Monday, May 11, 2015

Not a Formula

My pastor said something this week that really resonated with me: You cannot reduce God down to a formula. We do not have faith in a formula but in a person. 

I think this is what I've been trying to do lately. I have finished my degree. I've done other "steps" as I see them appear. Now I should get the result I want.

This plus that plus the other thing equals my expected result.

But that's not God. God works in His own way and at His own time. He is not linear. He is God.

My anxiety has been climbing in recent days. I think it's because I see or hear of classmates getting jobs or moving on to the next stage. People ask me about my own future steps.

And I don't see anything changing yet. Still waiting....

When I look back at Scripture, I see people in a waiting mode. Moses spent 40 years as a shepherd in the wilderness. I wonder if at year 2 or year 10 or year 25, Moses thought: "Okay. I'm ready to move on. This sheep-watching has been interesting and rewarding but I'm ready for the next stage."

Joseph spent a long while in an Egyptian prison. At one point, he saw what he thought was the way out. "Remember me when you are back with Pharaoh," he told the cupbearer after interpreting a dream. The man said he would, but forgot him for 3 years.

God is not a formula or a checklist. "I did this and did that. I went here. I waited there. I herded sheep. I was faithful even in prison. Now I'll get my due."

Not the way God works.

And my due is nothing but death. I don't deserve anything that I have already received from God. And continue to receive. God continues to bless. Why do I feel restless or discontent? Why do I focus on what hasn't happened rather than what has?

I am truly grateful for what God has given us. He has continued to show us His faithfulness and blessing. I'm sure in ways that I don't even see. That's where I need to rest. I need to keep working where God has led me at this point.

I will trust the person and stop trying to find the formula.

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