For most of my life, I have been the one steering my own ship.
What I mean is, I've had, or at least tried to have, control over my own life. This was especially the case once I became "grown," which hasn't really turned out the way I thought it would... Lord, if only I could be a kid again (insert tears here).
Anyway... Having had control over my life, I thought I, for the most part, knew what was best for me.
For the first 3-4 years after I graduated high school, I thought I had a good idea of where I was headed in life, and how to get there--until my plans started falling through, one after the other.
Now, I don't know where your faith lies, and it is not my intention to force you to believe the way I do. My desire is to simply give you a different perspective, that will hopefully help you in your journey through life.
I've bumped my head and even busted it wide open quite a few times, trying to do things my way. I wanted to take the path of least resistance, but somehow, this path kept leading to disappointment.
I can recall feeling so helpless as the result of my plans not prevailing, that all I could do was pray and ask God for help.
If you're anything like me, there has or will come a point where you come to understand that, even if you've had many experiences and learned a ton of lessons, there will inevitably be times in your life where you have no idea where to go, what to do, or what to say.
I have been at this point more times than I can count.
It wasn't until I really began to gain an awareness of God's presence in my life, that I began to understand His plan and purpose for me, and why, in trying to do what I wanted, how I wanted to, I tended to end up right back at ground zero.
I've said all this to say: when we are operating from our own desires and in our own strength, we will always hit a brick wall. Whether it's an immediate or prolonged collision, it will happen.
But I've also said all this to bring us to the point where we understand that whether we know our God-given purposes and walk them out or not, anytime we deviate from God's plan, leading, and instruction, we will find ourselves doubting, worn out, and/or giving up.
I can say with all confidence that I now trust God more than I ever have before. This year has already exceeded my expectations because of my yielding to God and trusting His leading; however, there have still been a couple of times this year where I've slightly deviated from God's instructions.
The other day, I got home from work and was thoroughly tired. I was tired, not just from the work I'd done that day, but from the build-up of work I'd done over about a week. I knew I had been working hard and still trying to maintain a healthy relationship with God, but my balance was a little off. Immediately I began to feel like I'd been trying to do so many things for the right reasons, but not in the right ways.
Even though I was thoroughly tired, I almost attempted to do more work, but I was drained. I laid on the sofa and thought: Lord, I'm trying, but I'm tired. Then He brought it to my attention that I was tired, because I was beginning to operate in my own strength, even though I had the right intentions. Right then I told myself that I was going to get comfortable, and get some rest. I'd made up my mind that the next thing I was going to do, would be whatever God led me to do. I felt so at peace with my decision to wait on God for instruction.
I drifted off into a light sleep, but not long after, was awakened by God, who led me to my pen and paper to write down what He'd planned on sharing with me.
As I prayed, I was led to John 14. I read the entire chapter, but what stuck out to me most, were verses 27-28:
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. Remember what I told you: I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am" (NLT).
God began to reveal to me that as long as I abide in Him and follow His lead, I will have an abundance of peace. Any time we're doubting, burnt out, or deciding to give up, it is highly unlikely that we have peace. The reason we don't have peace is likely because we've deviated from God's leading and instruction.
After my quick nap, He reminded me of three words: Trust. Abide. Remember.
This is what I wrote down:
"Trust in the Lord. Abide in Him. Remember His promises, not only the promises to give us "things," but especially His promise to walk with us when times are easy, and when they're difficult. Repeating these steps, takes us from trying, to being and doing. We get frustrated and exhausted in our trying, because we're trying with our own might and strength, instead of trusting in the Lord enough to abide in Him, and lean on His strength to help us along the way."
If you've gotten nothing else from this, please remember that when you steer your own ship, it's likely that, eventually, it'll sink.
Wait on the Lord, and trust Him to lead you to where you need to be.
"But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint" (New Living Translation, Isaiah 40.31).
I love you!