I like when everything is going as planned.
Let me be more specific. I like when everything is going according to my plan.
I find myself praying for certain outcomes and don’t understand when things don’t work out quite like I asked. There have been many times that I just didn’t understand, quite frankly, why some things have to be so hard. Especially, when I am trying to be faithful and diligent about seeking after God on a daily basis.
For a long time, I equated ‘smooth sailing’ with being a faithful servant of God.
Have you ever felt that way? Please tell me I’m not alone.
For many years, I felt the closer I was to God, perhaps the more answered prayers I would receive. I mean, maybe I didn’t actually verbalize it out loud, but I know that was how I felt deep down in my heart.
And if I’m honest, I am just now beginning to see trials and difficulties in a different light.
Although, I have so far to go in my walk with the Lord and His ways are obviously light years above mine, I can honestly see how the difficult, trying times keep us on our knees. They keep us in a humble state of reliance on HIM.
Right now I find myself in way over my head with a project that God laid on my heart months ago. I feel completely incapable, inadequate, and clueless about so many aspects of it. I can not count how many days I have started out on my knees, begging Him to help me. I have prayed for wisdom and for Him to be involved in every detail…so WHY have there been so many hard days? After all, this was His idea. I am simply trying to be obedient. So why can’t it be easier? Smoother sailing?
The short answer?
To simply keep me on my knees. To keep me relying on Him and not making the mistake of self-reliance. To keep my heart softened to wanting Him in each detail. To remind me of Who is in control.
I’ve seen this time and time again. As I prepare to speak at a conference, it never fails. I question what in the world I am doing? Who am I to speak to a crowd of people about something as life-changing as our Savior?
The ‘freak-outs’ have become pretty routine. Ask my husband. Like clockwork, before every speaking engagement, I find myself hitting a wall. And hitting my knees.
Multiple times during the planning phases of the event I am working on now, I have questioned if perhaps I heard God accurately. I felt like if these things were truly His idea, then why in the world is it so difficult?
But what I am beginning to realize, is that these difficulties, these feelings, these ‘freak-outs’ of sorts, are actually an answer to my prayer. Although, initially I thought it was exactly the opposite. These things position me in a way that force me into closer communion with the One I so desperately want to know better. I can’t share Him transparently with others until I experience Him deeply. And these trials, these difficulties, these feelings of desperation all usher me into a closer relationship with God.
Don’t get me wrong…I still would much rather things run smoothly. According to the plan.
And I can’t honestly say that I am at a point where, like James, I count it all joy when I face trials…but I am at least beginning to see the beautiful point of them!
Today, if you are facing difficulties, I encourage you to look at the possibility that God may be using it to draw you closer to Him! Lean into Him. Trust Him. He is working.