Sometimes when we feel like we’re between a rock and a hard place in terms of providing for ourselves and our families, we forget that there may be more out there than what we think we can see, so we feel trapped … and we fear for our futures.
I know what that feels like. A claustrophobic feeling, a helpless feeling, a pressure inside my chest that builds and builds. But I’ve learned some things that have taken the place of the hopelessness, the panic, the “suck-it-up-buttercup” feeling. If you’ve read anything I’ve written in the past, you’ll know that I am a Jesus-person, but you may not know that it’s taken some between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place-moments for me to get it settled deep within my heart that I’m not trapped. I do have options and choices. And so do you.
Life is ever-fluctuating. Just because we chose a vocation or lifestyle in our twenties does not dictate the remainder of our years despite what our superiors may have told us. Since we are always growing and learning, there are aspects of our personalities, our gifts, our dreams and desires that flourish over time, leaving us slightly different than we were when we first ventured out. What is important to understand is that God does not just give us a “go out in the world and see what you can do, kid!” push and leave us to our own devices. Rather, He is an ever-present help. Closer than our next breath. Interested in our thoughts, our hopes, our dreams… because He created us. He instilled particular, unique aspects into who we are because we are important to Him, to His purpose, to His heart. We are not alone.
And the whole business of learning to be content wherever we are, in whatever situation we are in is vital, but I think we misunderstand it. We somehow imagine that we are meant to be destitute because it is God’s will, but that doesn’t jive with the whole of Scripture. The God of the Bible is very interested in providing for His people, of lavishing them with more than enough, with over-flow. It’s when they turned from Him and served other gods, or did awful things, that He removed His care. Became angry. Yet, even then, He always returned His provision, His love, His protection and care when they returned to Him. Not because they deserved it, but because He is good. Because He is mercy. He is love. Being content in all things means to know and trust that God is indeed good, He does not expect us to prove ourselves to Him because He took care of it at the cross. What He requires is our heart. Our trust.
Let me just throw this out there: God is not a stingy old bugger that is withholding from you. Life is not just about things and acquiring what we can and being shallow. But He did create good things, and intended them for us, and they are good when we realize where they come from, and are grateful. You are not a victim. You may have been one at some point in your life, but it doesn’t define you, and God certainly has not declared you to be one.
So do some research of your own. Discover, learn, grow, but don’t stay in your cage! Dream, and know that as you seek Him, He is big enough and strong enough to close doors, steer you in the right direction, and care for all of your needs. Because in the end, it’s not just about you. You are important to Him, you matter, and you have a purpose. And God takes care of His own.