On My Terms

There are ares of my life that God is trying to correct and change and mend and rebuild, yet I keep fighting. I keep saying that I want the victory, but I want it on my own terms. I’m still looking for a conditional surrender. I could handle a small plea bargain. I don’t want the help to come from that person, that place, or that other place. I want to be the master of my own future. O foolish man that I am! I want deliverance– but I don’t want to go through detox! -Bob Williams, Life Happens: Shut Up, Smile, and Carry a Plunger!

I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve tried to get my own way, trying to convince God that my plan is somehow better than His. I complain, I fight, I whine, I beg, I barter, I cry, and I shout, thinking somehow I’ll get through and change His mind. I act like a petulant child throwing a temper tantrum in the checkout lane because I can’t have a candy bar before dinner. I put my foot down, refusing to take the road laid out before me because it’s unknown and scary, and I’m comfortable right where I am.

I want what I want, and I want it now. I don’t want to be patient. I don’t want to exchange my dreams for something else. I don’t want to be refined through difficult experiences, stretched by trials, and strengthened by challenges. I want the easy route. I want to go through life scot-free, living a fairy tale life inside a protective bubble of my own making. I want to choose how I learn– through travel, fun experiences, happy moments, joyful times– not through overcoming obstacles, facing my fears head-on, and fighting battles that appear completely hopeless.

Except when I take a moment to really consider it, I realize those things aren’t true. Deep down, I do want to be patient. I do want to exchange my little dreams for God’s bigger, better ones. I want to be willing to wait as long as He wants me to, trusting that He has purpose for the waiting.

I want to take whatever path He sets me on, knowing that He is going with me, and that even when I can’t see around the next bend or over the next hill, He can. He is working in my heart and my life all the while, developing my character and orchestrating the perfect circumstances in which to usher in His special blessing– one that is FAR better than the petty things I spend my time pestering Him about.

This is the truth I cling to when I find myself mid-tantrum: God is God and I am not. He said we would go through trials. He said we would be refined through fire, just like gold. And I want to be pure and blameless before Him, not full of impurities and junk like I am on my own when I don’t let Him have His way with my heart and in my life. In order to win the battles I face, I need to be still. I need to quit kicking and screaming, putting up a pathetic fight to try and get my way, and understand that my Heavenly Father has a greater perspective, more experience and wisdom, and knows a better way. Let not my will, but His, be done.

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