Image via Wit Design

I’m on a journey, as we all are.  I’m facing personal challenges that are a serious stretch for me.  God is calling me higher, and higher is harder.  To be honest, I’m trudging.  I’m dragging my feet, making excuses, and grumbling.

I look back to when I was 18 years old.  I lived with my youth leaders at the time.  They let me sleep in their daughter’s room.  The walls were very pink.  I remember sitting on her white bed surrounded by those pink walls, praying and begging God to call me, to use me, and to give me a purpose.  It is such a clear memory to me, like it happened just this morning not 20 years ago.

You may be in that spot.  Wondering, hoping, and praying for that direction and those answers.  Trust me, they will come.  James 1:5 (New Living Translation) says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you.  He will not rebuke you for asking.”  This is a promise that we can cling to.  If we ask Him for wisdom, He will give it to us.

The irony as I find myself called, pointed toward a purpose, and kicking and screaming the whole way.  I have crystal clear direction and more confirmation than I can even keep track of.  There are a lot of people that beg God for this place that I’m in.  As a matter of fact, I did once.  What in the world is my problem?

My problem is that it’s hard.  I didn’t think it would be hard.  Operating under my assumptions, I was expecting something that I would easily slide into where I could fill a need.  I was not, however, expecting to have to grow, be uncomfortable, and be stretched in this way.

“Be still, and know that I am God!” (Psalm 46:10a, New Living Translation)

I keep forgetting that He is in control, like it’s all on my shoulders to do this thing, and as such become weary and overwhelmed.  As the Psalms remind us, sometimes I just need to be still and know who He is.  To let that permeate my mind and let it reset my perspective from “it’s all on me” to “it’s all on Him, but He is including me.” I can do nothing aside from Him, but with Him I can do all things (Philippians 4:13, paraphrase).

Something that He’s teaching me right now in this place is that what He gives can bring joy if I let it.  It’s a challenge and it’s work, but it’s saturated with hope and love.  This challenge and this work stirs me and brings life, and I get the pleasure of working alongside the Creator of the Universe.  He made me for this.  The weight it brings, He offers to carry it for us when we let Him.

Are you being stretched and challenged beyond your comfort zone right now?  Is it a heavy burden or is it a source of joy and hope?

Today, I’m focusing on the joy of serving God and being called.  Today, I’m reminding myself that the work is a pleasure, because it’s for Him.  I’m praying that I’ll remember these things tomorrow and going forward, and I’m praying that whatever you are carrying that you will give it to Him as well.