I procrastinated this post.
How's that for honesty? Like that? Let me give you some more.
I wasn't doing anything important.
After a long day of shifty New York weather and MTA treachery, I was randomly surfing the internet when I came across a woman with this question:
“When absolutely nothing is going in the right direction and everything is a struggle, what makes ya'll still have faith in prayer? Honestly.”
It made me pause. Earlier today, God told me to write a post on trust. It's not that I didn't want to write this post, it's just that I often struggle with this too. I'm a person who is a fan of sureness and certainty.
I know that if I pay the cab fare, I'm going to be able to get a ride home. I know that if I submit my timesheet at work, I'm going to get paid. I know that if I try to hit that note from Sister Act 2 that I'm going to sound like sharp nails on a blackboard.
Oddly enough, NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE CERTAIN.
Back in 2016, I had so many twists and turns that I didn't even know what trust in God looked like anymore.
When I started a union at my previous job, I had full confidence that God would see it through, because I knew a bit about His character.
I knew that He was a loving God who didn't approve of mistreatment and that my actions would prevent such occurrences in the future.
In essence, I felt my actions and motives lined up with His will. I was grappling in the dark a lot of the time, but I saw no reason why He shouldn't see it through.
SPOILER ALERT: He did.
Now let's fast forward to a couple of months after that.
I left my job and started a cleaning business with two of my friends.
My intentions were to provide a stable income as an entrepreneur and, in the process, serve people who needed a little extra help.
I knew that the road to success wasn't easy but I was positive I was embarking on a successful venture that would fill up my pockets and align with His will.
Apparently, I had a lot more to learn about God.
So when I saw that woman's question, it triggered some introspection of my own trust issues. Like most people, I saw so much of myself through her inquiry.
You have a dream/goal that you desperately want to manifest.
You invest all of your time and resources into said dream/goal.
You give it everything you got, all the while expecting a return on your investment (AND SOON)...
Or at least a few breadcrumbs of favor to carry you through. We've all been there.
But did you even ask God if this is what He wants you to do?
There is a huge difference between what GOD wants for you and what YOU want for you. I knew a bit about His character but I was still missing key components about His will for my life and the roots of my decision making.
I never even asked if my plans were in God's will. Instead, I just assumed that because it seemed like a good idea, that it was a God idea, planned and positioned according to my idea of purpose.
How selfish is that?
We all live on borrowed breath daily. We didn't birth ourselves and none of us know the exact date we will die. I say that to say that we all have PURPOSE, but it's not something YOU create.
I never asked God about His will because I didn't care. I just wanted to make something work for me and reap the results instantly. Obviously, I had to have a huge lesson in humility.
GOD IS SOVEREIGN. If He doesn't want you to do something, no matter how much you try, it will not prosper.
Here's how He showed me I was unaligned with His will:
1. I lost all of my financial backing.
I left my (now) union job and all of its steady income. Plus the jobs we were getting for the business were not enough to sustain all 3 partners.
2. The trials kept coming with no hint of relief.
At first, I thought it was just spiritual opposition because I was onto something big. Over my lifetime, however, I saw that God would usually throw me a bone right before He gave me a feast. There were no bones ya'll. Things kept getting worse and WOULD NOT get better.
3. I had no peace about the decisions I was making.
I could not tell you how many times I would be on a job and wanted to leave. Small mistakes became big mistakes and everything just felt WRONG.
4. There was no harmony within the team.
Eventually, my partners and I started bumping heads. I felt like I couldn't defend myself because of my mistakes but I also felt supremely misunderstood and isolated. I was doing my best but did not feel appreciated.
5. My work didn't bear any fruit.
I kept trying different things and putting in effort and I got nowhere. It seemed like my prayers weren't being answered, which is why I related to that woman's question so deeply.
"When absolutely nothing is going in the right direction and everything is a struggle, what makes you still have faith in prayer?"
Well for one, He's proven that He's worthy of my faith. I trust Him. I trust that He has good intentions FOR ME.
When you sit down in a chair, you trust the manufacturer. You literally sit without thought. You're not checking the legs to see if they're wobbly or the screws to see if they're loose.
When you walk outside for some fresh air, you're trusting that there's no random governmental zombie virus decimating the masses. Or you at least trust that the pollution isn't going to K.O. you today.
TRUST can be defined in two ways:
1. Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something.
2. Confidence placed in a person by making that person the nominal owner of property to be held or used for the benefit of one or more others.
After reading those definitions, I realized that I was trusting in my own ability to make things happen, for my own selfish reasons. I was self-assured, full of pride and it wasn't right. I'm not the boss of my life, that's Jesus. And He's not going to give me a blessing without growing me into a (humble) person who should receive it.
All in all, God cares for each one of us very deeply. His plans are always to prosper us, not harm us. He gives hope and a future.
He may have allowed certain things to happen to you, but He's not letting you suffer without reason.
They're happening FOR you, not to you.
And the whole (difficult) time is building your character.
So I encourage you to trust Him today, with everything big and everything small. His track record is IMMACULATE, and this blog can testify that when you stand on God's plans you just can't lose.
So trust Him. Just try it. There's literally nothing better you can do.