“My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:50 (NIV)
I spoke last time about the journey God led me through after I asked Him to show me His purpose for my life. While I have traveled quite a journey, I don’t believe God is finished yet. I have a lot of learning left to do. There are parts of my job that are still difficult and not in my comfort zone; however, the majority of my job descriptions don’t feel like work because I’m in my sweet spot. It’s what I was called to do. So while there are difficult days, I can’t say I’m miserable. And, because God has been so faithful to show me how He’s been in charge of this journey the whole time, when difficult arises, I choose to trust and praise Him, knowing that if He is allowing me to be assigned something challenging, He wants to teach me, train me or use me through it.
In order to get to the place where we are fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives and to be able to live that abundant life He promised, we first have to submit our lives completely to Him. That means our spouses, our free time, our friends, our hobbies and most importantly… our employment. Only when we completely submit can God begin to work.
If you have done that and are still experiencing miserable, I want to encourage you both from the personal experience I shared last time as well as from the position of watching firsthand how God has worked miracles in many different friends’ lives, I believe that God isn’t finished with you yet either. If you are experiencing miserable, I encourage you to approach God and ask Him if you are in the middle of your training period. While there can be much “miserable” associated with this period, one way I have found personally to travel through it faster is to ask God what He wants me to learn and then be open to how He wants me to learn — listening for His voice and responding positively to His promptings.
Also, another way that I found works is to praise Him during the miserable and also to look for specific blessings He is giving me, to help encourage me along the way. As I stated before, while mulling over the miserable one friend is currently still in, God opened my eyes to the friendship God gave to help my friend not feel so alone.
God definitely allows difficult to help us mature, but I don’t believe God purposefully gives us miserable to torture us. His desires for His children always have good intentions. He is not some unfeeling Judge sitting impersonally in the sky waiting to inflict horror “just so we’ll learn.” That thinking is so far from the truth. God is all about love. He can’t not love us because His very nature is love. Just as a loving parent will allow consequences and life experiences shape their children to help them be better prepared for living the best life possible, God allows situations to help us mature and be more fully prepared to fulfill His purpose for our lives. But never to inflict harm, never with the sole purpose of torturing us and never because He desires us to live a life of misery.
When I pray for my friend caught in a miserable situation right now, I pray with a heart of thanksgiving, knowing that God is getting ready to change the circumstances for good. How do I know this? All I have to do is remember my other friend who told me the other day that she had no idea a work environment could be so supportive, so friendly and so amazing.
What God is willing to do for one of His children, He’s waiting to do for all of His children. We just need to fully submit our lives to His will, His timing and then choose to obey when He speaks.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016