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During job search, God showed Himself in a totally unexpected way

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In December, 1986 I was out of a job, and I prayed intently that God would help me find just the right job. I felt confident that He would, because surely He’d have to agree this was my most pressing need. As it turned out, He must have thought there was another need more pressing: letting me know He really exists.

Here is one of several coincidences that occurred during the several months I was unemployed:

I wanted to find out if any Human Resources positions existed at the large corporate offices of Perry Drugs in Pontiac, MI. Perry was getting good business reviews at the time. So, I drove there one morning, picked up some company literature and asked at the front desk if I could talk to someone about potential opportunities in the training or organizational development departments. The lady gave me a standard address to send my resume to, and politely bid adieu.

Frustrated, I walked outside into the parking lot, and decided to ask the first person I met what the Perry working environment was like, so I could at least come away with something. The person I stopped was the Manager of Training and Development! I was elated when she gave me her card and asked me to call her the following Monday, when she’d have time to talk. The coincidence was invigorating, and I thanked God.

The next day I read all the company literature I had picked up. One brochure had brief biographies on the six top executives, including one about Mr. Don Fox, the president. Two days later I went to the airport to pick up my fiancée, Mary, who was flying in from a business trip. The plane was scheduled to arrive at 6:40, but at the last minute it was delayed until 7:40. I bemoaned the bad luck, wondering how I would put an hour to good use. Then a man walked into the waiting area and took a seat just kitty-corner from me. I thought he looked like one of the pictures in the Perry biographies. Don Fox! My heart started beating audibly and I asked if his name was Don Fox. He said yes, but how did I know? I stared ahead blankly and monotoned, “Now I know for sure there’s a God.”

This statement piqued his interest, and he asked me to explain. I told him about the coincidences and then we chatted about God, his life and his family for about half an hour. At the end of this conversation I asked him if he knew where there might be opportunities in Perry Drug’s corporate Human Resources department. He said he’d love to give me an opportunity if they had one, but just that day he had put on a hiring freeze, and it was to last for about a year. He instead gave me some names of friends at his level at other Michigan firms and told me I could use his name. Why God would set my hopes so high just to dash them puzzled me.

Upon later reflection I realized that God had indeed answered my prayer, but with a different answer than I wanted. I had been seeing the value of my relationship with God in terms of the good things He could give me. He wanted me to see the value of simply knowing He is alive in my life. He did not give me what I wanted. He gave me what I needed.

Did this really happen? See this article announcing Don Fox's retirement effective Dec. 16, 1986.

My commentary: Is God Real? I consider this more evidence.

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Last modified on December 29, 2014

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