Fatigue. Uncertainty. Frustration. Restlessness. Are any of these words too familiar to you? Such words can be the catalyst to complacency. I’ve counseled with many who reach a point in their lives where they aren’t happy with how things are going and they often come to a place of giving up, letting go, and buying into the lie that things will never change.
One teen recently wrote me to say, “My life is a mess. Nothing is going right….and God seems so far away. I’m beginning to question if it really matters if I give God time in my life.” What he was really saying was, “Things aren’t going the way I want. God isn’t acting the way I want Him to. So why try anymore?”
Disappointment and uncertainty are two close companions that love to show up unexpected, crash a party, and leave behind a mess of mixed emotions, doubt, and fear. I know these two companions all too well. I can admit that I too have often allowed the circumstances of my life to shape my emotions in any given moment. (Just ask those closest to me – they will quickly confirm this.)
I’ve learned (and am still learning) that when these feelings begin to sneak up on me, I have to motivate myself to action! God is working on my heart to remind me that, as the Word says, His ways are not my ways (Isaiah 55:8). Simply put, He doesn’t always move, think, and act as I desire. He is God. He has the right to do as He pleases, no matter what I desire. This means that there will be times when I can’t make sense of, or even fully agree with all He does – or chooses not to do – in and with my life.
The key here is trust. I often ask myself, “Do I genuinely trust God?” My answer is, “Yes. I do trust Him.” I then remind myself that trust doesn’t always mean “to understand.” Proverbs 3:5 reminds me to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” Lately I am reminded of the truth in this verse and that trusting God is exactly about this one word: trust. It doesn’t always make sense. It won’t necessarily always add up. It will not guarantee worldly success. And, it often requires a willingness to be led into places that are difficult and dangerous. (Think about the story of Jonah. He was asked by God to go and share the gospel message with people who hated Christians and enjoyed killing them, peeling the skin of their faces, and hanging their skulls around town on poles.)
Life with God isn’t about complacency. It is about the greatest of adventures. He understands there will be times when we question Him. He welcomes the questions. He also desires we move past the questions to a place of trust, even when we don’t receive the answers we want.