God is who He is, and will be who He will be, and not who you want Him to be or expect Him to be in any given season. He is not confined to your perception of Him, or of how He operates. As much as God doesn’t allow us to get comfortable in our seasons, He also doesn’t allow us to get comfortable in our knowledge of Him or how He functions, because then we’d become more confident in our own routines and processes of hearing from/receiving from/connecting with God, than in God Himself.
There was a time in my life when I would wake up at 4:30 every morning and spend time with God before heading to the gym and starting my day off. For a long time, I grieved over my inability to maintain this habit when things in my life changed – new job, new responsibilities, (older age meaning I just needed more sleep lol). I didn’t think I’d ever be able connect with God like I used to, and I didn’t even realize that God never expected me to. He was not confined to a time and space of 4:30am at the foot of my bed.
Psalm 139 says:
You have looked deep into my heart, Lord, and you know all about me. You know when I am resting or when I am working, and from heaven you discover my thoughts. You notice everything I do and everywhere I go. Before I even speak a word, you know what I will say, and with your powerful arm you protect me from every side. I can’t understand all of this! Such wonderful knowledge is far above me. Where could I go to escape from your Spirit or from your sight? If I were to climb up to the highest heavens, you would be there. If I were to dig down to the world of the dead you would also be there. Suppose I had wings like the dawning day and flew across the ocean. Even then your powerful arm would guide and protect me. Or suppose I said, “I’ll hide
in the dark until night comes to cover me over.” But you see in the dark because daylight and dark are all the same to you.
I’ve learnt to be patient and still enough to recognize that God, though He remains the same, doesn’t do things the same, and that means I will have to constantly be aware of the new ways in which He is speaking, teaching, providing and acting. I’ve learnt that He speaks and acts as much as on my train ride into the city, or at my desk at work, or on my 15-hour flight to another country as He does in that hour at my bed, I just have to be on the lookout for Him and His voice.
The enemy will always attack you at the point of your calling. His main goal is to prevent you from becoming who God called you to be, and the primary method he employs to do that – the same method he has employed since Adam – is to make you question your identity and who you are… who God created you to be. He will harp on your apparent or perceived imperfections – the very ones that stop you from doing everything God has prepared for you to do.
For me in this season, it’s been relationships, and my ability to be a good friend. It’s been a rough few weeks where I’m constantly being reminded of and meditating on seasons when I wasn’t the best friend, and I’ve found myself questioning the validity of many friendships in my life currently. Crazy for someone who’s been called to people to begin to question whether or not she’s even worthy of them based on past mistakes and fears, isn’t it? But that’s how he gets you to doubt and deny who God has called you to be.
Today God reminded me of the story of the Good Samaritan. Yes, I might be imperfect, and I might fall below the expectations of God and people and myself, but it doesn’t take a good person to be a good friend. Goodness in this case is not mutually exclusive. This of course is not a reason to commit to my imperfections, but an opportunity to show myself Grace, and continuously strive to do better by and by.
Don’t let your weaknesses and past mistakes deter you from being exactly who God called you to be. Your mistakes do not preclude you from your calling or invalidate your passions. In fact, if there is an area in which you find yourself falling and failing continuously, and in such a way that grieves you, it’s probably because that’s the very area in which God wants to bless and use you the most. Commit it to God. Ask for Grace and strength in that area. Trust that God delivers.
I can choose Joy. I know it’s one I’ve told you before, and I’m sure I will tell you again, because it’s such an important truth, and one which I constantly forget and have to relearn.
‘Life’ will tell you that some things can’t be controlled and that your mood will unfortunately change with the wind. Maybe – if it is kind enough – it will share the fact that you can also choose how you react to certain uncontrollable circumstances. But what ‘life’ doesn’t tell you is that you ALSO have control over how you perceive your circumstances, and that your perception will shape both your response, your expectation, and your outcomes. Don’t get me wrong – changing your perception of something doesn’t mean ignoring the reality of it. A lost loved one or a lost opportunity is still lost, and the pain of that is still real. God cares about that pain and fear. He wants to help heal it. He wants to comfort. But part of that comfort – part of finding peace and joy in the midst of those hard times – is seeing things from His perspective. So we have a choice: we can choose to see things from our limited viewpoint and live miserable, or we can ask God to give us His eyes so we can see a little more clearly and find peace in the midst of our storms.
Every time I hit a hard place in my life, I just pray for God to help me to see it the way He does, and usually it’s an opportunity for me to learn more about who He is, who I am, or how I can become more like Jesus. The pain doesn’t just suddenly disappear, but suddenly breathing becomes easier, and I can smile again.
So when you see me smiling stupidly in Instagram photos or in person, don’t make the assumption that my life in that moment is perfect, or that I am not in pain. Just recognize that my disposition is my acknowledgment of the presence of a sovereign God in the midst of it.