Though I moan and whinge a great deal, the truth of it is I am blessed right out of my fuzzy pink socks.
Being the moaner and whinger that I am (when I forget about the blessedness) I am often able to work myself into a right old state of stress induced mess. It’s a skill, let me tell you, one that I’ve been perfecting over my many long years of wandering this earth. I was refining my skills recently, what with the discernment to move, the need for additional or alternate work and so on.
Thinking that surely I could put all the necessary pieces into place, I was straining my whole being to try to make something happen. Not leaving God out of the equation entirely, I sought to discern His will for me, fully expecting to hear back something rather wretched because that is what would be good for me (much like cardio and broccoli).
Months passed. Nothing seemed to be happening. What was going on? What had gone wrong? I was at my wit’s end… the very frayed ends. I applied for jobs out of province, jobs I didn’t really want, jobs in cities I had no intention of ever living in. I contemplated taking an apartment I couldn’t afford, reworked budget numbers again and again, all in an attempt to make something fit, to take any action for the sake of taking action.
Fortunately, God loves me. And He speaks to me. So often in my life I have heard His voice answering a need or a question so directly and so clearly there is no doubt whatsoever it is Him and it is for me. It comes in a line of dialogue in a movie, the words of a friend, a passage in a novel. Many times I hear Him in Scripture. I will feel a strong prompting to open my bible and will be lead to a verse that speaks directly to my heart about what has been on my mind.
On this particular occasion, I was consumed with thoughts about the future, worrying about what I was supposed to do, wanting to push ahead. I wanted to escape myself for a while and thought of watching Youtube clips (an excellent way to use up lots of time, if ever you find yourself with a few hours you don’t know what to do with) I got that niggling feeling I should sit with my bible instead (something I haven’t been so great at, lately).
There, in Habakkuk 2: 3, was an answer to “What am I supposed to do? Why is this taking so long?”
For the vision still has its time, presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint; If it delays, wait for it, it will surely come, it will not be late
God’s word really is a balm. Instantly, the worry, anxiety, needing to push ahead, all faded away, leaving behind only peace… and patience. God hasn’t forgotten about me. There is a plan, and it will be revealed in its proper time. I don’t have to make something happen; it’s not up to me to put all the pieces in place. What a relief! Now, I’ve been around for a while, so I knew this already. I’ve even read this passage before – it’s highlighted in bible-highlighter-pencil yellow. But I was too busy with the plotting and fretting to remember those beautiful words.
But what about treadmills and broccoli? I must have stern Protestants somewhere in my family tree, because I can’t shake the certainty that what God wants for me is not something I’m going to enjoy very much. Surely happiness can’t be good for me, therefore what God wants for me is very different from what I want for me. In this situation, I’ve had one clear desire: to find a job in this area, and a lovely little apartment nearby the Peanuts, but I’ve been pushing those thoughts aside, bracing myself to hear the dreaded news that I would be moving to Regina to work in a grey office far, far away.
I woke up one morning – the morning of The Appointment (a job interview, actually) – with the realization that I had it all wrong. It is true that my wants do not always align with what is best, and I do at times yearn for things outside of God’s Providence. Where I’ve gone wrong in my thinking this time, though, is that I have been really praying about the situation. I have been earnestly seeking God’s will, I really want to be obedient, and say yes to what He asks of me. Does it make any kind of sense then, that He would consign me to misery? No!
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD, “plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me, and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek me, and find me, when you search for Me with all your heart. ~ Jer. 29:11-13
Plans of peace, a future and a hope; when I seek God, I will find Him. There is nothing to be wary of in that! That is a promise I can embrace wholeheartedly. And there is more:
Delight yourself in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. ~ Psalm 37:4,5
For the first time I understood this to mean that not only will God provide the answer to my prayer, my desires, my needs, but that the desire itself, the actual yearning comes from Him. When I am seeking God first of all, everything else falls into proper order, including my goals and ambitions, my hopes and dreams. With this perspective, I can see that my wanting to stay close to my family is something God wants for me, too.
So, no more worrying for me. I will be patient and wait for God to show me the next step forward. And it will be worth the wait.
Every good and perfect gift comes from God ~ James 1:17
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