Okay, be completely honest with me. Have you ever felt frustrated with God? Have you ever prayed and prayed over a situation in your life and felt ignored by Him? You want to put on the super-sunny Christian expression that says all is well. You want to quote Scriptures and unearth the deeper purposes for this hard circumstance, but in the depths of your heart what you really want to do is scream, “It’s not fair!”
We don’t like hard places. Our souls long for the perfection of the Garden of Eden designed for us. However, the world we live in bounces us from one imperfection to the next. Soon we find ourselves empty and exhausted trying to fix problems that interrupt, inflict pain and break our hearts. We find ourselves frustrated with God, knowing He could fix this problem. With one snap of His Holy Hand He could heal the hurts, rearrange the circumstances, restore the broken places and provide a way out. So why doesn’t He?
The answer is simple: because He loves us too much to leave us the way we are. Think about a baby inside his mother’s womb. He is warm and well fed. He likes this place of security and safety but there comes a time he must leave. He must go through the painful shock of being birthed. Though it is hard, if he resists he will reach a place where growth is no longer possible and death is certain.
Our spiritual lives are very much the same. We must continue to pursue growth and embrace God’s plans for the life we’ve been given. It’s not about changing the circumstances we feel should be different. It’s about embracing God’s plans for the circumstances and allowing Him to have His full way in us. God wants to work out the kinks and imperfections in the core of your soul to help you find a perspective beyond your own. Only then can you find incredible peace in the storms of life.
The enemy to having a great life is not tragedy, heartbreak or hard times. The enemy to having a great life is to simply lead a good life; a life where you seek comfort and ease above growth; a life where you avoid the risk of taking chances with God. The problem is we live in a fallen world where it is impossible to avoid every pothole in the road of life. Whether you lead a great life or a good life, you will have hard times. You will get bumped and bruised, but you don’t have to get bewildered. Say “yes” to God now. Say “yes” to whatever He brings your way, and seek Him whole-heartedly through it. Ponder what He is teaching you. Surrender what He is requiring from you. And know that He is working out His plans for you behind the scenes. His amazing, wonderful, good and perfect plans are being worked out for you right now!
This hard place you are in is not a distraction. It’s not you being sidetracked. It is His way. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future'” (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV). You’ve probably heard this verse quoted time and again but put it in context with the verses after it you’ll see the call to not only trust God but to have peace in knowing He will carry you through. Verses 12- 14 go on to say, “‘Then you will call on me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back from captivity.
I will gather you from all nations and places where I have banished you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.'”
My favorite call to action here is to “seek God with ALL your heart.” Not just the parts of your heart crying for ease. Not just the parts of your heart crying for restoration. But find that place in your heart eager for growth and let it cry out as well. Embrace this perfect plan and you will find God, see His plan from His perspective, and be able to rest in the peace right in the middle of the storm. In the meantime, my favorite promise here from God is that He will carry us. He carried us into this hard place, this exile of sorts, and He will carry us back out.
This is a season of growth. This is a part of the plan. His plan will not be hard all the way through. Continue to call on Him in great confidence realizing that nothing, no hard place, can separate you from God’s comforting presence and boundless mercy. This will soon pass and on the other side waits rich perspectives, beautiful growth and yes, stronger faith.
Copyright © 2006 Lysa TerKeurst . Used by Permission
Lysa TerKeurst is the founder of Proverbs31 Ministries.