by Laura Lynn Thompson
FIRED!!?? How could I be fired? This was the job I was born to do. It was the culmination of all God had spoken to my heart. It was my destiny, my purpose. God had called me miraculously late one night in 1999 to tell people about Jesus on TV. With no education, experience or understanding of the television industry, a series of incredible events led to open doors that only the Lord could have orchestrated. I worked at this faith-based channel for 5 glorious years … and now I was being escorted out of the studio with my belongings. How could this be happening? Where is God, I wondered? Does He know that all His plans have just been blown up by a terrible producer who has destroyed my ministry and career? Did God get sidetracked by the war in the Middle East and forget about His child in North America who needed some support against this evil that had come against her and God’s strategies? Shattering.
Inevitably life deals each one of us a hand we were not expecting. It doesn’t fit the plan. It makes no sense and it’s as if God were asleep at the wheel and has allowed something catastrophic to occur. You examine every possibility to fix it, save it or change it and you come to realize it is irreversible. You’ve prayed every prayer of deliverance, you’ve called out for mercy and justice to Almighty God and yet in plain sight, all is lost. No deliverance, no rescue. In the absence of visible intervention you reconcile that perhaps He simply doesn’t see you. How could He have allowed such a tragic demise? Questions of where this assault originated fill your mind. Is it a direct hit from the enemy who hates you and has been unrelenting in his battering? Are you like the woman in Luke 13:16, “whom Satan had bound” who had sustained eighteen years of attack. Eighteen years of infirmity which bent her soul, spirit and body toward the dust of the ground. Eighteen long years of wishing, hoping and praying that something, some miracle … someone would help her, heal her, see her and do something about it. Jesus did see her and instantly she was healed. Is the devil responsible for this chaotic onslaught and will God see me? Who’s in charge here?
I had seen this tornado coming. Like a hot, blustering sand storm in the desert, it came closer and closer until it engulfed me. I could see that the grace which once accompanied me on this journey in television ministry was no longer accessible. There was no way to gain the favor of this producer in the months prior to being fired. I had given it my best shot in trying to convince and sway his approval towards me. Nothing worked. I had even entertained that I would go above his head to his superior, who had been an avid supporter of mine, and complain about the treatment I was receiving. However, I felt stopped in my tracks. “Don’t even try to save this”, I heard in my spirit. I surrendered to the pain. The job I thought was the height of where God would take me was gone forever.
I wonder how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego felt, completely unable to stop their fateful demise. Trapped by their circumstance. Like them, we can’t see a way out, yet pray that we will not have to endure the fire. Shackled, bound and powerless, we declare in faith that our God is able to save us, and yet we know He may not. We yield to His sovereign will even as we cry for a miracle, which seems like a long shot. “Father, will you save us or will we be destroyed?” We hope the crisis is averted, but suddenly we are being dragged towards the hot, fiery furnace without any recourse. There’s nothing we can do to stop the calamity. An agony we didn’t know we could feel… overtakes us. It’s so brutal even the soldiers who carry out the damning orders die from the heat. Everything in the wake of this disaster is lost. Barely knowing how we got here, we are engulfed in a blaze at a temperature that melts iron. Our prayers are so desperate we don’t recognize our own voice. The flames consume everything in our path…everything, but us.
As the months after the firing trudged on, I cogitated on losing this job that had given me the opportunity to interview movie stars, television personalities and many great Christian leaders and icons of the faith. It was my dream job and God had dropped it in my lap. Now it was gone. I would watch the repeats of my interviews on the Biography Channel Canada. I looked for my failures and weaknesses on camera. Where had I gone wrong? What were the deficits that had led to this rejection? Over and over I asked God if I was being punished for something. The only clear voice I heard in my heart from the Lord was “Do you trust me in this dark place? If you will not trust me in the valley, you will not trust me on the mountain.”
“It doesn’t fit the plan. It’s as if God were asleep at the wheel and allowed something catastrophic to occur…”
If you’ve endured the fire of adversity or are facing it now, you know there is a strange and astonishing awareness which begins to unfold. There is Someone Else in the fire. His arms are strong and His face bears the comfort of One Who knows all is well. Have you ever danced in the fire and been surprised you could count it all joy? There is an intimacy with Jesus that is only experienced in the inferno of affliction. Does He preserve His closest, most cherished encounters for those whom He trusts to endure the scorching flames? Suddenly, there is a courage that grips our soul; a hope in the dream that we had previously had no evidence of seeing actualize. We may survive this nightmare, but we’re not sure how.
“When this is over, your victory will be astounding and your promotion unstoppable, used to the glory of God alone!”
Years later, I am the host for The 700 Club Canada national daily TV show. I am only here because I was fired from that local TV station. The series of strange and divinely serendipitous occurrences that followed became a foundation for my faith that God is in the furnace. He is in the storm. He controls every millisecond of agony and has the ultimate plan to promote you after the refining. Through a heaven decreed connection, within two years I became the host of a brand new show, which actually replaced the program I was fired from…on that same channel. But did I know it would all work out as I was unceremoniously evicted from the position I thought God had sealed me into? No, I did not. We serve a God who has no lack of power, ingenuity or resourcefulness to orchestrate our pledged victory. It is on its way. Align yourself quickly with His will. Wait with courage…wait with anticipation…wait with hope. The hard part is that we can’t trace His hand when we are being dragged mercilessly towards the flames of pain; however, we can trust His heart. If you are in that place, wait for the payoff, it is coming. God’s promises are true. Stand firm in what He has spoken for generations. Every broken place will be made whole. Every crooked scheme will be set straight. Every lie will be overcome by truth. Every fear will fade into faith that your God is greater than any demon, enemy assault or challenge you are up against. It is done and victory is yours.
God does not wound without reason. As quickly as it all begins, we are suddenly escorted from the fire in a march of commemoration to the God Who never forsook us. It is finished. He is the God Who is seen most closely by those who have lost all security in earthly treasures and positions of influence. When Jesus is all of you’ve got, He is all you need. The fire ends and we remain. Daniel 3:27 (AMP) “And the satraps, the deputies, the governors, and the king’s counsellors gathered around together and saw these men—that the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed; neither were their garments scorched or changed in color or condition, nor had even the smell of smoke clung to them.” When our trial is over, there will be no evidence of the anguish; no sign or scar of the pain and no smell of the smoke. When this is over, your victory will be astounding and your promotion unstoppable, used to the glory of God alone. Trust Him in the fire. He knows exactly what He is doing.
Author, inspirational and comedic speaker, Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson is the national television co-host for The 700 Club Canada. In her 14- year television career, she has been privileged to speak on camera with many great men and women of faith like Josh McDowell, Tony Campolo, Patsy Clairmont, Bill Hybels, Dr. Gary Smalley, Liz Curtis Higgs, Dr. Gary Chapman, Pat Robertson, Kay Arthur and Thelma Wells. She has been on stage as a special guest with the Women of Faith and opened the event for the Gaither Vocal Band. Over 90 of her personal interviews have aired on the BIOGRAPHY Channel Canada. Her book “Relentless Redemption” tells her true story from devastation to destiny. To learn more, visit www.lauralynn.tv.