Saturday, June 4, 2016

New Post: "When God doesnt give us what we want..."

When God doesnt give what you want...

What do you do next?

When I was younger- I simply moved forward.
I would make my plans, and attempt to make them successful.

My thought was- "God will only help me if I am already doing everything possible for myself."

Have you heard a similar phrase as this before?
Its another version of the false doctrine: "God helps those who help themselves."

Its a lie that sounds so close to truth that it confuses us, but-
it steals our peace because it forces us to do more for ourselves.

Before I was arrested, I had drifted in my walk with God.
Then when was I at my lowest- I began to see more truth than I had ever known.

  • I can do everything possible for myself, 
    • and God may bless what I am doing.
  • I can do everything possible, 
    • but God may not allow my wishes to come true.
  • I can do nothing for myself, 
    • but God may show me His favor.
  • I can do nothing for myself, 
    • and I may suffer.
Here is where the confusion arises:

God doesnt tell us what to pursue, but
He may give us new paths we never sought.

In frustration I scream- "What is happening here God!?! This makes no sense!!"

Here is the first glimpse of hope I want to provide in this situation-
It's OK to get frustrated with God, and tell Him so!

I cannot grow in the areas where I dont get involved.
When I dont talk to God about my feelings,
I cannot  develop a deeper understanding of Him,
but instead I miss the peace in life He has waiting for me.

Let me provide an example of some history since my release form incarceration-
  1. God has brought me through prison, probation, and parole.
    1. During this time, I struggle to find regular work, and go unemployed for nearly three years.
  2. I ask God to show me where He wants me to join Him in what He is already doing.
    1. Then I look at my skills, experience, and passion, and decide to seek certification as a Christian Life Coach.
  3. I begin to write about emptiness and frustrations that arise when men seek money, power, sex, pleasure, and prestige, yet still find a lack of deep personal fulfillment.
    1. Soon I have clients, including pastors, former police officers, entrepreneurs, etc.
  4. Next I find places to volunteer as a mentor & coach to guide those recovering from addictions, and moving from jail or homelessness to begin a new life - right in the place where I feel I can help most!
  5. I get involved at church, co-leading small groups.
Life seems to be going well, but then...
  • My client pool disappears, and there is no new income.
  • The organization where I was beginning to assist those in need- right where I once was myself, losses their funding and has to close their doors.
  • The co-leaders of my small group at church notify me I am not a good fit because I attempt to teach too much, and they want more of facilitator.
  • I found a temporary job- but in less than 9-months it is clear I am not a good fit there either.
My identity is now in question.
Who am I?
What- if anything, do I have to offer?
Am I any good at what I am trying to do?
Or should I quit and look for something else entirely?

What would you do?

Will we kick and scream at God-
calling Him names for not providing relief from pain,
or more opportunities for purpose and joy?

This is when nothing makes sense,
but in my helplessness, God was faithful.

Out of nowhere- He provides.
Am I where I want to be? Maybe not, but-
God gives me a new purpose.
It may not be big, or bold, and I have no influence,
but He has allowed me to provide 
something I hadnt been looking to do before.

Can I be "OK" with what God has given me now?
Yes. because in this- I find His peace.
And, my faith has increased as a result.

God may not give us what we want,
yet He may provide something else we can embrace,
when we allow our eyes to shift from ourselves
to what He may want to accomplish through us.

What if what God wants to do through you,
is different than what you want, but-
is much bigger than what you ever imagined?
Will you let God guide and lead you into new places?

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