Do you ever feel trapped by your circumstances?
I so do...
Sometimes I look around me and think, “This should be different than it is. How should it be different? How do I get there from here?”
And the more I think on it and pray about it, the more trapped I feel.
Now, this is completely counter to what God tells me about His way.
Which begs these questions, “Am I not following God’s plan? Or am I following His plan and not seeing what He intends for me to see here? Or is this not even about me?”
Lately, I’ve felt a tremendous amount of pressure – to provide more of my presence to my family, to provide a better quality of work for my job, to provide some creative time for myself to nurture that part of me, to provide more openness in my life to hear God.
As you can tell, these things all seem to work against one another.
And since we all have the same 24 hours in a day, I start thinking about what I’m not doing right that causes this pressure, alternating with thoughts about what I’m supposed to be finding out here in this place of pressure.
Fully believing in the “diamond principal” I sometimes have great hope and happiness over my pressure…God must be making diamonds, right? I mean the Bible talks about the refiner’s fire and how we are put through it to make us pure.
Then I think “Well, that’s just poppycock and I’ve obviously made decisions in my flesh and not in the Spirit.” In these cases, I begin to analyze and ponder how in the world I made such poor decisions that I ended up with so much pressure.
Sometimes God’s answer to prayer is a very simple silence. I’ve bolstered others by saying “God isn’t saying ‘no.’ He’s saying ‘not now.’” And, being the do-er, the worker bee that I am, I’m rarely content to just sit around in my pressure and cook, so to speak.
Lucky for me (BLESSED for me) I’m a believer and I have the instruction book for life – my Bible. Here is what I found today…
1 Thessalonians 5:18 says “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
Ok…I’m thankful for having a job and a family and a creative spirit and a God who loves to be with me. I say I’m thankful for not having any time to sleep or think straight, believing in faith that this too is a moment, a day, or perhaps a season, but not a lifetime.
Matthew 6:34 says, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”
Indeed…today’s trouble IS enough for today. And since I’m having so much trouble today, I sometimes can’t help but worry about tomorrow. But the Bible says just DON’T. So…I can make a choice to just NOT worry. This is hard for me. CHOOSING not to worry. Putting it aside. This is the sort of thing that Paul is talking about when he says “I die daily.” I die second to second with my desire to worry.
Perhaps my favorite scripture about all of this, though, is Jeremiah 29:11, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
God intends us no harm. He calls us to find contentment where we are (Philippians 4:11). He tells us in His word that a good plan and hard work will lead to prosperity (Proverbs 21:5). He wants us to have Faith that He is in control and that whether we got where we are by our own choices or by following His voice, He will work it all out for His good.
So while I fee trapped, and while the answers are not clear, I know who is in charge, and He has told me how to behave in these circumstances and to have faith that He is with me and will use these things for His good.