I’ve felt kind of “stuck” in my circumstances lately, like I don’t have much of a say in my own life. The “stuckness” isn’t a result of anything except people and situations I have no control over. I’m a firm believer in growth and changing what’s in your power to do so. So naturally, stuckness isn’t a theme I’m fond of.
It’s felt a lot like I’m a sheet carried off by the wind. I don’t get to decide where I am or where I’m going. In my weariness and frustration, I’ve asked God, “Where are you? You have to change this, because I don’t have the power to. I know you care, so why aren’t you doing something?”
I’ve lamented to God about it so many times in the past few weeks, I just imagine He must be shaking His head right about now. Nonetheless, I dove into the Bible, desperately trying to find anything that would encourage me but also grant me wisdom on how to handle my discontent. I listened to sermons, read scripture, and sought counsel from close and trusted friends. But as soon as one situation would seemingly be resolved, another would crop up and reopen old wounds, further discouraging me and leaving me to wonder, “Am I navigating this on my own?”
But amidst my grousing and mullygrubbing, as my mama would put it, God was always there. He’s sent me scriptures, sermons, and devotionals I wasn’t even looking for. As God’s lessons so often do, each reminder had a common theme: honor the refining process. Don’t rush God’s timing. Don’t forget that if you’re not on His Plan A path, even if it isn’t by your own doing, He’s still got the wheel, and nobody needs a backseat driver, least of all God. In fact, the more you gripe, the longer the trip will take.
Just look at Moses in the desert after the Israelites were delivered from Egypt. An entire generation missed out on the Promise Land, because they wouldn’t allow God to prepare them beforehand. God spoke this yet again over the weekend, in fact. He used a sermon to remind me of the wisdom He’d dropped on me a few years ago.
After the most trying time in my life, I’d asked a dear friend of mine, “How can I trust this (issue) will be safe when I’m forbidden from having a say in what influences it?” Her answer still resonates with me on a regular basis. “When Moses’ mother placed him in the basket, she had to trust God to protect him. Protect him from the elements, protect him from the wrong people finding him, and especially protect him growing up. The same people who enslaved the Hebrews were the very ones charged with raising Moses. He was taught their ways, their viewpoints, and their religion. Imagine if you had to give your child up to those who have polar opposite values as you. But God kept His promise. Not only did He protect Moses, but He used what could have been a weapon against the Hebrews as the tool for their deliverance. Trust God to handle situations, even when you’re prevented from lending a voice of wisdom to them.”
All this time later, I keep that advice close to my heart. God in all His patience is still walking me through this. I’m still a sheet in the wind, but God controls which way that wind blows. In remembering this, I have peace in the fact that I don’t have to be in control. I’m terrible at it anyway. I can’t see the storms on the horizon or the rainbow at the end, but God can.
God led me to something even this morning that I needed to hear despite not looking for it. The comment read: The psalmist tells us, “As for God, His way is perfect” (Psalm 18:30). If God’s ways are “perfect,” then we can trust that whatever He does—and whatever He allows—is also perfect. Our responsibility to God is to obey Him, to trust Him, and to submit to His will, whether we understand it or not.
“No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. Just as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you or forsake you.” Joshua 1:5