This post first appeared on sola
Have you ever felt like God wasn’t giving you a break?
It’s like no matter how much you pray, things don’t seem to be getting any easier.
When I was so fed up with how my life was going, I quit my job in New York to go on a cross-country road trip for two months.
I had no more excuses, and so I tried to listen to what God was trying to communicate to me. This was when it hit me.
The real reasons why God wasn’t working in my life was because I wasn’t letting him.
1. I DIDN’T GIVE GOD MUCH TO WORK WITH
I had spent most of my career grumbling but not doing anything to change my circumstances.
I had been complaining to God about how unfulfilling my job was. Then I realized God was probably just wondering like a wise parent would, “So what do you want to do about it? I’m here to help you, but I can’t do everything for you.”
This was my problem. I was unhappy, but I wasn’t doing anything to get me closer to the things that God had placed in my heart and mattered to me the most.
I used the fact that I had no idea what to do next as an excuse to do nothing. But when I did nothing, God had nothing to work with. I needed to make a choice and give Him something so that he could do something better.
2. I WAS ALWAYS ASKING GOD TO MAKE MY CHOICES FOR ME
Growing up in the church, you’d often hear questions like:
“How do I know if God wants me to move to a different job?”
“What is God’s will for my life?!”
I asked God these kind of questions because I didn’t want to take responsibility for my decisions. If I got clear instruction from God, then at least I can blame Him if things went badly.
During my road trip, the truth dawned on me.
God is big enough to work with whatever choices I make.
God’s purpose wasn’t to give me step-by-step instructions on every decision. His will for my life wasn’t as much about what I did, but more about who I was becoming.
Being consumed by whether my choice was right or wrong was far from the point. If I took focused action towards on becoming who God wanted me to be, He would work out the rest.
3. I REFUSED TO LET GOD INTERRUPT MY LIFE
I imagine the conversation between the newly-pregnant Mary and the unsuspecting Joseph went something like this:
Mary: “I’m pregnant.”
Mary: “But don’t worry, I didn’t lay with another man. It was God who gave me this child.”
Joseph: “Oh, OK.” (nervous smile)
You could see in the Scripture that maybe Joseph didn’t quite believe Mary.
Because Joseph, [Mary’s] husband was faithful to the law, and yet did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. (Matthew 1:19)
He was probably freaking out, but God intervened to tell him not to worry, and Mary indeed had a child who came from the Lord.
Joseph could have left her, but he let God interrupt his life. Something tells me this is how God needs to operate sometimes.
After running away from home, Moses was interrupted when he saw a burning bush and was told to save his people from the reign of Pharaoh.
Abraham was 75 years old when he was interrupted to go and start a new nation.
Simon and Peter were fishing one day until they were interrupted by Jesus to follow Him.
Would I be willing to be interrupted by God, even if it entailed if it meant scary and uncertain moments like these? The truthful answer was no.
God was so silent in my life — not because He wasn’t speaking to me, but because I couldn’t hear him from under all my fears and insecurities.
The Bible contains story after story where a good life becomes interrupted because He called the individual to an amazing life.
I needed to have this type of willingness so that God could work in my life. I needed to be willing to bet interrupted, let go of my anxieties, and follow Him even during the hardest moments.
GOD CAN ALWAYS MEET US WHEREVER WE ARE
Our futures are like blank pages in a book, and God has given us a pen.
So the next time you feel like God isn’t working in your life, a good question to start would be:
“Am I being a good steward of the life that God has currently given to me, no matter the circumstances?”
I’m not trying to downplay the sad and horrible things that can happen in our lives. But are you willing to admit that God has equipped you to be capable of responding to hard situations with the same level of love that Christ has given to you?
I am absolutely certain that God has placed something amazing inside each and every person. The hard part is all the love, passion and talent that resides in you can only be found when you take the time and effort to connect with Christ’s love.
When you connect deeply with God, you’ll feel Him calling out your true self — the self who was created in His image, not the image you portray to the world as a result of your fears and insecurities.
It will bring out our courage in times of fear, strength in times of pain, and love in times of indifference. We will begin to hear his voice more than ever beckoning us to live the amazing stories we were always meant to live.
A life that reflects the greatest love ever.