I think we should stop telling people that their breakthrough is right around the corner. As encouraging as that is in those moments when we’re feeling burdened with emotions and weighed down by the challenges we face in our lives, it’s misleading. It’s misleading because we really have no idea whether or not that’s actually true. Unless God said so Himself and told us to tell that particular individual, we really don’t know and we could potentially do more harm than good by being so quick to rush their difficult seasons to the promise land so soon.
As someone going through a very difficult season myself in some ways, I used to really like to hear from people that it’ll be over soon. I liked focusing on the day that this isn’t a struggle anymore and my prayers are finally answered. I’ve often entertained the fantasies of that day, rejoicing and getting tearful with excitement.
Yet, the deeper I have gotten in this, the less I long for flowery responses full of idealistic (and sometimes true) statements about a “breakthrough” and the more I long for prayer and biblical truths reminding me that even though I don’t understand what’s happening, God does. That even though it hurts at times and I feel alone in what I’m experiencing that I’m not. I also need someone to remind me not to throw a pity party for myself, because sometimes I unintentionally do. Sometimes, I feel so weighed down by my struggles that it can be very easy to throw a “woe is me” party for one.
The fact of the matter is, I am not God. None of us are. Therefore, who am I to name-and-claim that this season of life will end tomorrow or the next month, honestly? Who am I to imply that simply because I pray X amount of times a day and I refrained from cursing that man out the other day who kept calling my personal cell-phone despite my polite requests that he cease doing so, that God is going to grant me what I want?
I think what this all is teaching me, as painful as it’s been at times, is just that: I am not God. He sees what I cannot see and has a purpose for my life. It may not include one of those “best life now” kind of lives where I’m rich with a six-pack and vacation house in the mountains where I can post Instagram-droolworthy pictures of me and my husband(not that I have one) drinking coffee and hashtag it “blessed” as we croon over how in love we are. Truthfully, if I were rich, I’d give a large amount of my money away to ministries and whatever else God put on my heart to give it away to. I am also not saying those things are bad, because who wouldn’t want to be able to experience a mountain top moment (literally) wrapped up in the arms of the one you love and that hopefully, God has set apart for you.
Yet, I know that God has a plan for me that is what He created me for. It may not always appear how I envisioned, but each time I look back on what He has done and is currently doing, I realize what He’s doing is better than I would have ever envisioned. I am humbled how God has used me, even in the midst of my weakest moments where I’m exhausted, anxious, broken. How He’s used me to encourage others, despite my own messiness. Just when I think it’s impossible for God to use me because I’m a mess, I’m a sinner, He shows me that He still can. That it is by HIS strength that I can accomplish these things and what He’s willed, He will bring to pass through me by His power.
Even when it hurts, when the anxiety feels to intense it’s crippling and the long period of uncertainty leaves me struggling with doubt, I am grateful for these reminders of God’s strength, presence, and glory in my life. I am so grateful that these moments minister to me that even when I am weak, God is not only strong, but that He still loves me enough to include me in the awesome things He’s doing to bring glory to His name and bring people to Christ. That even through the fire, I’m not alone.
Maybe the storms that others face in their lives are being used by God to draw them nearer to Him or to strengthen them as He prepares them for the next step in their lives. Maybe the pain they’re experiencing can be later used to encourage a nonbeliever who is going through a difficult season and the testimony that this individual has will be that final seed God’s using them to plant in order to bring them to Christ? Who knows how He’s gonna use this painful journey to help them sympathize and journey with someone else?
So instead of being so quick to rush them through this process, let’s journey with them through it and pray for them. This is something I am realizing I need to do as well something I’m sure we all need in our moments of trials. Instead of saying things to temporarily soothe their wounds, let’s soothe them by reminding them that whatever happens Christ is with them, walking with them, weeping them with, and comforting them with His presence. Let’s remind them that thank God, whatever they are journeying through, they are not journeying alone and it’s not for nothing. Sometimes knowing that alone can soothe even the weariest of souls. That no, you’re not alone and the Creator of all things good is walking right beside you working this all out for your good and His glory in His timing. It may not be tomorrow or next year or even the year after that, but in His timing, He will calm the storm and bring you to still waters. Until then, I am journeying through this fire with you, praying that as God walks you through this time that He may fill you with His peace that surpasses all understanding.