what to do. The day before, I bought my fiancé a new computer and I was going to get married in three months. What was I going to do? How was I going to get married? I didn’t have a job now, how would I provide for a new family? I became a little depressed and humbled. Because of being laid off, April 16th could have been a day that I hated. It would have been a constant reminder of my failure and a scar in my life.

Fortunately, God had a different idea. God didn’t cause me to get laid off. He didn’t tank the economy. People’s greed and sin did all that, but God knew that in order for me to be healed of the situation, I needed to rethink that day. So, on April 16, 2011, I welcomed into the world my first child, my daughter Daniela. She is a joy and a blessing to my wife and me. We cherish every day that we have with her. When she was born, I didn’t think about the third anniversary of being laid off, I thanked God for the birth of my firstborn.

In an instant, what could have been a horrible reminder of my failure became a celebration of my daughter. Every year, we celebrate April 16th, because of my daughter’s birth. I didn’t control that birthday, just like I didn’t control when I was laid off, but God was able to take that day and redeem it. Each of those fingers and toes and her blue, blue eyes are reminders of God’s grace for the past six years.

Some people like to sound spiritual and holy by saying, “There is a plan for everything” and “Everything happens for a reason”. But these things miss the biggest point about God. God doesn’t cause the horrible things in life. He is good and wishes only what is best for us. The bad things in life are a result of sin, either directly or indirectly. But, the wonderful thing about God is that he can redeem and repurpose those horrible things and use them for good. Jesus’ death is horrible, but he died because of our sins. God took that horrible event and used it to bring about salvation. 

God took a bad day in my life and made it among the best. God took the sorrow that I had in my failure and turned it into joy because of my daughter. My daughter is both a joy and a frustration, as kids tend to be, but she is always a blessing to me and I thank God for her and what God has done. 

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Daily Bread

Sow the Wind, Reap the Whirlwind

Hosea 8:1-14

Key Verse: 8:7

  For they sow the wind,
    and they shall reap the whirlwind.
  The standing grain has no heads;
    it shall yield no flour;
  if it were to yield,
    strangers would devour it.

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Intro Daily