“If anyone’s will is to do God’s will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority.” – John 7:17
Have you ever asked God for something only to get it and then realize you didn’t really understand what you were asking for?
This very thing has happened to me before. I actually had this happen to me again this month.
For a very long time, I’ve had this picture stuck in my mind about what my life should look like. I’ve always been very goal oriented. I set goals and achieve goals. However, sometimes I set up goals in my mind that don’t really line up with God’s unique design for me.
What I’m talking about is this idea I set up in my mind to either find a man or get a career.
God worked on my heart and showed me that the whole marriage thing needed to be something He brought about by divine invention rather than by my own efforts, so that plan was history. However, there was this other thought that popped into my head for some time that was another mold I’d set up for myself. The thought was this: “If I’m not married soon, I really need to make sure I can support myself and have my own place.”
So, full-time work was something I began praying about. I looked online for full-time jobs, and I found myself frustrated when no doors were opening. This month, God opened a door for me to work full-time… temporarily.
On several occasions in my life I have committed to doing something I thought was God’s will only to find in the end it was really self-deception and only fueled by a stubborn pursuit of my own desires.
He loved me enough to show me what it would look like if He gave me what I thought I wanted.
Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the extra hours. I’m grateful for the pay raise… but I’m also grateful this was a temporary situation and that I get to be part-time again after next week. Why?
I thought I needed to fit this mold in order to have a meaningful life. Something within me felt like I wasn’t doing enough. It made me feel irresponsible to be working part-time when I’m nearly 21 years old and still living at home.
What this month has taught me is this: My job is only a small part of my life, and I have a lot of other things going on that are important that I didn’t realize I’d be taking away from if I am always at work.
It’s been challenging for me to even get chores done at home. I have two birds that are so sweet, and the poor things haven’t had the attention they should get. My family has had to pick up the slack on things I could normally take care of and help with. It’s been difficult to balance work, family, church, friends, and ministry all at the same time. The life I thought I wanted took away from the life that I love.
I didn’t know what I was asking for, but God did.
Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “‘My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.'”
Something inside of me often forgets that God knows me better than I know myself, and He knows what is best for me way before I do. He sees the big picture when all I can see is the moment.
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2
I believe with all my heart that it is important to pray about everything, including our heart’s desires. Sometimes God will answer our prayers with the word “no”, though, and it’s important to remember that when He says “no” it’s because His ways and thoughts are so much higher than our minds can even grasp. He knows what’s best! Imagine that.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Sometimes I think I know what I want only to find out that I didn’t have a clue what I was asking for. This isn’t the only time this has happened. There have been relationships that have been the same way. I begged You for something, You allowed me to see what that would look like, and then I realized that I was glad You sometimes say, “No.” Thank You that Your ways and thoughts are higher than my own. Remind me of this when I don’t understand. In Jesus’ Name.