Lean In - When “I got this” meets “I don’t got this”
Trusting the Lord for His guidance in life is one of the craziest things in actuality. Often in the Christian community we throw around that well known phrase as we listen to prayer requests and difficult situations. You know the one. “Just trust the Lord and His timing.” It’s such an easy thing to say, yet the implementation of that tiny little phrase is infinitely more difficult.
I’ve been thinking so much about this topic lately because something really big has recently been introduced into my life. It’s the strangest thing really, to trust God, to ask Him daily for strength and guidance, to plead with Him for an answer, to know disappointment when you are forced to wait on His timing, and then to suddenly see the thing face to face that you have been asking Him for all these years. Like, what do I do with this? How do I react now?
I am immediately humbled because my reaction was not something of expectation fulfilled. Instead it was something of shock and surprise. Is my faith so little that I have been asking for years, yet never actually expected for God to deliver? Am I so consumed with controlling the details that when I am presented with my exact request, my first response is fear because I see the situation and I know I can have no control over these details? Once again I am reminded of how small I am in the world of the spiritual. When you’re not being tested, it’s really easy to look in the mirror and tell yourself you're a giant when in reality you're just a little shrimp. My prayers started to turn. Suddenly I was praying for humility and hope to combat the fear.
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.” James 4:6
“Why, you don’t even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.” James 4:14-16
A crazy thing happens when you turn something over to the Lord, when you drop the burden at His feet and ask Him to carry it for you. The impossible part of your scenario takes on this new light that is no longer an obstacle too big, and turns it into an opportunity for God to really prove He is in this!
That means one really, really special thing. My questions and worries can become challenges to the God of the universe. Not challenges in a haughty way as to say, “fix this God, it’s broken,” but instead an acknowledgment that I am not strong enough by myself and I need Him. I believe it is a distinctly God thing to answer prayers with unexpected, imperfect answers. If you think about it, what would our very natural, very human response be if we wanted something desperately and were then given that exact request? We would be like a kid at Christmas with their brand new toy that throws a thank you over their shoulder as they run outside to play with their new toy! There would be no dependence or reliability. Even the 'thank you' would come in a half-hearted tone as we would already be forgetting all of the long days and agonizing nights of prayer that went into the moment of receiving.
If the hinge point of our spiritual growth is reliant on a dependent/lean-in relationship with God, why would He ever give us something that did not require us to lean in to truly receive the good? With that thought in place, as soon as we think God is answering a prayer request in our lives, we should ask ourselves, "ok, where is my point of dependence in this?" In other words, how is God going to use this enormous blessing to continue to draw me closer to Him, because we can always know that is His plan.
Your relationship with the Lord is an amazing resource to be able to tap into with a word, an action, with surrender.
On a personal note… and I’m sure anyone reading this blog that is really interested in my life is shaking their computer screen right now, yelling, “what is the big answer to prayer you are speaking of in such veiled terms?” For now I will simply say life might be taking a hard right in the near future, and while that can be scary, it is also the most exciting thing I can think of because I know I am not the one behind this change. With a history of going after the big dreams in my life, I’m feeling that flame of excitement light up again in a big way. When God calls, you have to learn to just jump and commit wholeheartedly to the path He places you on, knowing without fear that He will establish you right where He created you to be.
More on this later ;)