Last month, I taught Vacation Bible School at my church. My students were ages 18-29. As I prepared to teach the lessons for that week, I thought about my own life from ages 18 to 29. I shared with the class that I did not become saved until I was 28 years old. They have a great advantage by having a relationship with God at a young age. Hopefully, they can avoid some unnecessary pain and suffering that I experienced.
Many of the bad experiences that I had when I was out in the world could have been avoided if I had known how much God loves me. Many of us spend enormous amounts of time trying to please people who do not love or respect us. We try to be all things to all people. In the process, we end up tired, hurt, defeated and unappreciated. It is a horrible feeling when we do more than enough for folks, but we are met with “Is that all you have to give?” It is terrible to realize that the people who we thought loved us, whether romantically or otherwise, could not care less if they never saw us again. Although, I would not have chosen to have those experiences, I thank God for the wisdom and discernment that I have gained as a byproduct.
I have since learned that I need to focus my energies on pleasing God. I do not have to be all things to all people. In fact, I only have to be the person God called me to be. The person God wants me to be may not comport with what society or family or friends want or expect, but there is nothing that I can do about those wants or expectations.
As I write this post, I am reminded of a discussion that occured in my class during VBS. One of my students shared an experience of having a phone that does not ring because people call infrequently. I encouraged all of them by letting them know that they should look at the solitude as a blessing. They can avoid a lot of headaches and heart aches by not being involved in the drama that family and friends bring. For example, when I shared the fact that God called me to ministry, some people left my life. Yes, it did hurt. I had a choice to make. I could have ignored my call and continued to pursue those relationships or be obedient to my call and trust God to bring new people into my life who would support and encourage me. I decided to trust God. I had not always trusted God. Trusting God was a process. However, when I found myself alone with this tremendous responsibility called ministry, I realized that in the grand scheme of things, God is really all that I have. Everything else is temporary and can be taken away from me. That revelation has helped me stay on the path of obedience and trust.
How is your path of trust and obedience? If you are struggling to trust God, consider reading the “My Faith and Fitness Devotional: 40 Days to Spiritual and Emotional Prosperity.” Please share your experiences with me and I will pray for you. You can leave a comment at the end of this post or on the Facebook fan page, Tweet me, or complete the form on the Contact page. Be blessed. Remain encouraged.