We cannot be content until we submit to limitations. I believe that. Yet even when you pray, “Not my will but Thine be done”, isn’t there still a part of you that wonders why God does what He does?
Life is a series of beginnings, middles, and endings. In my experience, the curve of work, revelation, and service is more like a roller coaster than a mountain slope that always goes higher.
God is a God of Order
God is not capricious, but orderly and consistent. Before and after every mountain is a valley. We begin at a new bottom and look up. In life, as in climbing, the going up is much slower and requires greater effort than the going down – unless we fight the descent.
So much has changed for my husband and me in a short time. How was it possible? Even in this, God’s power was front and center. Whenever we needed a gate, one appeared and opened.
I’ve learned that I own my successes, but don’t live in them. An entire book of life closed for me this year. I peaked in my areas of expertise some time ago, rode down the soft side of the mountain, and now find myself in a new valley looking at the road ahead.
The Blessing of the Valleys
A valley is a new place of opportunity. But I don’t manage it, instruct it, or control it. I am a student again, discovering material I never noticed before, recognizing the need to learn new habits. My new valley is a challenging place, partly because I’m not sure how to remember my resolutions and plans.
This week I resolved, committed to, and prepared to make a particular change. Then, after the fact, I realized I’d done what I always did and forgot to do something different. And I wanted to make the change!
I didn’t do as I wished, but what I didn’t want to do, I did. (Romans 7:15)
Will tying a string around a finger help? I may have tried it decades ago, but the only result of said string I imagine now is a wet, dirty finger and a piece of string too disgusting to keep.
What you earn you keep; faith, expertise, confidence, and soul rest. In case you’ve wondered, the concept of retirement isn’t in God’s Word. You still have purpose even when the details of what you do change.
God’s Power and You
Sometimes God leaves a powerful calling card in your life as a reminder of who He is and to flex His awesome authority. God historically does things to make the point that He alone is God.
There are many biblical examples, beginning with, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14), moving on to Pharaoh (Exodus 10:1-2), then Gideon (Judges 7:2), and beyond.
There is no reason to fear the power of God because you are a child of the King of Kings and His spirit lives within you. Trust means being okay without the final pages of your story because you know the Author.
Sometimes He wants to remind us of what we already know. God isn’t obliged to explain anything. That He does on occasion is a testament to His great love.
Content in God’s Will
God makes it possible for us to be at peace and content with His plan – even joyful. Yet, sometimes we want to know what’s ahead and, at other times, we want different circumstances.
It’s okay to ask.
“Lord, please give me this… or, please make this happen.”
There is a proscription on what we may expect; we must ask within His will, which we seldom know in total. It may be news to many, but God doesn’t usually solicit our input. We go where He wishes and do as He instructs.
Blessed by Limitations
I realized years ago that I don’t have the power to change much of anything except myself. The result is freedom and contentment. God knows, directs, and guides. All I have to do is show up and offer obedience.
Accepting true limitations removes blankets of guilt and worry. It’s both funny and humbling remembering how many things I believed I had to fix, herd, negotiate, or control. Now I chuckle and say, “Not my circus.” Sometimes, when reality is grim, I accept my limitations with somber gratitude. God has this, and it’s not for me to strive against.
I first learned that contentment and disability are related from my father and my amazing horse, Sky. You’ll find Sky’s story in the last chapter of Amazing Grays, Amazing Grace. Here’s where you can meet my dad, Drinking From My Saucer.
Becoming A Tool God Can Use
My failures and successes were purposeful because God had need of them. From horrible personal experiences to World and National Championships, God molded and continues to shape me into a tool He can use – the same way He does with you.
What is His goal? Why does He do what He does? I know in part, but not in whole. (1 Corinthians 13:9)
God acts to express His power and to bring us closer to Himself.
On a Peak or in a Valley
If you’re in a valley as I am today, look forward and up. God has a plan and purpose for you. The only way to walk it out is by moving forward, remembering that forward is a direction and not a speed.
Don’t fret. Smell the flowers, identify who you walk beside, examine the environment, and find the blessing. If you’re near the top of your mountain, fabulous! Please share your experience. But, remember that on the backside of the peak is the next downward trek.
Life is the Great Adventure. I am most grateful that I am not in charge – and neither are you. But, if you have any hints about remembering resolutions, I’m open to suggestions!
I am the Lord, there is no other
Explore the power and intent of God in all of Isaiah chapter 45. In this one chapter He states, “I am the LORD, and there is no other” at least five times.
Related article by Joe Rigney as he considers Why God Does Everything He Does.
Related post on LynnBaber.com, Hot Air Balloons and God’s Will