“The angel of the lord appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the lord is with you!” – Judges 6:12
On December 27, 2004 I was placed in charge of three companies by one of the richest guys on the west coast. The main company ended up losing in 2004 over a million dollars. Annual revenue for that company was around 15 million. So not a large company, but still.
Honestly, I was intimidated by the enormity of it all. I felt like Gideon. Surely though, I was being set up to fail. The company had never turned a profit in its history. All it did was lose money.
Who was I to be given this opportunity to accomplish the impossible? Why did you lead me out here God? To fail?
I was a stress basket those first few months. I would walk through the offices and people would just look at me with a look of… there is no way. (I must have had the appearance of a zombie.) Not to mention the other companies were a complete mess as well. They literally replaced 6 executive level employees with just me. And, I had to rebuild the main company with key positions.
I remember walking between the two offices with a colleague during that time and specifically telling them that I felt like I was going to either be the scapegoat or the hero… more than likely the scapegoat to finally shut this company down. I mean, let’s be honest, I had started at the company just 10 years prior for a mere $6.50 an hour.
That next morning at around 4:30 I was awakened by a sudden sense to read the story of Gideon in the Bible. This was just 12 hours after telling my colleague about how I was feeling. When I began to read the story, I had no idea what I would read next… the first thing I read was from an angel to Gideon saying, “Mighty hero, the Lord is with you.”
Are you serious? That can’t be. Who was I?
Up until then, my approach to the stress of the situation was to completely live in a place of paralysis from analysis. That was not a place to run any company from nor was it a place to dwell and therefore tax my health with. The wrestling match was underway. I had got the word, but I was reluctant to walk in the word.
A few weeks later, I came down with pneumonia. Thank God for this for the only place to look when you are on your back… is up. Winning that took all surrender.
It was a brutal season, no doubt. But in time, we found our rhythm. God had provided a pathway that none of us knew was there. He provided the daily manna needed for us to make the most out of each day which took every bit of emotional energy we had. It was a complete taxing of both left side and right side ways of thinking.
One minute we’d be powering through spreadsheets the next on a white board discussing creative marketing ideas and the next reporting to the big guy and his two right hand confidants. It was brutal.
Two years later… we ended 2006 with a $113,000 profit. Just two years prior that company had lost 1.3 million dollars. How we got there is for another time or two.
But even still… in a dying industry, with less support and resources, this was supposed to be impossible.
I learned a lot during that season.
- I learned the power of knowing that clarity is the antidote to anxiety.
- I learned the power of a good team and how when we worked together, we made everybody better.
- And I learned the power of His promise. When He says He is with you… He means… He is with you.
When He is with you, even the impossible things of life bow down to the God of all things are possible.
I can’t believe it has been ten years. Perhaps its time I remind myself of these very lessons. Is He still with me after all these years of great victories and great losses?
Of course He is. What am I thinking? What have I been thinking?
“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.” – Philippians 1:6