I have never been a patient guy. I was born in 1987. I’m a Millennial, the product of our microwave culture. I’m used to everything happening in an instant. My shows release all of the episodes at one time, Amazon delivers my stuff in 2 days, Google has been giving me the answers I need since I was 10. I was always good at saving for the stuff I wanted but once I had the money, I had to get it now; old habits die hard.
I grew up in one of those households where my mother did everything she could with what she had but often still fell short. My older sister was the academic star, my younger brother got the love and affection, my friends had all the “things.” The seeds of discontentment were sown early. Why couldn’t I be more like her? Why won’t she give me the attention he gets? I wish I could get those sneakers.
I’ve dealt with many of those issues (amen to therapy) but shadows will always lurk. Discontentment is almost always my default setting. There is this insatiable quest for more that lives inside of me: constantly trying to do better, be better, get more, continual improvement. These aren’t bad things in themselves but when they take center stage in my heart, I have made good things god things.
Where are you looking?
The constant wondering about what’s next, the eyes so fixed on tomorrow that you can’t see today, will drive you mad. It prevents you from be appreciative. You won’t be thankful for what’s in your hands if your eyes are looking elsewhere. In a world that always trying to push us towards more, learning to enjoy what God has given you will save you years of heartache (and lots of dollars).
I say all of this as I sit here today trying to figure out what’s next. Where is God leading me in life? My eyes are so fixed on tomorrow, I can barely see today, and of course, it’s driving me nuts.
When you live like this, in a state of permanent discontentment, you end up living in fear. Fear about tomorrow, will I be ok? Fear about today, will I lose it all? Fear about any and everything that you think will steal the little life of happiness you have been trying to build for yourself.
This leads you towards self-reliance. You try to build your life on your own rather than relying on the gracious love of the Father to take care of you. This is where I have been, trying to rely on myself. I have been trying to find my own way. Of course I will wrap it in nice spiritual sounding words about faithfulness to my family, finding God’s call for me, feeling convicted but the truth is, I have been trying to build my own kingdom. I have tried to pursue the things that I think are best for me, not necessarily what the Father would call best. Discontentment continues to rear its ugly head.
Living this way is just flat out exhausting. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy. But God has been so good and so gracious to me over the last few months. Reminding me of His love for me. Reminding me I am His son, adopted into His family because of His great love. He has reminded me that He is for my good and not an enemy of my joy. He has also reminded me that the lives of His people are marked by patience.
Sarah and Abraham waited 25 years before their promised son Isaac was born. There were years between Samuel anointing David king and him actually ascending to the throne. As believers we live in the already but not yet. This tension of Christ having already redeemed us but not yet fully realizing that redemption until all things are made new. Believers were built for the wait.
Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. I was recently listening to Faith by Citizens & Saints and one of the lines that struck me was in the chorus: Faith is true sight.
This is the idea of trusting God when you have no idea of what’s in front of you. This is more than the standard Christian cliche of “He has a plan for your life, you just got to believe.” It is knowing and understanding that His ways are truly higher than ours. It is knowing that His wisdom trumps ours, even when you can’t understand it. This means we can trust Him, even when everything seems to be out of control. We rest in the promise of Romans 8:28, believing that all things are truly working together for our good.
We trust God because He has already given us the greatest gift ever in Christ. Sending His own Son to atone for our sins, is the ultimate act of love. Knowing His character, we can step back and trust that His timing is better than ours. We know that the seasons in our lives are appointed by God. We rest assured knowing that whatever God has for us is coming.
Another great song by Citizens is Relent, it is all about surrendering your life to Jesus, just being tired of trying to figure it out on your own. They say in the song “letting go will bring me peace.” We must learn to do this and what it means for each of us. For me it’s less fretting over student loan payments, job prospects, overall survival, and simply trusting that the God who has never failed me isn’t going to start now.
Share your stories of God’s faithfulness in your life using the hashtag #NDueSzn