“A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.” Proverbs 14:30 (NIV)
Our family enjoyed a great vacation this summer and I came back refreshed, renewed, and ready to see what else God had planned for our family. I believe He has some great things planned and I’m excited to get moving on them.
Sometimes I get impatient because I catch a glimpse of what I think God is doing or wanting to do in my life, and then He asks me to wait. And wait. And wait some more. However, if God has taught me anything this past year, it’s two very important truths.
First: He’s never early, never late – His timing is always perfect. I can be the impatient child more times than I care to admit. I want to get started and rationalize that I will “learn on the job,” but God in His love knows what I need in order to be equipped for what He ultimately has planned for my life. Honestly? I do appreciate that He holds me back. I would rather be over-prepared (which isn’t His way either) than underprepared. I would rather learn the skills so I can walk with confidence where He leads than flounder because I stepped too early.
Second: God wants to see me succeed for Him more than I want to succeed in life for Him. As a result, He doesn’t need my help. He needs my willingness, my hard work, my obedience – but He doesn’t need my help. Those divine appointments or encounters that happen? They will happen as long as I’m obeying and being where He wants me when He wants me there. Working for someone, advancing in my ministry, adopting a child, choosing to quit my career or change careers – He knows the steps needed more than I do and He knows what needs to happen in what order before I do as well.
As a result, I’ve started to see life and my ministry from a different perspective. While I always want to be listening closely to His still small voice so as not to miss any of His directions, I don’t have to worry or control the outcome. God has it. He saw the ending before I was even born and as long as I’m willingly allowing Him to guide my steps, I will get where He wants me to go when He wants me to arrive. He’ll put the right people in my path, He’ll give me the right training and for the right length of time, and He’ll put the message in my heart that He wants shared – whether with one person or a crowd of many.
Looking at life from that perspective frees me from being jealous of what others may have. Instead I can focus on praising God for what He has so abundantly given to me and my family. Regardless of where I am in the journey, I always have a ministry to someone as long as I’m allowing God to use me every single day. With that truth, there’s no need for jealousy because I’m right where He wants me.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015