Ever been “there”? You know, when you’re confused, insecure, frustrated, upset, and so jumbled you’re not exactly sure you’re thinking right? Or even going to make it?
When that happens (notice, “when” – if anyone tells you they can’t relate, kindly tell them they’re not being truthful), here are a few things to do:
1. Cry out.
Go ahead. God can take it. You may scream, shout, weep until you can’t, or curse, but God always pays attention to honest, no-holds-barred communication coming from a heart that has faith at its foundation. Always. No exceptions. So tell him what you’re thinking and feeling. Not what you think he wants you to say, but what’s really going on in your mind and life. Loud, soft, mad, confused, doesn’t matter. Open your mouth and talk out loud. Tell God.
In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears.
2. Stay around people.
I know, you don’t want to. Pulling the covers up sounds so much better than doing just about anything. But here’s the truth – while isolation is easy, it’s also prideful. You and I know a lot, but not everything. We were designed to live in community. In proximity to others. That doesn’t mean introverts are wrong (thank God), or alone time is never good, but prolonged intentional isolation makes us the center of our psychological and spiritual orbit, a position we are not designed to handle long-term. Nothing warps movement and recovery quicker than an insistence (realized or not) on going solo.
It’s going to take courage, effort, and probably some moments where you feel like you’re faking it, but turn on the lights, talk to yourself (we tend to listen to ourselves), and go get around other people.
A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgment.
Put your seatbelt on.
God doesn’t owe us anything.
I know. uncomfortable, right?
God cares deeply about what we want, no question about that. But he’s got a perspective that we don’t. He wants us to be fulfilled. But a satisfied heart involves things far greater than realized preferences.
Life is lived to its fullest when a greater purpose, a greater calling, a greater power, is at the center. This kind of living requires a few things though – humility, deference, and us taking the second spot, knowing that the first chair has the conductor’s heart, and if we’ll follow his lead, he’ll make the song we’re playing sound really good.
This doesn’t mean trust is easy. It’s not. In fact, it’s hard. In an instant world, not-yet is unfashionable. But patient, trusting people experience things that hard-chargers never do. Twenty years from now our development is going to matter more than our achievement. And here’s the cool part. As our faith grows, we’ll get both.
So, the unknown, the questions, the trepidation, embrace them as best you can. And then acknowledge the possibility that something is happening. Though unseen, it’s there.
That’s trust. And faith. And with them, God just got a lot closer.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.