Sometimes you pray and pray and pray for something to come about, only to be led in a different direction. Or maybe that moment that seems so perfect for a dream, goal, or long-desired outcome to occur comes and goes. And were left wondering, why? When? We know intellectually that God’s ways are quite different from ours, but moving that knowledge to our hearts can be a different matter.
Today Jessica Everingham, author of Open Your Eyes talks about all those questions that mill through even the most faithful of believers, bringing hope and peace to our chaotic hearts.
But first, let me announce the winner of last week’s book give-away! Heather Day Gilbert, congrats! You won a copy of Saving Yesterday by Jessica Keller! I’ll be contacting you soon to get that intriguing novel to you. 🙂
Trust, by Jessica Everingham
Me to God:
“I don’t believe Your timing is right.”
“I don’t believe You can accomplish Your purposes through my life and writing.”
“I don’t think You can reach the hearts that are ready for You.”
“I don’t think You can take care of my financial needs.”
Have you ever caught yourself saying this to God?
Probably not. Few people say these things out loud, or even in their heads. But the other day I realized that I was saying all that to God through my actions.
It started with a meeting of my local writers’ group. Our topic this week was offline marketing. We shared our ideas and experiences for about an hour, but as I drove home I felt more stressed than when I’d arrived. The whole marketing thing freaks me out—it’s just so hard.
Apart from grabbing someone by the ear and marching them into a bookstore, I don’t know how I’m going to create an effective marketing strategy. I picture my beautiful book, (once it gets published), languishing on the bottom shelf of a bookstore. The publishing industry is difficult, and it scares me that I can’t control my own success. Even some awesome books just never quite break out. And so I stress that I’m not writing fast enough, I’m not good at marketing, I’ll go broke, and no one’s hearts will be drawn closer to God through my work.
When I got home from the meeting I flopped onto the lounge with my journal and thought about my fears. God’s been teaching me about trust lately, so I reflected on what my worries were saying about my belief in him. All those ‘’I don’t’s’’ are what I came up with.
When they were just fears floating around in the back of my head, they seemed so big and scary. But when I wrote them down I saw them for the silly lies they were. I should know better than to believe them. God’s timing is right—and always better than mine. He is certainly powerful enough to ensure that His purposes are fulfilled whether I have experience in marketing or not. He can reach all the souls He pleases. And if I’m “seeking first His kingdom and righteousness”, then my needs will be sorted. End of story. End of worry.
Stressing about things I can’t control has been a pattern throughout my life. But I’m sick of losing my peace of mind to worries that I can’t control. I don’t think God intended for us to live this way; in fact, I’m confident of that. Jesus came to give us “life, and life to the full”. I don’t think repeated freak-outs fit under that description.
So now I’m learning how to break that pattern of stress. God’s helping me grab the thoughts that aren’t from Him and throw them out the door, then replace them with His truth. He’s reminding me that He loves me, His purposes are greater than mine and I don’t have to rely on my own strength. And even though I slip up occasionally, I have more peace and joy than ever before
Jessica Everingham is a blogger, journalist, boarding school mistress, youth leader and aspiring author. She loves writing articles and stories that peel back our subconscious attitudes and reveal God’s truth.
Connect with her via Facebook at www.facebook.com/jessicaeveringhamwriting, Twitter (@JessEveringham) or her blog, Consumed By Him, at www.consumedbyhimblog.wordpress.com.
Open Your Eyes:
What if someone could see into your soul?
All your wounds. All your darkness. All your potential. All your beauty.
How would you react?
Nathan Scott’s eyes see more than most. Penetrating past flesh and bone, they slice down to the very soul.
So when he moves to the small Kansas town of Grangeville, Nathan sees that jealously, suspicion and fear are tearing the local church apart. What’s more, the minister’s intriguing niece seems determined to avoid him.
While the congregation knows about Nathan’s sight, no one is aware of his secret mission—to find his estranged father.
While tensions build and relationships grow more complicated, Nathan is faced with two of the greatest challenges of his life.
Can he love a father who has done nothing to deserve it? And can he unite his church before it self-destructs?
Let’s talk about this! Forgive the cliché’, but they say hindsight is twenty-twenty. This has certainly been true in my faith journey. So many times a situation that seemed hopeless or a prayer that seemed to go unanswered later turned into a beautiful blessing. The trick is reminding myself of all those times when the next hurdle or period of waiting comes. I’m sad to say, when chaos hits, I often spend more time what-iffing than remembering, and I suffer for it! But praise be to God, He is ever faithful to lovingly and gently call me back to Himself, reminding me He’s ever-watching, ever-helping, always sovereign.
What about you? Are you in a time of struggle or waiting? Pause to remember a time when you felt broken, fearful, or as if things were hopeless. How did God bring you through? What did the time-table look like? What did He do in your heart and the hearts of those around you while you waited?
Maybe you’re in a period of blessings. Record them! Write down what God’s done and ways He’s revealed Himself to you, then when the struggles hit (which they will), you’ll have something to remind you of that firm foundation you have in Christ.
Jessica, you’ve expressed these thoughts–what I believe most of us have to battle with on a daily basis, or at least I do–so well. Thank you for your graceful boldness (how do you like that one?) This past year I find myself also learning a lot more about this trust-relationship with God, which involves avoiding glancing at the clock or pondering our age.
Thanks Elaine! Nice to know I’m not the only one. 🙂 Stress is such a big issue with most people; I think if I can improve how I trust God, I’ll unlock a lot more joy and peace. And really, unnecessary worry is a bit of an insult to God; He deserves our trust. Yet I find myself constantly tempted to stress. I’ve found that reminding myself of God’s truth and praying helps me banish those anxious thoughts – it’s a long process, but I’m getting there!
Love your ending statement, and I can’t help but wonder if Moses or Noah or Abraham ever had to resist doing the same. Oh, wait! In Bible times, age was honored because folks knew wisdom came with age. 🙂 (Although I’d have to say, you’re still with lots of words in you! 🙂 )