The above is the perception in many of our heads. We think that while it will be risky and scary to make a leap of faith, it’s all going to be great because God loves us and is with us.
While this is all true, I don’t think this is the reality that many of us have experienced.
Often, taking risks and obeying what we think God is saying leads to confusion, frustration and isolation. We run after our dreams or our calling, only to find that life is really tough. Or we up sticks and move to the place we feel God has called us to, but we find ourselves isolated, lonely and wondering if God actually ever said to do it.
Where’s the blessing that would surely follow me? Why am I not in the land of milk and honey?
God calling us to do something is no promise that the path that lies ahead will be without stinging nettles. Of course He will equip and guide us, but Jesus’ promise of trials and tribulations still stands.
Just look at Abram. In Genesis 12, God calls him to leave his country, people and his father’s household, with the promise of great blessing and curses to fall on his enemies. He packs up his life and goes, only to be met with a famine on arrival. How many of us in this situation would interpret this as having heard God wrong? “Surely God wouldn’t let there be a famine when He’s called me here?” we would cry.
What about Joseph? After receiving dreams where his brothers would bow down to him, he found himself sold into slavery by those very same brothers, falsely accused of rape when he in fact fled from the temptation and interpreted dreams without receiving any credit for it. In the darkest moments, would he have doubted that dream? I’d argue yes.
So if you’re battling with disappointment and hurt after witnessing God say one thing, and the exact opposite presenting itself as reality, take heart from the heroes of the faith who have been on almost identical journeys before. Know that our God has overcome the world, even in the midst of trials and tribulations.
I want to encourage you to take these feelings to God and ask for healing and a new perspective. This process can take time – often longer than we want it to. It’s important not to rush it, but to see it through.
I want to challenge you to support any friends who are about to embark on a risk in their lives, especially when the journey appears tough and frustrating, and looks as though God’s not showing up. It’s been said that a true friend knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words. Cheesy? Maybe a little bit, but I’m yet to hear a better definition of friendship.
Remind them of these wonderful words from the book of Philippians while they’re wrestling in the land where God has called them:
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”
Because it’s never been about us, has it?