song: 33 “GOD” by bon iver
read time: 6 minutes
i was reading this morning and felt it so heavy— i need to tell you something. you know that feeling when you discover something and you know that you know that you need to tell someone. (okay, if that sentence was too much “i know” and “that” — i apologize, but not really. i write like i talk. just read it once more and you’ll get it.)
i don’t know where you are in life and what you are facing, but maybe you’re feeling like life is such a struggle.
between work, responsibilities, relationships, finances, social outings, and dreaming — everything can seem to pile up. and while the stress is piling up it seems like nothing is lining up and working out. perhaps you end every day wondering why everything has to be so hard and why the saying “the struggle is real” is really so dang true.
i get it. i have been there, too.
in the midst of the struggle, it’s so easy to just hustle harder and ignore the opportunity to sit still in silence and listen.
i don’t know about you, but for me — when things aren’t going right— the last thing i want to do is be still. it’s like “hello! there’s work to do!” it’s easy to get out of our habit of quiet time, praying, meditating, and focusing on truth — because we’ve got things to do and we need to be the solution to our problem. which means, there’s no time to merely sit. right?
raise your hand if you’ve been there.
*raising my hand*
in addition, in the midst of the chaos, it’s easy to start doubting ourselves on every level — questioning if we have the skills sets, questioning if we are worthy of carrying out our ideas, questioning if we’re in the wrong place, questioning if we’re smart enough. the questioning starts and becomes practically never ending.
i know you know what i’m talking about, because we’re all human and we all do this.
okay, so here we are — the climax.
i want to propose that in the midst of our chaos, in the midst of our turmoil, in the midst of us feeling like nothing is lining up — instead of worrying, doubting, questioning, hustling harder — what we really need to do is sit still.
an oxymoron. i know.
can i be honest? your hustling isn’t always going to take you further, but grace will. grace will take you all the places that hustling can’t and won’t take you. grace will take you to the places you want to go, but can’t figure out how to navigate yourself there.
it’s the grace of God.
and God alone.
“this is what the Lord says to his anointed, to cyrus, whose right hand i take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: i will go before you and will level the mountains; i will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. i will give you the treasure of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may know that I am the Lord, the God of israel, who summons you by name… i am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God. i will strengthen you…” (isaiah 45)
this is everything.
i think, sometimes, we need to sit still long enough to remember who our God is, how magnificent He is, how strong he is, and what he is capable of. because, in the chaos of hustling, we lose a little bit our sanity and forget the basics — that GOD HAS CREATED YOU FOR A PURPOSE AND THAT HE’S THE ONE WHO WILL TAKE YOU TO UNIMAGINABLE PLACES.
God has summoned you, he has bestowed a title of honor upon you. God has gotten you to where you are. he is not going to abandon you half-way through the journey and be like “just joking. i’m tired of helping you work towards this dream. this is getting boring. peace out!”
heck no. that’s not our God.
Our God is the God who will level mountains so that we have a clear path to where we want and need to go. Our God WILL STRENGTHEN YOU. Our God will give you treasures. Our God will give you the riches stored in secret places.
okay, so take a step back —
if the character of our God is to level mountains on behalf of his people, then don’t you think that rings true for you, too?
that pile of responsibilities, that obstacle that seems impossible, that situation that is scaring the living daylights out of you — it’s going to be leveled. God is going to create a clear path for you. and right now, if you are thinking you’re the exception — that this is true for everyone else, but not for you…. listen: you are not the exception. this is true for you, too.
later in isaiah 45, the Lord gives a really good analogy. and if you know me, i am all about that analogy and metaphor life. he uses the concept of a potter and clay to make his idea clear, saying: “does the clay say to the potter, ‘what are you making?’ does your work say, ‘the potter has no hands?’”
basically, meaning — the clay doesn’t talk. the clay merely molds to the shape of the potter’s hands. it doesn’t question.
funny, right? the idea that clay would talk back and question the potter?
but, gosh. isn’t that what we do sometimes? question, question, question — instead of trusting.
i challenge you today — if you’re hustling today, trying to make everything work. sit still. take a deep breath in. allow room for grace. remember who your God is and promises he’s made you.
i’m not saying that this is going to change your circumstances right this second, but it will change your perspective. and when we change our perspective, we make room for miracles to happen. when we focus more on what God can do on our behalf, than what we can do — we allow for the impossible to happen.
if you take one thing away from this, i want you to know this — God is working on your behalf. while things may not be lining up right now, God’s in the process of leveling all the mountains that are keeping you from where you are trying to go. he’s creating a clear path for you. God’s got your back. he’s good. he’s faithful. he’s loyal.
take time to rest today, even if it’s for five minutes. go ahead and vent it all out — all the feels, all the emotions, all the frustrations. then, at the end of it — praise God. praise God for all that he has done, all that he is doing, and all that he is about to do. praise him for leveling mountains on your behalf.
your mountains are moving. believe it.
everything is going to work out.