Faith Over Fear and Frustration

Sometimes I wish God would give me a glimpse into the future. Just a teeny tiny peek would be great. Part of me wants that glimpse with every ounce of my being, but a wiser part of me knows better.

If God had given me a glimpse fifteen years ago of life today, I probably would have curled up into a little ball, cried my eyes out, and refused to move.

Refused to live.

Fifteen years ago I was preparing to be a missionary. I was working in ministry and doing all the things my mission agency required of me before I could be sent overseas. I’d be heading to Seminary soon and being appointed to my first four year term as an international worker.

Life was exciting. God was using me, growing me, and shoving me way outside my comfort zone. The future looked so bright and my dreams were in the process of being realized.

I would not have been able to handle a picture of me today. Today I’m living at home, doing what I need to do to fix my broken DNA and feeling like crap. My blood pressure has dropped again, making me feel dizzy and my constant low grade fever has spiked. The chills and sweats have taken over for the umteenth day and I really need a shower – and a haircut.

This is not the future I envisioned for myself. If I had gotten a glimpse of where I am today I may have ended it all fifteen years ago, or at least stopped living.

Stopped fighting.

But God made me to be a warrior and a glimpse of my life today wouldn’t have given me the full picture. A glimpse wouldn’t have shown me how much my faith has grown. It wouldn’t have shown my photographs on display in cafes, stores, libraries, and in magazines. It wouldn’t have shown awards for writing or any of the articles and stories that have been published.

A glimpse wouldn’t have shown me all the amazing people I’ve met at writers conferences or the famous and not yet famous authors I now call friends. A glimpse wouldn’t have shown me the Bible studies I’ve been able to teach or the groups I’ve been able to speak to. It wouldn’t have shown me the amazing jobs I’ve had over the years or the ministry I help run.

A glimpse into the future would have overlooked years of beauty, hope, and incredible adventures.

A glimpse into the future is a lie.

It’s a lie of omission because it leaves out all the amazing and difficult and heartbreaking and wonderful things that brought me to where I am now.

This week I’ve had conversations with both of my parents about the future and our frustrations. Should my parents sell the car I’ve been using the last few years because I’m not using it and we’re paying for storage and insurance? Should we try to sell The Green Beast because as much as I love that motorcycle, is it worth keeping for one ride every few years as my health allows?

I have a storage space filled with things from my studio apartment that don’t fit in my room at home, and another with things from the house I was renting that didn’t fit in the studio apartment. Should I sell those things instead of paying to store them or will I need them to set up house again? It would be such a shame to have to buy things later that I already own, but what good are they doing locked up in a warehouse a few towns away?

If I could just have one glimpse into the future.

If I only knew whether these treatments we going to work, I’d know what to do. I’d know if I should sell everything or hold onto things because a new day is coming and I will need them for what God has for me next.

If only I knew.

But that’s not the way life works, and I really am thankful.

You see, when I try to analyze all the possible outcomes to a decision I feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and frustrated. Fearful even. But then God reminds me that He is in control, not me. No matter what happens in life, no matter what decisions I make, He is in control. He is with me.

God has always provided for me and He’s not about to stop now so I can exchange my stress for His rest. I can choose to trust God with today and trust Him with my future. As I do, the pressure lifts of my shoulders and God’s peace descends deep into my heart.

If I knew the future I would trust myself to work it all out instead of God. I would trust my own abilities instead of resting in God’s perfect plan. And I would be miserable.

Faith is a daily decision to choose God over our fears and frustrations.

Your situation might not be like mine, but maybe you need to choose faith over fear and frustration too. It’s so easy to forget to trust God. Circumstances pile on and squeeze our hearts until we feel as if we’re going to collapse in on ourselves.

But God!

When we remember that God is in control and choose to trust Him, peace can rule in our hearts once more. I feel that peace today, and I pray that you do too.

Today I choose faith over fear and frustration. I choose to live life with abandon. I choose Jesus!

Until next time,

Josie

“Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” ~Colossians 3:14-17, NASB