Life is not easy – no way! The things that we want the most, seem to require the most effort; as we stressfully, and passionately strive towards these things we often find ourselves feeling anxious, cheated, used, lonely, tired and most importantly, unable… All of us at some point in our lives, will have doubted ourselves, felt exhausted and simply wished that everything could be presented on a pretty china plate. Let’s not forget feelings of impatience…
We really could go on, and on, and on – there are hundreds of daily difficulties, seasonal stresses, and overwhelming objectives. Life can be a country lane of happiness, but in the same moment, a gridlocked highway that doesn’t seem to end – no matter how many junctions you pass.
On Monday evening, as I sipped my take-out green tea, driving home from cafe church in town, I turned on my phone. Although I really dislike quick mobile readings, my now, extremely busy schedule is making these “bible app devotionals” more common, and that night I opened to Jeremiah 45. With only 5 verses in the whole chapter, I encourage you to take a quick look, before I continue; these verses suddenly opened my mind, and God began to flow into my thoughts, causing my hand to hit, the “comment” button. As I typed, God lead me to such a beautiful reminder…
Baruch was weary. He was doubting. His spirit was exhausted – be he kept going! Baruch didn’t halt, or stray from the task in hand (which was to be Jeremiah’s scribe and therefore write down the things that God was saying through Jeremiah) and even as God spoke to Baruch on an individual level, he continued to note down the promises that God was speaking over his life. He continued to serve Jeremiah, to live obediently, following his calling in life, and to simply trust God with his battles. As a result of this trust, we see him come to know God’s strength, and be transformed in attitude, and in his soul. We see God encouraging him: “I am with you, you are mine, I will give you your life as a prize. You will go to many places.”
This encouragement is the same for us. No matter how we feel, if we work hard, obey God’s calling, and trust, He will grow us – He is with us. Stop doubting yourself and continue to serve with passion… To work your hardest, in the present situation.
However, God also said to Baruch, “Do you seek great things for yourself? Stop seeking them.” Does this mean we shouldn’t dream? That we should doubt our capabilities instead of having confidence in ourself? No. God says, “for yourself.” For just as Baruch trusted, we also must trust God, rather than ourselves. We must begin to know that in Him we can do all things – with the strength of Christ. However, when we step outside of this, and try to do things in our own strength/according to our own plans, this is when exhaustion rises…
It’s not a case of forgetting our dreams – after all, God gave us these. But it’s about trusting these dreams to God, in prayer, by listening to Him, and taking smaller steps. To fully rely on Him whilst making every effort to advance the work of God in our own lives, as well as the lives of others. It’s about listening to, and trusting God first, and then making plans to journey towards His vision.
It’s not about feeling overwhelmed by the final destination, or the stresses at the bus stop.
This was such a beautiful reminder and encouragement, especially since it came at the end of my first college day of this half-term. A reminder that yes, God has a plan and my studies will open many doors; that these next two years will require hard work and determination, but if I put in my all, I am essentially giving God my full potential, to use as He so wishes. A reminder to live in prayer, answer callings, complete daily to-do lists and finally, to do the very best that I can today, as God does what I can’t tomorrow.
In which situations do you need to trust God? What goals have been placed upon your heart? What overwhelms you about the near/distant future? What hard work is God calling/leading you towards?
I’d love to pray for these situations – submit a prayer request here.