A letter to an unemployed nephew


Dear friends,

I share this, which I just sent, because I thought it might comfort others who are out of work or suffering rejection:

Your mom mentioned in a recent e-mail that you were still looking for work, and I thought, “how discouraging, to have to spend months just looking for any dumb job.”  It would tend to make me angry, fearful, and depressed, unless, of course, I could keep in mind God’s constant and unfailing love for me, and His absolute power to sway hearts and make doors open for me – or keep them shut.  Problem is, I have trouble keeping that constantly in mind, though I do ask for His help with that.

Anyway, it grieved me to think of you being tempted to be angry, fearful and depressed, and I wanted to let you know that your name (and your mom’s) are on a prayer list I have written in my notebook, and I try to read it over once every day so that I don’t let myself falsely claim that I pray for anybody (by putting them on the list and then not reading the list).

I’ll say again what I said when I was last your guest, that I think that you and your mom are called to be saints, as Paul said of the members of the churches that he wrote to (Romans 1:7, 1 Corinthians 1:2, Ephesians 2:19, Colossians 1:2, etc.), and that your concern for the troubled, and willingness to minister to them, shows your awareness of your calling; so that if the world treats you as fools, or as just so much unwanted surplus population, remind yourself that the world so treated Jesus Christ and the people of His first churches (see, for example, 1 Corinthians 1:18-28, 2:14, 4:9-13).  So you might think of this time of trying to find work, and repeatedly being rejected, as a time of trial that God is consciously letting you pass through, to help you develop patience and trust and other spiritual muscles you’ll need for your future assignments.  Such, at least, is my hope. Eventually we’ll find out.

It’s one of the great ironies of this world that in this, as in many countries, a young person can get a college education and still find himself (or herself) unemployable.  It’s another great irony that you can get a college education and still be no more morally educated than a little child, as you can see from all the corporate and government lawyers, doctors, scientists, and engineers the world over that knowingly tell lies and promote what they know to be evil because that’s what their employer asks of them.  That means that I think you’re one of the world’s intellectual elite (intelllectual: one who can discern), because I know, or at least trust, that you’d resist those temptations. Which should make you all the more desirable as an employee!  I hope you can remember this whenever you’re tempted to lose faith in yourself.  May the Lord keep reminding you of your goodness, which is not your own but His gift to you, always renewable if you should ever stumble and lose it.

Our love to you and your mom,

Your uncle John


2 Responses to “A letter to an unemployed nephew”

  1. micahbales Says:


    Thanks for this. Speaks to my condition.

    • Thy Friend John Says:

      I will add you to my prayer list, Micah.

      I’m gratified that my letter to my nephew spoke to someone else, particularly to someone I admire as I admire you for your evident giftedness and faithfulness, but it hurts to think of you being in that condition. May it not last long, and may the Lord strengthen you to endure it well for as long as it lasts.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: