By Meredith”Duff” Fleming
I recently finished grad school and the next step for me is finding a job. For a while I was just waiting for God to tell me if I should stay where I am or move back home. I figured he would somehow just tell me what to do, so I waited around for an answer. A friend of mine recently told me that God might not come right out and tell me where I should go. Instead he would probably open a door and through that door I would have clarity about what I should do. But what would it take to open that door? Well, usually someone has to knock before a door is opened.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. Matthew 7:7
There was part of my problem. I wasn’t asking for God to give me wisdom and clarity in the decision making process. I was not seeking the Lord’s heart and will for my life in the midst of this transition. I wasn’t knocking at the doors that would help me take the next steps in this process. The bottom line is that I was not taking ownership in my relationship with God. I was expecting him to give, to reveal, to guide, but I wasn’t doing my part.
So why wasn’t I doing my part? Well, I realized that it was the uncertainty of the situation that was keeping me stuck. For some reason I felt like I needed to know where I would be before I started applying for jobs. I needed to have that figured out before I could worry about other details like where I would live, how I would support myself, how I could keep summer commitments, etc. I had a fear of not knowing what was next, so I just stayed where I was. I became complacent.
Complacent: feeling so satisfied with your own abilities or situation that you feel you don’t need to try any harder.
If we are complacent, we are trusting in ourselves and not God. In a way I started to believe that I could do it on my own. I could coast through this time in my life and maybe God would tell me something along the way that could help. It’s not wrong to expect for God to move in your life. However, it is wrong to think that He will give you everything you want while you just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. What we need is to be content, not complacent. Content, simply put, is a state of satisfaction.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:12-13
It is only God who can truly meet every need that we have. God is the one who satisfies us, not ourselves, other people or other things of this world. We also cannot be truly content without a personal relationship with God. Being content begins with obedience and a grateful heart.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Even when we are stuck, confused, discouraged, or afraid, we can be content. It doesn’t mean we have it all figured, but it does mean that we believe in a God who can overcome all of our insecurities. I get it. Sometimes it can be hard to believe that and live that out. That’s where accountability comes into play.
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed. Proverbs 15:22
If you’re feeling stuck, reach out to spiritual leaders that you trust whether it is a mentor, pastor, family member or friend. Invite those people into this journey and ask them to hold you accountable moving forward. They can help make sure that you are asking, seeking and knocking.
Friends, it’s ok to be stuck. It’s ok to not know what is next. But don’t stay stuck for so long that you feel like this is the best it’s going to get. Hold on to God’s promises, seek wise counsel and take steps of obedience. Remember the times that the Lord has been faithful to you. Write them down, meditate on them, or share them with others. Invite God into the uncertainty, the fear and the doubt. He loves you and will never leave you. The best is yet to come.
However, as it is written: “What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him. 1 Corinthians 2:9