Last time, I wrote about the joy to be found in waiting for God to fulfill His plans for us. Sometimes, like David, we have to wait. God may not fulfill our calling right away. But this doesn’t mean that we have to wait for joy. Part of waiting is the joy we can find in it! The joy is found in learning to be content with whatever He gives us, or wherever He puts us.
Sometimes, though, it’s not just a matter of waiting. Sometimes, we hit roadblocks. Sometimes, we find doors are closed to us. What then? Where is the joy in that?
When this happens to me, I have a hard time being content. I’ve got a vision, and there is so much that I want to do!
But I’ve also got a wife and three little boys that I love a lot. So when I hit a roadblock, I stop and think about it. What if that roadblock was put there by God? Maybe I’ve asked Him to open a door, and He has said no. Maybe that roadblock is Him saying, “It’s not worth it to you to chase that ministry out there. It will take you away from your number one ministry right here, which is your family.”
This isn’t usually my first thought, but I’ve learned to weigh its merits. Maybe God is blocking my path!
I do think that God closes doors. He closes them for all kinds of reasons. He might have something else He wants you to do. He might not think you’re ready. He might not want you to get so busy with new tasks that you forget what you were called to do in the first place. So sometimes He’s going to put up a wall, even if it means that you’re going to run right into it.
Whatever He does, you’re going to have to be okay with it.
I admit, I’m not necessarily content when this happens! It can be frustrating to hit a roadblock, or find a closed door. I might say, “God, I feel like you’re restraining me. Why won’t you let me run free? I can do some good here, if you’ll just let me!” But He hears me say that, and He says, “You can’t do anything good! You can only do good through me!”
That’s the real lesson here. It’s only through God and in Him that we can bring His Kingdom. We prepare the horse for battle, but the victory is His. (Prov. 21:31)
Does this mean we shouldn’t dream, plan, or set goals? Not at all! We should prepare for the things we want to do. We should dream and set goals. But let’s not forget: God delivers. If you hit a roadblock and He wants you to get around it, then He’ll just flick it out of the way.
If He doesn’t remove it, it’s for a good reason. If He’s saying not now, then it’s not now. And that’s okay.
Wouldn’t you prefer to wait until He says you’re ready? He doesn’t want you to go through a door when you’re not prepared, spiritually or mentally, to handle what will come. He knows when an opportunity is good, but He also knows when your heart is not ready. So He’ll block you if it’s not going to be good for you. And then, while you wait, He’ll prepare you.
This is love! This is the tender love of a Father!
I know roadblocks can be frustrating. But if God is not removing them, then He’s put them in place for a reason. Getting frustrated with Him will not change that. And getting frustrated with God is not fun! Here’s an idea: if you find a closed door, ask Him to open it. If He doesn’t, then don’t fight it. Instead, try asking and listening. Then ask and listen some more. Tell Him, “God, here’s my heart. Here’s why I want to do this thing. Here’s why I’d like to get around that obstacle. I would really like to be able to do this thing, but I don’t want to do anything unless I can do it through you. So until you say it’s time, I’ll be content.”
God isn’t saying don’t plan. God says the opposite! He says that He directs your steps, but your heart plans the way. (Prov. 16:9) So let your heart dream. Ask, and listen. And then, just be open. When the time is right, and you are ready, He will make the way plain for you (Ps. 5:8). Meanwhile, there is joy in the waiting!
See you Friday.