But David tells us in Psalm 139:5 that God confines us—fences us in, a hedge in front and in back, His hand on top.
If life is good we may scarcely be aware of this constriction. But when circumstances are hard, the job is unfulfilling, other pastures look greener, it is easy to try to wriggle out of the place we're in, to spring ourselves from what feels like a prison.
I read the blog of a special education teacher who wrote of this very thing in one of his 2011 advent meditations. His thoughts came out of a conversation with the furnace fixer, Mr. S., who confided in him, "I don't like my job," and then asked, "How about you? Are you thinking of leaving or are you going to stay?" Here's the rest of the story in Magical Mystical Teacher's own words:
“'I’ve thought about leaving,' I say to Mr. S, 'but where would I go?'Perhaps that attitude of trust in God, that willingness to stay or to go in God's time, not ours, is the secret of living without restlessness, anger, resentment, bitterness etc., in our hedged-in place.
What I don’t tell him, because I’m not sure he’d understand, is that the only thing keeping me here—besides the children—is my sense of being placed here by God. Like the psalmist, I have found that God leads people who are willing to be led. If it weren’t for that, I’d be filling out as many applications as it takes to get out of here as quickly as possible.
However, until it is clear that I am supposed to move on, I listen for God’s instruction right where I am, confident that God will teach me the way to go, and lead me when the time is right."
Excerpt from Other Food: daily devos, January 14, 2012.