We may not be comfortable with everything but let's choose to serve God all the same
by Ndidi Ngwuluka 10/10/2010 / Christian Living
Do you ever ponder over certain things in your life and wonder why you can't have a smooth ride. Why should there be hitches at every phase of life? Why do I have battles that make me question the essence of my existence? I have loads of things about life I do not like. However, I have gotten to a stage in my walk with God that I believe there is no place to go from him even when I may not fully understand the following:
The scriptures make us understand he does not withhold good things from us yet some of our prayers are not answered. Perhaps like me you wonder if it was something you had done wrong or you asked with the wrong motive. There are times I do a self-check and I find it has nothing to do with me. When I decide to look for solutions in the wrong places, I complicate my situation not knowing God is trying to teach me patience by not answering when I want him to. He takes his time to do everything right.
These days I am learning to cast my mind back to remember that indeed the one who sees the end from the beginning knows what is best for me and in the end everything will turn out for my good including unanswered prayers. I remember when I wanted to travel for postgraduate program in UK; I did pray but I was not granted study visa. Then I was upset with him for not coming through for me. But when I changed location for study, I realized indeed he had my interest at heart and in the end all glory will go to him.
So know that unanswered prayers does not mean God did not hear them or he is trying to punish you but it could be he is teaching you patience or he has something better in store for you.
Difficulties and frustrations:
When I think my day is unbearable, I turn to God and ask, "Is it a crime for a day to go smoothly? Must there be hitches and hiccups on the way?" Well, you may have to watch your prayers if you don't want challenges. I have come to realize that I get what I ask for. Let me explain. When I asked God to teach me how to be calm in crisis, he brought crisis my way. Then it dawned on me I can't learn how to be calm in crisis without crisis. When I asked God to teach me how to love, difficult people came my way for me to learn how to love.
So I have learnt difficulties and frustrations are there to shape me in line with the life of Christ though I still have not embraced them fully. So learn with me and see challenges on the journey as one of the things God uses to shape us and help us to conform to his image.
Trials and temptations:
When you come to Christ, you are told you are free to live for him; old things have passed away and a new life begins. Yet you find yourself still battling with the old things. You pray and pray but they won't just go away when you want them to. You find yourself battling with the flesh unending. Well, as much as we may not like to be in constant battle, it seems it is part of the journey. As long as we are in this world, devil is never going to leave us alone and interestingly God allows it. Why?
Perhaps you discovered your troubles increased when you gave your life to Christ. When you were a sinner, you were probably not persecuted. Everything may have been going on fine. But when you surrendered to him, hell was unleashed on you and God allowed it. Why?
Trials and temptations are part of the unwritten contract signed when we surrendered to Christ. Even Jesus was tempted and tried. As much as we may not like trials and temptations, our Lord suffered and so we should not expect anything less. However, the good news is that no unbearable trials or temptations will come our way. God is always there to help us through them showing us the way of escape. But the problem with you and I is that we don't always take the way of escape and sometimes we choose not to listen to the voice showing us the way. God is ever ready to fulfill his promise. So surely we can overcome trials and temptations.
Evil around us:
I don't understand how a human being can kidnap another person's child and provoke emotional disaster. I don't understand how a human being can be brave enough to take another person's life. I don't understand how a human being can work hard to destroy another person's business. I don't understand the height of evil around me. Perhaps you may have asked as I have, "God, where are you and all these things are happening? How could you allow all these to happen when you can prevent them?"
However, the evils around us do not negate the truth that God is good, loving, compassionate and merciful. God loves the evil doers and so he is patient with them so they may know him.
Furthermore, is it possible evil abounds because a number of God's children are yet to manifest? Although we profess to be of Christ, our lives show that we are still hanging unto our old ways. So how can people around us change? We have not been salt for people to taste godliness nor have we been the light for people to see God's colours. Indeed in situations where Christians have been Christ-like, lives have changed. I believe that the more Christians are truly who they are called to be, the less evil around us.
Remember above all, as much as we may not like everything God brings our way, he is working all things for our good. So whatever is happening you are not comfortable with, look to God and trust him to explain why things are the way they are. There may be lessons to learn or perhaps God has something better coming. It's like a pregnant woman with morning sickness, decreased immunity and other discomforts but when she delivers amidst the pain, the baby overrides the pain.
We may not be comfortable but let's not run away from God. Let us understand that despite the discomforts we are better in him than out of him.
Chinyelu Ngwuluka is a christian who is 'work in progress.' It is her earnest desire that as she shares her encounters, her readers will be enriched, encouraged and empowered to focus on Christ despite the obstacles, distractions and temptations.