by Brittney Chan
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Has God ever answered your prayerful questions with a question?
Last year I was completing an internship in Warm Springs, Georgia and during that time, I was only able to attend one church service a week. Church has always been a vital part of my life and so that scarcity was a big deal to me. Naturally, I was excited to hear that a youth choir from California was performing (sort of) nearby! The service was awesome and the altar call was powerful. I was so impressed by the choir’s ministry that the encounter stayed on my mind for several days afterward.
That weekend, I took a five and a half hour trip to South Carolina for Mother’s Day and started to talk with God along the way. Am I the only one who thinks that long road-trips make the perfect time for meaningful conversations with God? I remember expressing my appreciation for various opportunities I’ve had to be used in similar ministries. I talked to God about the deep love for His work that He planted in my heart and for a moment, I let self-pity take over. Because my life, at that point, felt so distant from the one my Bible-school mind had imagined; I prayed: “God, are You done with me?” And almost instantly, I felt His Spirit pose the same question back to me: “Brittney, are you done with Me?”
Now, you may think that’s silly and you might even laugh. It’s okay with me. I think God knows how to communicate His messages through this thick skull of mine!
It’s so easy to look around and see the places we thought we’d go or the person we thought we’d be by now and equate our absence as failure. At that moment, I saw my life goals and ambitions as unmet; but I failed to see the place I was at to be one that I was called to be in.
I mean, come on! If I held control of Life’s pen, you can rest assured that I’d edit out the chapters of Singleness, Failures and Unanswered Prayers. Wouldn’t you, too?
This would be a good time to laugh, as well. I will be open with you and tell you that I know there are times I can be so simple-minded and selfish when it comes to my life. Other times, God graciously lets me see how things are lining up and coming together to serve His purpose. He is still working behind the scenes. I just have to trust Him. Maybe that’s why the word “wait” is mentioned over 100 times in the KJV Bible. I feel like God knows us so much better than we know ourselves. He knows we need to hear His messages more than once for them to finally sink in! Throughout it’s pages, the Bible guides us to be still and trust in God.
A friend once reminded me of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” He pointed out the fact that the writer didn’t say “all good things work together...”, but that “all things” work together for our good!
God brings both the positive and negative elements in our lives together to work for His glory. If you have been following His will, the place you are in is not a mistake. The people in your life at this time aren’t happenchance.
When God challenged me with the foolish question I gave Him on that car-ride months ago, I realized again that how much I do for His kingdom doesn’t only depend upon God. My own willingness and faithfulness play fundamental roles in it all! I am resolving to assume the responsibility to serve Him entirely and with my whole heart. Won’t you join me?
As we begin a new year, let me first say how thankful we are for Your blessings on this Pursuing Virtue ministry. We all count it an honor to be a part of this community. I pray that You would continue to guide each one of us into a deeper and more meaningful relationship with You. Help us determine within ourselves to use our available resources and talents to further Your kingdom. Let us do well in being Your hands and feet to our present world. Help us to realize that restless hearts can oftentimes work against Your perfect plan for our lives and that our souls do good to wait on You.
In Jesus’ precious name,