However, I like to see, understand and know exactly how things will work out, or at the very least, have some sort of guarantee of a successful or desirable outcome. Some would call that being a control freak, I would argue it is just planning well. But either way, it isn’t living by faith.
I have been struggling these past few days with envisioning how my upcoming book will “get out there.” It’s funny how at one point all I wanted was to actually write a book and have it published! That dream has become a reality and it amazing how the pieces came together; totally a God thing!
But now, I’ve moved on to wanting more…to worrying about will it be successful. Will it sell? Will the word get out, so my book gets into the hands of lots of people, to help them build better relationships? And of course the niggling thoughts of “Will people like it?” (Not pretty, but an honest peek inside my head and heart.)
Do you ever feel like you can’t see a way through or have no idea how “to get from here to there” in relationships, life, dreams, or struggles? These thoughts and feelings either send me scrambling for the nearest pen and paper to scribble down my plans and ideas or to the nearest chocolate to feed my anxiety as I convince myself to deaden the want, silence the dreams and settle for less.
There has be a third alternative! Right? I mean scrambling and striving or a chocolate coma can’t be the only way to deal with things! Into this chaos, God speaks: “Have Faith.”
While reading the passage from Luke today, I was stuck by how Jesus gave Peter and John a task – prepare the Passover meal- and then told them where and how to accomplish it. The passage ends with, “and they went and found it, just as He had told them,” so they did the next thing- their part in making the preparations.
I can imagine Peter and John scratching their heads, looking at each other with a bit of skepticism, while trying to remember all the times before Jesus said things or told them to do -wild, “I don’t see how this will work” kind of stuff – and it happened.
In my limited mind, “Just go to that town and you will see a man… and” is right up there with “ Take these 2 fish and 5 loaves and feed the 5000 hungry people!” In these moments my faith tanks- I can’t see how this could work, I have no idea how to make this happen! (Pass the M & M’s!)
But…just because the disciples couldn’t “see” or fathom it in their own minds, didn’t make it impossible. They didn’t bank on their understanding or abilities; but took action in obedience and faith. (Oh dear God, please let me be more like them!)
I wonder if I will ever stop using my mind, abilities, and understanding to determine if something is doable or even feasible. God says that is absolutely the wrong criteria. God says, faith is believing what we can’t see, understand or even fathom.
I am often so busy focusing on what I can or can’t do. Mired down in assessing whether or not I have the resources, connections, abilities to bring a plan – yes even a God given one- to fruition. When in truth it’s not about me or my resources – it’s not about me at all. It is all about God and what he wants to do with my life and the gifts he has given me.
I believe my book is good – really good- and will help anyone who reads it to create better relationships. Not pride, just confidence in years of work, life, and relationship experience poured onto its pages. So what happens? Why am I so easily shaken and prone to scrambling when I can’t see the path forward?
Operative words: “I, me, my” Looking at my finite resources. lack of connection to the “right” people, hesitation to ask folks for help…and fears in general I get stuck.
But my focus should be on the One whose resources are unlimited, and called me to this task.
“Go and write,” came long before I had any idea who the publisher would be, or how we would get connected.
The act of writing, in the midst of uncertainty, was living obediently. It meant I did the work, followed God’s command long, before I saw or understood how it would all come together.
Doesn’t it make sense to do the same thing now? Well, duh! Of course it would. (I am a slow learner sometimes)
Trusting God always makes more sense than relying on ourselves.
It’s tough… Walking a tightrope of faith without a net or guarantee.
God has this, I keep telling myself. God can bring the right people into place for me to meet and connect with. God can provide the resources, open doors, and get the word out! God can put my book in the hands of those who need some simple easy tips to improve their relationships.
It’s not about me and my abilities or limitations. It is about God and God’s unlimited resources.
That is a relief. Big sigh… wouldn’t it be amazing if I actually lived and worked like I really believed it!
You may be feeling this tug of war in your heart about a relationship, health struggle, wayward children, aging parents, financial difficulties…anything uncertain in your future. And if you are like me, your mind is on overdrive scrambling to figure out how to “make it happen.”
What if we let go together? What if we do what we can, plant the seeds we have in our hands, water and tend them – all while trusting God for the harvest. God brings the sun, the rain, and grows the seeds we plant.
This might mean:
- being engaged in our relationships without needing any specific response, giving and loving without expecting
- doing what we can to improve our health, while praying for healing and strength
- drawing boundaries with our kids and staying strong in the inevitable push back
- seeking our job opportunities, sending out our resume, asking for referrals even when we are uncomfortable and fearful
- switching to a cash system and asking God to supernaturally intervene and provide for physical needs.
Most of all, I think it means we stop striving and scrambling, desperate to make things work on our own, laden with worry and fears.
What if we lived by faith? What if we lived like we actually did believe that it’s not about us and our abilities or limitations. It is about God and God’s unlimited resources.
Instead, we do the work, do what we can and then stand in faith for God to bring what is needed. Jesus said go… they went… and found it just as he had told them.
That is my hope for us today… letting go of the things we can’t control anyway and doing what we can, while trusting God to do the rest.
Where can you let go and let God take control? What are the “to do’s” that are actually up to you? How would your day, energy and mindset shift if you lived by faith? What would it look like to do what was yours to do and let the rest go trusting God to bring a harvest?
Share your thoughts and let’s chat!