One weakness I have always had in my life is wanting to be in the “next place.”
I never seem to be satisfied. Can you relate to this; always wanting to be further down the road or in another place? While this may seem to be a strength to keep you moving forward and avoid laziness, it can also be a weakness when it comes to our peace and reliance on God. That is because this lack of satisfaction may really indicate a lack of trust and appreciation to God for our situation at any given time. God wants us to trust Him at all times and in all circumstances.
I have always admired how the apostle Paul described this:
Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength (Philippians 4:11-13 NLT)
I haven’t achieved the level of contentment and peace that the apostle Paul describes. I want God’s promises to come true today. I want to already be at the next place, starting the new thing, in the next job, seeing my kids’ get to their next place.
Consider it this way: Are you living to get somewhere or living like you’re going somewhere?
Here is the difference: If you are only living to get somewhere, you are likely not enjoying the journey and are allowing yourself to be repeatedly frustrated by your current situation. You feel stuck where you are and you just can’t wait to get somewhere else. I will admit, this is me a lot of the time. While this can lead to needed action, it can also lead to needless frustration if you allow it to get the best of you.
On the other hand, if you are living like you are going somewhere, you have a vision or dream for a preferred future and you are following it. This gives you much-needed confidence, hope, and direction. There is also a better chance that you are enjoying the life God is giving you each day in between here and there.
Sometimes, if we are just waiting to get to the next place and not enjoying the in between, we become convinced that God is not close to us or God is not helping us. We start to believe that God has not acted on our behalf for some of the following reasons:
- I have not prayed enough
- I have not been obedient enough
- I have not gone to church enough
- I have not given enough
- I am not good enough
While God desires us to improve, to pray, to give, and so on, God is not interested in us beating ourselves up over and over with shame and guilt. He does not desire for us to be frustrated. God is not holding out on you. The reason we are “not there yet” or “my kids aren’t there yet” may simply be because of His timing.
God’s timing is not the same as ours and it is always in perfect accordance with His plan. To us, it often seems to take way too long. God is never early; He is always on time!
He wants us to enjoy life and learn from the journey in between here and there. If we trust God and His timing, we will be in a position to enjoy the time in between where we are today and the future God has for us.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
I encourage you to enjoy the “in between” and trust in God and His timing!
Brian Goslee is an author, speaker, and founder of Changed Through Faith Ministries . Their mission is to help families grow closer to God and each other, using fun and relevant faith-infused events and resources. Brian’s life has been radically changed through active faith in Christ and he has a heart for helping others experience this in their lives.