Naturally, when we first meet someone, the first things that we want to inquire about are their name, age, and occupation. Mentally, we want to get a good picture of where they are in life, because our minds are so used to comprehending the order of things in terms of these limited categories. There is nothing inherently wrong this way of thinking except that it is incredibly shallow.
It has too deeply influenced the way judge ourselves. We are so hard on ourselves. The timeline that we use to cast vision for our lives is heavily influenced by our society, which seems to be in such a rush, and to posses an insatiable desire for accomplishment. What is it we are really looking for, and when is enough, enough? I have a couple of friends, including myself, that I seem to constantly be reminding to take a little bit of a break. There is no shame in rest. Everything will get done according to God’s time. Hearing that only leads to frustration for those who have a tight grip on their lives. Many of us are so into the habit of doing, and are deeply entrenched into the mindset that “It will not get done if I don’t do it.” Let’s examine our hearts. Who and what are we really working for? Will God not honor it if we draw near confessing, “Father, this yoke is too heavy for me, who can bear it?”
Let’s remember that our Lord is the one who cursed the fig tree causing it to whiter because it did not bear fruit (Mathew 21:18-22). This was symbolic to the curse the Pharisees (religious leaders of the jews) lived under who preached the law and tried to work hard and live under it, yet they did not bare fruit. Jesus is the Lord, and everything comes back to Him. Striving, and forcing things to get done or to go a certain way,
is like sewing a crop in a sun-scorched land, it springs up only to whither, never producing fruit.
A Pat on the Back
This is what it really boils down to. Our frustrations really stem from a lack of approval. One of our longings is to be approved of by the ones we love and respect. I like to call it good-kid syndrome. We are like well-intended children, and want to live our lives within the dotted lines and to be told that we have indeed done well. I am very familiar with the feeling of being disproved of, and even misunderstood. I have had the Lord give me peace about choosing a particular career path whilst friends express concern, even doubt, about my choices etc. Most of all, I have struggled with my weight and had people question whether or not I actually cared or was trying. It hurts and is disappointing. I have wrestled with God asking’
Why can’t I just be thin?
Why can’t I be understood?
Why can’t I have people take my career goals seriously even though my GPA isn’t 3.5+
What Does A Fruitful Life Entail?
These questions were derived from conflicting standards. On the one hand, humans, society and the world etc. are telling me one thing and on the other hand God is saying something else. My family members and friends may have a particular timeline for where I should be and when, but on the other hand, God has only allowed things to move far slower. I am 22, and so my wisdom is so limited concerning why God’s standards differ and He allows us to disappoint loved ones and experience the sting of failure. What I can say is that the Lord has taught me that slower is typically more fruitful. We love to declare verses about God’s promises and His plans but practically, we must also consider that God is hardly in a rush. He is slow but thorough. His craftsmanship is beautiful and He gives proper attention to every detail. All Is dotted. All Ts crossed. He loves us.
So friend, what are you in a hurry about, and is it realistic to be? Is it really terrible that you are still working that particular job for the time being? Is it earth-shattering that you and that guy didn’t work out? Will your family completely disown you because you failed that class or you didn’t get hired where you wanted to? Right this moment I encourage you to consider this as the Lord wiping your tears. It is all okay. You have done enough.
Know that I am waiting ALSO! I am waiting to be friends with people who can understand some of my problems in deeper way. I am waiting to graduate college (around the corner) and find a good job. Most importantly, I am waiting for God to give me a stable household. I do not have a family (parents/siblings), so I am waiting to get married one of these good ol’ days. The way we feel is normal, but his plans never fail.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11