Setting my face like a flint on the job

At the time I decided to go to seminary, I was working as an engineering manager at a high tech company. I asked for and received a leave of absence to pursue my studies, with the understanding that when I graduated, my job would be waiting for me.

As I approached graduation, the company and I agreed on the date of my return to work. But when I walked in the door that day, it quickly became apparent they had no idea what to do with me.

My expectation, which I soon realized was unrealistic, was that I would step back into my old job, or one very like it. The company, on the other hand, had moved on, and seemed to have made no provision for my return. Now, they were scrambling to find a place for me.

The result was that I found myself relegated to a job I hated!

Doing that job, I quickly began to feel overlooked and unappreciated, and I dreaded going to work every day. It was very difficult for me to keep a positive attitude.

But what really helped me to be an overcomer in that most difficult time of my career was Isaiah’s picture of Jesus as He turned toward Jerusalem and the cross:

BibleIsaiah 50:7 (NKJV)  For the Lord GOD will help Me; therefore I will not be disgraced; therefore I have set My face like a flint, and I know that I will not be ashamed.

“I have set my face like a flint.” That’s the example Jesus set as He faced the most difficult circumstance anyone has ever had to endure. And that’s what I felt I needed to do to make it through my own difficult times that threatened to keep me mired in hopelessness and depression.

I can’t tell you how many times a day I repeated that verse to myself! I prayed it, I confessed it, I stood on it.

I came to believe, on the basis of Romans 8:28-29, that I wasn’t where I was by accident. God not only knew about my situation, but had brought me to that place for a purpose. So, instead of allowing myself to be beat down by a circumstance I hated but couldn’t control, I “set my face like a flint” to glorify God through that job for as long as He kept me there.

After a year doing that uncongenial work, God opened up an entirely unexpected opportunity with another company that moved me clear across the country and turned my life in a totally new direction. I literally wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for that difficult time in my life.

And I will always believe that it was the inspiration of Isaiah’s picture of the Lord setting His face like a flint that that brought me through.

Ron Franklin


About RonElFran

Ron Franklin is a graduate of Denver Seminary in Colorado, and is the now retired founding pastor of a church in Harrisburg, PA. A former engineer and manager for high-tech companies such as IBM, Ron has written extensively on matters relating to the Christian faith, modern technology, the Civil War, and African American history. You can see a selection of his articles at .
This entry was posted in Behavior, Bible Study, Christian Life, Faith, Foundations of the Faith and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Setting my face like a flint on the job

  1. robstroud says:

    It’s true how God’s leading for the current moment is really a preparation for what is coming next. I have seen many occasions where people were too comfortable to take up there cross and follow Jesus on a new adventure…

    • pastorronf says:

      I think you’re right about that. In my case, if it had not been for this difficult situation, I may never have had the courage to leave my comfortable and secure position with that company.

I'd like your comment!

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

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

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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