This is where I am right now. Frustrated by constant interruptions that gain momentum every time I click “refresh” on the local news page. However, after some tears and a full-on pity-party, God brought something glaringly to my attention.
*sigh. I’ve done it again.
I’ve made it all about me.
And I don’t think I’m alone. Whether or not we realize it, this is the mindset our society cultivates - entitlement to the things we have worked hard for. Life has become a mission of comfort and predictability and we have mistakenly believed we have control over the outcome.
But if I am a child of God, do I have a right to hold on to things so tightly? There’s scripture that reminds us we don’t know what’s coming tomorrow, so even though it’s good to make plans, we are to hold things loosely because ultimately, God is in control. (James 4:14)
So here I am, like a toddler having a temper-tantrum, refusing to let go of my blankie because, I want it! I’ve lost perspective that God may be asking me to give it up because there is something better He wants to place in my hands.
At my gym, when we are running on the treadmills, our trainers ask us to set our pace based on where we feel the most uncomfortable. Then, we have to hold our pace there. UGH - it’s hard! And most of the time, I want to quit. The trainers don’t give us this instruction because they are heartless and want us to experience pain. It’s because they know if we want to get stronger, healthier, and see changes in our body, we have to get uncomfortable. CHANGE happens there. LIFE changes there - if we don’t give up.
“ Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
Growth happens in the uncomfortable and the inconvenient.
This is a time of new opportunity for Christ’s church! We have a chance to look different from the world around us. In Romans it says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We can give in to the disappointments and fear OR we can take God’s word and declare it boldly over our situation!
If there is one thing I have learned in my recent fitness journey, it’s that if you want to get rid of a bad habit, you can’t just eliminate It - you have to replace it with a good one. This is what it means to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Take the negative thoughts captive and replace them with the TRUTH of God’s word.
Imagine what it would look like if we opened our hands and held our plans loosely. If we chose joy in the face of adversity knowing that God is still at work. If we truly believed that there is growth coming to those who do not give up but who keep pushing when it’s uncomfortable and inconvenient. We, the Church, can make a difference in our neighbourhoods, our friend groups and our social media communities!
This is an incredible opportunity to show the world what it really looks like to have the hope and peace that comes through Jesus. Instead of fear and frustration, let’s be carriers of faith and joy!
It’s going to be okay.
God is still in control.
And if we hold our plans loosely and don’t quit when it’s uncomfortable, God will do a work in our lives beyond our greatest dreams for ourselves.