You know the type of person I am speaking of, right. They are the ones that seem to never be stressed, no matter what difficult circumstances they face. These are the individuals who can be given the worst of situations and still bring the bright side to the forefront.
They are the ones that smile no matter what. They are the ones who say things like...
It will all work out...
Everything happens for a reason...
You just have to believe...
God will make a way...
I hate to admit it, but there are often times I do not want to hear the statements above, and other similar ones.
Let me give you an example...A few years ago, I was preparing to go in to work. It was a Friday and I had some extra time before I had to be at work, so I thought it would be a good idea to stop by and have the oil changed in my truck. Really, I had plenty of time.
So, I stopped by the service station and found several vehicles in front of mine. I guess everyone else in Anderson County had the same idea on this beautiful Friday afternoon. Nevertheless, I “ patiently” waited for them to pull my truck into the stall. It really should not take more than a few minutes for them to change the oil. After all, the name of the business does imply they pride themselves in their timely service.
Fifteen minutes passed and they still had not started on my truck. No worries, I thought. I still have plenty of time and I am only a few minutes from work anyway.
Another fifteen minutes passed. Finally, they pulled my truck into the stall. I will be out of here in no time, or so I thought.
I cannot really put into words what I observed next. Although they pulled my truck into the stall, as if they were actually ready to service it, it appeared they were distracted with other things. In fact, from my point of view, it appeared everything took priority over it.
Another fifteen or twenty minutes passed and I could now see that I was not going to make it to work on time. No worries, I thought. I am seldom late and they can certainly manage without me.
Finally, they service my truck. I paid the cashier and was out the door. I pulled up in the parking lot right after shift change. Looking on the bright side, I got a fantastic parking spot on the front row. Things were looking up! I stepped out of my truck, grabbed my bag, and dropped my keys. As I bent down to pick them up, I heard the most terrifying sound come from my jeans. Immediately I feared the worst. I had ripped them. And not the small rip, barely noticeable. It was huge.
There was no way I could go into work that way. So I had no other choice but to drive all the way back home, change jeans, and then come back. Now my few minutes late turned into well over an hour.
I sent another text message to a co-worker to let him know I would be even later, and told him what had happened. Then I drove home to change. On my way, I figured I had better call and let Casey know of my unfortunate event. I have to admit that I was highly annoyed at this time and not in the best of moods. Honestly, I think I really called her just so I could vent and get some things off my chest.
Casey picked up on my frustration right away. And attempting to help calm my frustration, she said something that I did not want to hear in the moment. You can probably guess. She said...
Everything happens for a reason...
Of course, I knew she was right. And, if the situation was reversed, I would have likely told her the same thing. At this moment, however, I did not want to hear it. That was, in fact, the last thing that I wanted to hear in the moment. So, as politely as possible, I got off the phone with her and drove home to change.
End of story, I made it to work. Everything worked out. It really was not that big of a deal. My co-workers even thought it would be humorous to post a picture of someone ripping their jeans on my computer monitor for me to see when I walked in the office. It was awesome!
We have all had moments like this, haven’t we? And this is a perfect illustration of my frustration with the care-free person. I just spoke to a friend about this recently after church service. I bet Jonathan was listening in on our conversation. I’m kidding. But I am dead serious about my feelings when it comes to people who seem to not have a care in the world.
Or am I...
Maybe I am not as much annoyed by them as I am envious of them. Maybe, my inability to control every situation is really my frustration. Maybe it is not the care-free person that annoys me at all. Perhaps I am annoyed because I can’t seem to live with that attitude as hard as I try. Perhaps I am jealous of their ability to see the good in people and circumstances.
Jonathan shared this challenge in his message this past Sunday:
Our fight in faith is to fight to rest...
He explained that when we are at rest, God is at work. The opposite, he explained, is true as well. When we are at work, God is at rest. Check out this link to see the Scripture he was teaching from.
Translated: Don’t stress about the things you cannot control, but focus on the things you can while trusting God to do His part.
I really do believe my greatest struggle is in trying to carry the weight of a burden I was never meant to carry. I am a control-addict!
The greatest struggle is for me to let God do His part while I do mine. We all have a unique role to play in this life. God has gifted each of us and placed us right where we need to be to impact this generation. Yet we often try to take control from Him, instead of resting in grace. I was reminded of what the Apostle Paul wrote to one of his churches...
“ After all, who is Apollos? Who is Paul? We are only God’s servants through whom you believed the Good News. Each of us did the work the Lord gave us. 6 I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.7 It’s not important who does the planting, or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.8 The one who plants and the one who waters work together with the same purpose. And both will be rewarded for their own hard work. 9 For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building. 10Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 3:5-11 NLT, emphasis mine).
We each have work to do! God has equipped us and planted us to make an impact in the lives of people around us.
But once we have done all we can do, we rest, trusting that God will do His part!
Instead of worrying, manipulating, controlling, or stressing, we rest in His grace! We work, and then let God work!
Take some time this week to confess all the areas in life where you are not resting. God has revealed several to me over the past few weeks. Once God reveals them to you, commit to do your part and allow Him to do His!
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