I’m not a fan of surprises.
I figure life offers up an ample share of them, so to balance things out, I’ll take my daily hum in a rhythm of slow and steady.
Sometimes, though, surprises make themselves right at home, like the one that showed up at my “doorstep” a few months ago.
Opportunity knocked and I opened the door.
I can’t go into details now, but since that tap on my “door”, I’ve worked some of the hardest and longest hours since becoming a writer. At every turn, the words you-are-wasting-your-time flicked at my head like the curled fingers of a pesky brother.
And yet, somehow, this work feels like an act of obedience.
Regardless of our calling, flicks of discouragement aim to distract and discourage:
- Can-God-really-use-this (or you)-for-His-glory?
- Have-you-seen-what-______-is-doing? Why-should-you-bother?
Swatting at them only burns energy I have little of these days, so I’m learning to pause, take a breath, and face the pesky flicks with what we both know to be true:
1. We Need to Embrace the Opportunities But Release the Outcome
Opportunity knocks. We can either “open” the door, or pretend pamphlet peddlers are on the other side and ignore the taps. But it is God who determines what awaits us once we walk through the door.
The surprise knock on my door felt like a divine tapping of sorts, mainly because I didn’t go looking for it. It also aligns with the Word, and holds an opportunity to glorify Him. But this doesn’t mean the months of work will come to fruition as I hope, and that’s okay. I rest in knowing that I’m doing only what I can do⏤open the door.
I know the chances are slim for my “dream” outcome, but I don’t write for a dream.
I write for God.
And my guess is you do what you do for the same reason.
So we leverage those pesky flicks of discouragement by perceiving them as mini-opportunities to re-commit our work to the Lord, releasing the desire for a particular outcome, and trusting His best for us in every situation. Because here’s the thing:
When our joy is rooted in obedience rather than a particular outcome, there is a quiet satisfaction that roars of glory.
2. Only Truth Takes Lies Captive
Turn up the music, down another strong cup of joe, or check social media. It won’t matter. The pesky brother will use that time to strengthen his fat little fingers for a stronger flick when you return.
Let’s not waste our God-given time trying to run from discouragement. Let’s face it together, head on:
“We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV
When we release the desire to control the outcome, entrusting it to Christ, the lies lose their power, even their freedom to flick away as they please.
3. When Being Obedient There’s No Such Thing as Wasted Time
Take that, pesky brother! Surrendering the outcome to God means that time is no longer narrowed down to wise or wasted. Every moment of obedience is ripe with purpose.
“Growing closer to God is not the result of trying harder but of surrendering more.” Anonymous
So now I wait and pray to see what God will do and whatever that is, it is perfect for me.
But I still don’t like surprises.
Is there some way I can pray for you today? Maybe a door is opening or closing in your life, or perhaps you’re struggling to release the outcome. I welcome the opportunity to join arms with you in prayer.
*For confidential requests, feel free to message me via Facebook or contact me through my website.