I think too much. It’s a thing. I’ve been working on it for…pretty much my whole life. When balanced with a good dose of grace, peace, and joy, it’s a good thing that I’m self-reflective and self-aware. But I’m unfortunately not always that balanced.
One of the main things that I am constantly thinking about, worrying about, OBSESSING about is whether I’ve missed the will of God. I spend a good portion of my time wondering if I’ve taken a left turn somewhere and am not really living the life God intended for me. Or if I was supposed to be doing so much more, but He finally gave up on me because He got tired of me wussing out and not walking through the open doors I was given. Was I supposed to pray for that lady that one time? Should I be in the leadership track back at YWAM right now? Was I supposed to marry that one guy six years back but I was just too stubborn? Is going back to college really the right next step?
The craziest, silliest things go through my head. I feel like I’m not in God’s will because I’m not suffering enough. Suffering produces character, right? But I have a good life, I’m comfortable and happy and I’M NOT GOING TO HAVE ANY CHARACTER!? Surely God intends me to have character and strength so He actually intended me to be suffering in Zimbabwe or something right now…right? Maybe I’m not surrendered fully in some category of my life, I’m holding back certain things and it’s holding back my relationship with God and I’m never going to be as effective as I was intended to be! Or I question my decisions because I would make them on my own. Wait…is this what God really wants me to be doing? Because it’s kind of what I would want to be doing. Probably I’m just going this direction because it’s what I want and I’m just ignoring His voice. He’s probably trying to tell me in a million different ways to go somewhere else but I’m ignoring Him. Or, on the other side of the coin, if I’m up to something that wouldn’t be my preference, I’ll wonder if I’m doing it just to counteract my above sentiments. Maybe I’m just doing this because I feel like the other option is what I’d choose so I just chose this because I feel like I can be sure it wasn’t my own preference talking….
Can you see how this sort of thing becomes a bit too much? I drive myself crazy. (Please, someone…tell me I’m not the only one who puts myself through this!) But thank God for God. I felt like tonight I should review some of my notes from my YWAM lecture phase, and one little phrase stuck out to me like a beacon: “Only open rebellion misses the will of God.” And it was like suddenly I could breathe again.
Because I’m far from perfect, but I know that I’m not in open rebellion. I know that my heart is always to do the will of the Father. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t spend so much time agonizing over it. So I don’t have anything to worry about. Because GOD is good enough and loves me enough to work with whatever I give Him. The more I give Him, the more He has to work with, sure. But if I give Him a willing heart, even a heart that just wants to want to do His will, He can do a lot with that. (Anyone else just want to want to do His will sometimes? Sometimes that’s all I’ve got. But it’s a start.) And GOD is big enough to make sure I know what His will is, even if I’m being particularly dense. I’m not going to outsmart Him. I’m not going to out-think Him. I’m not going to surprise Him or confuse Him with my convoluted logic. Even a last-minute, out of the blue zag isn’t going to catch Him off guard. He’s never trying to catch up. He knows me. He’s known me longer than I’ve known me. A lot longer. He has, in fact, been studying me for eternity and already knows where this train is headed. My life isn’t a boat randomly floating around on a wide ocean, at the whims of the wind and tide. Not even a car really, where I could get off track if I’m not paying attention. It’s more like a train, and I’m not going to jump the track unless I’m very deliberate about it. God is big enough to see to that. His will is actually hard to miss. So I can chill. I can be still, and know that He is GOD. I can stop all my crazy whirling thoughts and sing with the psalmist,
5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God…
(Psalm 42:5a ESV)