"Welcome to my blog space. I believe that God has carefully placed gems in our paths to fill our days with joy. The challenge for us is to take the time to notice them. My desire is to share the gems in my life so that, hopefully, you will see the ones He's placed in yours. I hope what you read here will be worth your time and you'll want to return often." - Cathy

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Placeholder

Conditions at work were growing more and more unbearable.  Like mercury in a thermometer, my blood pressure rose up, up, up until the tube burst. Every day as we walked from our cars to our offices, one of us would verbalize our thoughts, “Think today will be our last day? I wonder if I should start packing my personal things if I have any spare time today? How long can this torture last? “
Financial Downturn
The company was in such bad financial shape our suppliers wouldn’t ship to us unless we pre-paid the bill. Making payroll each week was iffy. Ten percent pay cuts for the salaried staff made an imperceptible difference in expenses. We weren’t the only company struggling. Our customers were stretching their payments to us to the ninety-day limit and insisting on price reductions.  Our suppliers raised their prices to cover increased costs in the petroleum industry. And we were caught in the middle.
I was so miserable I prayed that God would remove me from the chaos around me. His answer surprised me. He said, “I can’t remove you. You are a placeholder for good in this place. If I remove you, it will upset the balance of good and evil in the company.”
My response to Him was, “Okay, God, if that is what you want, I am satisfied being a placeholder for You.” I stayed with the company until I was laid off shortly before it was sold. I wish I could say the days got easier but they didn’t.

So what does it mean to be a placeholder?
Algebraic Equation
In mathematics, a placeholder is a symbol used in the place of a numeral not yet known. In the simple equation 2x + 1 = 5, we find that x is the placeholder for the numeral 2. We remember from Elementary School how important it is to keep numbers in their correct place or the wrong answer ensues.
In the twenty-second book of Ezekiel in the Bible, God enumerates Jerusalem’s sins. The people had done everything God had commanded they NOT do. God tells Ezekiel He looked for someone, anyone, to stand in the gap so He wouldn't have to destroy the land. Because He couldn't find anyone, he was forced to bring his wrath upon them and destroy the city. Just one person, willing to be a placeholder for God and for good in that evil place, could have saved the entire city.
The story of the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, the story of Samson and many other accounts in the Bible show us that God is always looking for those people who are willing to be placeholders for good in our fallen world. The recent Day of Support for Chick-fil-A was a rallying point for Christians. God was looking for people who were willing to stand in the gap and support a company trying to do business His way.
Fence Sitter
There’s no room for taking the middle of the road or fence-sitting in our world. We’re either holding a place for good or for evil. Harsh, I know, but true. Which are you?
Have a blessed and joy-filled day-


  1. This is one of the best ones yet! Blessings on your writing!

    1. Thanks for the encouraging words, MJ. You're a gem!

  2. Great post and great reminder Cathy!

    1. Thanks, Debbie! You'll be pleased to know that Mary Jane and I are meeting once a week and setting writing goals for the next week. We hold each other accountable for completing those goals each week. It's working great for both of us. We are accomplishing so much more than we were.