A Hard Place To Be

By in Devotions

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:1-2 MSG

Insight

Have you ever been torn between your will and God’s? Boy, that is such a hard place to be.

For 16 years I prayed and asked God to fulfill my dream of living on the coast. For 16 years I waited, wondering if God could hear me-if it would ever happen. Despite many obstacles and prayers that seemed left unanswered, I never gave up the hope that one day the dream birthed in me would no longer be just a dream. In July of 2015, after all those years, God graciously blessed me with more than I ever imagined. Not only did I get to move to my dream location at the beach-so close I can bike, but God allowed me to build my own home with enough space to accommodate guests with their own living quarters. Anyone who knows me understands that my new home is my slice of heaven on earth. It’s the place I feel closest to God- my peaceful place where the sun bathes my skin, the sand invigorates my feet, and the ocean waves lull all of my stresses away.

For all of the years I prayed and waited, my husband was discontent with the idea of moving from his childhood home, but once God put the first step into motion it seemed that all the steps aligned and my husband’s heart softened. In fact, he grew to love our place in Surf City immediately, and it has become home to both of us; it’s our place of contentment and where we planned to retire. Though our paradise has brought us so much joy and wonderful memories and we loathe the idea of leaving it behind, God has opened another door that He desires us to travel down.

I am a person of many dreams and this dream is being fulfilled from years of another long awaited time of prayer- a job that will bring stability for our family. When I prayed for this door to open, I didn’t realize that I would have to choose between walking through it and my life at the beach. Many have said we’re crazy for uprooting ourselves, but I feel a greater sense of purpose in God calling us away from our paradise. This is my year of surrender-the year I vowed to give everything to God-not just the things that make me comfortable or that I don’t want anymore-everything. God seems to be tugging at my heart saying, “Will you trust me enough to give back to me what I’ve blessed you with so that my will can be done? Will you walk by faith so I can show you other things you cannot imagine?”

I’m sure you’ve been at this same juncture at some point in your life. I know at least one of you are here now and you’re scared and anxious to move where God is calling you to go, just as I am. You’re comfortable. You don’t want to be stretched. You don’t want to experience the pangs of growth. You keep wrestling with God all the while you feel guilty and maybe you’re even experiencing grief because you don’t want to give up that thing that you love so much. Maybe naysayers are challenging you whether or not the call that God has laid on your heart is real. I don’t know your exact struggle but I can honestly say that I’ve faced all of this, and it’s not easy being stuck between our will and God’s. It’s not easy giving up what we love, to walk through an unknown door when we have no idea what the outcome will be.

Friend, I can’t make you the promise that the door God is calling either of us to walk through will only be full of sunshine and rainbows, but I can promise us both that if we trust in our King, He will be beside us every step of the way. He will shelter and protect us and help us to grow into all He is calling us to be. In His arms, surrounded by His praise and protection is the real place of provision and contentment; it is the real paradise in our lives.

So people may say I’m crazy for leaving the solace that my coastal life brings, for going to a city I’ve never been, a house I’ve never seen and a job far away from everything that I know and love, but when I get there one thing is for sure, my God will be there and He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore! I am choosing to surrender to the call of the voice that I’ve learned to trust. Will you stand beside me and choose the same? Will you give up your will for His? Will you be vulnerable so you can find freedom? Will you trust that God has you in the palm of His hand and He’s calling you to make this change so you to can have more than you can ever dream or imagine?

Reflection

  • Where is your will and God’s currently in juxtaposition?
  • Do you believe that God is calling you to this new place to refine you, draw you closer to Him and closer to your destiny?
  • Are you willing to surrender your desires for God’s greater plan?

Prayer

Dear God, help me to put every ounce of my trust in You. Let me not allow my fears and doubts and the negative opinions of others draw me away from Your perfect plan for my life. Let me always feel Your presence, and please guide and lead all of my steps. I pray that I honor You in all that I say and do and that You use this new season to grow me into all that I’m called to be. Most importantly, God, I pray that my life can be a testimony of Your great power and love. Use me as an instrument to bless others. Amen.

PC3 writer Jennifer Holley wrote today’s devotional.