All you could think about at first was graduating. Only four more years, three more years, two more years, one more year and then your life would really take off. Finally, you would actually be doing what you’ve been dreaming about rather than just studying it. Meanwhile, you’ve been patiently waiting for “the one” to come along. Sure you’ve been telling your friends that you’re “not looking right now,” but secretly you’re hoping you’ll run into him or her tomorrow. Eventually, you give up the pretenses – it didn’t take long because your heart wasn’t really trusting God anyway – and you get desperate.
Fast-forward a few years: the dreams of your youth have come true. You’re finally married, the kids have arrived and your “real life” has begun. Unfortunately, now all you can think about is being single again and re-living your glory days back in college when you didn’t have so many responsibilities.
Yet through the ups and downs of life, the ebb and the flow, there arises a very legitimate danger. It markedly twinges everything with a sense of hollowness: getting what you want but not what you need.
One of my favorite quotes is, “There are those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done’ and those to whom God says, “Thy will be done.’”
How many opportunities have I been given to learn this lesson!
When I was growing up, my family moved to a new country every two years. Many times I found myself suspended in a limbo of discontentment, yearning for the next move. Yet when I got there and the newness had worn off, I grieved for everything I left behind. With one foot in my past and the other in my future, I had become a master at robbing myself from the joy of the present. After the third move, I decided something had to give.
Some of us are called to things that require more time than what we penciled into our life schedule. If we are going to follow God’s will, we might as well get used to it because He operates more like an oven than a microwave. The irony about being frustrated with God’s timing is that His is impeccable and ours is not by default.
I do not think that following God’s will is easy or necessarily even a direct route. In fact, it often appears to take a very indirect course, but a completely necessary and fulfilling one. I have noticed that when I spend more time with God and expend more energy in serving Him, my yoke becomes oddly easy and my burden unnaturally lighter, considering I tend to handle more responsibility.
There is a place where we can arrive in our walk with God that brings us to love life, even with its many shortcomings. We recognize that life is here and now just as He is “I Am that I Am” (Exd 3:14). Instead of missing, pining for, or complaining about what we don’t have, we embrace what we have been given.
As Agur said in Proverbs, “Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die. Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food allotted to me….” He knows the treasure of contentment. Its key is summed up in one beautiful expression: Lord, Thy will be done.
Chelsea Kimbrough offers insights into lessons she has learned outside of the classroom. She is a senior Biomedical Chemistry and French major with a Biology minor.