It’s been a while since I’ve posted…because truthfully, I’ve been too frustrated to want to write anything. The past few weeks have been difficult, and I’ve gotten quite frustrated and even angry with God.
And he knows it. Not just because he knows everything already (can’t really hide my thoughts from him), but because I have told him. I’ve expressed my frustration and anger to him many times.
The thing is, I have absolutely no idea what he’s doing. At the end of last year I knew he was leading me away from Pastoral Ministry…that I know for a fact. I knew he was leading me away from what I knew into something new…that I also know for a fact.
Where he is leading me to, what the new thing is, how things are going to work, and when what’s new will begin…all of that I have NO IDEA about.
I thought I did. I had plans…plans for where I wanted to be and what I wanted to do and how things would work out and when this new life would begin. I had plans, and I was excited for those plans.
Yea…that hasn’t worked out so well.
Thus far, no plan of mine has worked out. In fact, things have actually seemed to go opposite of what I had planned.
So yes, I’ve been frustrated. Quite frustrated, and angry.
Yesterday I decided to go to the gym. Not because I wanted to work out, but because I needed to. Yesterday morning I found myself in a very frustrated state of mind. Nothing new or different had happened, I was just more frustrated than usual. So I knew I need to “work it off”.
Driving to the gym, I was having a really candid conversation with God. Actually, to be honest, I was doing all the talking, so it was a one-sided conversation.
At the gym, I worked out harder and longer than usual…the frustration I was feeling was giving me extra energy. During that workout, I was still talking to God…but he was starting to talk back some as well. Nothing major, he didn’t speak with a booming audible voice that knocked me off the machine I was on. Rather, he was simply speaking to me through the music I was listening to as I worked out.
After leaving the gym, I was in a better mood the rest of the day.
Then this morning, I woke up and decided to read my Bible. This has been a normal and very important practice to me for a long time…especially the past 3 1/2 years. But the past few weeks I have not wanted to read it as much as usual.
I read in 1 Peter chapter 5. Verses 5-11 talk about being humble before God, casting my anxiety on him, watching out for and resisting the enemy as he tries to attack me, realizing that other people are struggling as well, and knowing that when the time is right God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish me.
Then as I was going through my prayer journal, I was reminded of some verses in Proverbs.
Proverbs 30:7-9 to be exact…
You see…I’ve been frustrated because I can’t seem to get out of struggling financially.
For 3 1/2 years, since my divorce happened and I lost the good job I had then, I have not been able to stand on my own two feet. I have worked multiple jobs, trying to make ends meet…but always seemingly coming up short. I’ve had to live with other people because no matter how much I have worked, I just can’t seem to get to a place financially where I’m strong enough.
It’s not for lack of trying, or for lack of praying. But, it’s been my life.
At the end of last year, when I knew God was leading me away from the career I’ve known and loved for so long, I believed he was leading me to something bigger and better. So I made some plans accordingly.
I had a job lined up as I searched for my next career, and a place to live in the interim where I could work a lot to save up. So I took those steps…and then the job I had lined up didn’t work out as planned, and finding a new career has proven to be anything but a major pain.
So far this year, I’ve had to ask people for help, taken on a job as a pizza delivery guy to make some money, and been looking and applying many places but so far with little luck.
Yea, it’s been frustrating. Not just because I want a good job, but more because I’m tired of struggling through life when living this way wasn’t even my choice. I’m tired of not knowing how to make ends meet on a weekly basis. I am ready for more. I’m ready to finally have enough money to be financially secure again…to be able to pay bills without asking people for help, or begging friends to give me work, or having to do odd jobs just to have enough gas money for another few days.
I have always wanted to be someone who didn’t pursue money first, but wanted to do what I loved and worked with people and lived for God first. But that has even been something I’ve begun to waiver on recently. In all of my frustration, I’ve started to feel like I’ve lost a sense of myself and who I am and what I care about most.
Then I was reminded of Proverbs 30:7-9.
And it clicked in my head. I need to be true to myself. I need to be true to who God made me, and faithful to him as I continue to seek to live for him. I need to keep my priorities straight…to not let money be my top priority. Truthfully, I’ve seen enough examples of people who pursue after money above all else, and it’s not how I want to live. (read 1 Timothy 6 to see what the love and pursuit of money can do)
Do I want to be financially secure again. ABSOLUTELY! So I can afford my own place again. So I can enjoy my limited time with my kids by getting to go out and do fun things from time to time. So I can enjoy life myself instead of always being stressed out. And even so I can begin to prepare for a future with the woman I love…she is very special to me, and is truly a God-send (yep…I know who I want to spend my life with when the time is right).
But I don’t want to get there because I make money what I care about most. I don’t want to get to the future I want by losing sight of who I am now and what I care about.
So this morning, I wrote out my own “Proverbs 30:7-9 Prayer”…
Lord, I pray these would be real in my life,
please make these true of me:
To be faithful to you;
and your plans for my life.
To trust you for all my provisions;
that you will take care of me,
that you are with me each day,
and that ultimately you are what I need most.
Make me a faithful servant Lord;
give me opportunities to serve and live for you,
and give me all that is necessary for all that I need.
Allow me the joy of enjoying this life;
of doing what I love to do,
of being who you created me to be,
of having the desires of my heart come to pass,
and of being able to enjoy this beautiful life you’ve given.
Lord, I pray these would be real in my life,
please make these true of me.
Does God have a plan for me? I believe so. Will I always struggle so much with finances? I believe I won’t (I have hope…although it has definitely faded some). Is being able to pay my bills and live life well important? Yes! That’s why I keep working hard and seeking after jobs till I find the right one.
But I want to be a faithful servant of God first. And in that, trust that as I keep seeking him and working hard, he will begin to give me the desires of my heart and bless me with what I need.
I’m still stressed and frustrated…I still don’t have a good job, and have no idea how I’ll be covering all my bills the next few weeks. But even in that, I want to seek to be faithful to God first.
What about you? We live in a world and culture that makes money the top priority. If you were to write out your own “Proverbs 30:7-9 Prayer”, what would it say?