This isn’t how things are supposed to be going …! I’m not where I want to be …! Things… should be different…!
And we plead and we pick apart and we demand why from God or where is God?!
…It’s easy to think we know better when we observe things with our mortal eyes and with the knowledge we have been given. When things don’t seem to add up for us, we ask God why He is doing something a certain way with us or our situations. Like in Jacob, when the laborer asks, “Why are you bringing that branch to the poorest soil?” Why are you bringing me to the “poorest spot in all the vineyard?” (verse 21) Surely, no good can come from this? From here. Surely, He does not care for me. Surely, I am not in His hands or in His care. Surely, I am unfavored, forgotten, out of sight, or unimportant.
BUT what if Peter sinking as he tried walking on the water wasn’t just about doubt? What if there’s more to it that causes him to sink? When I watch the Bible video of this, I love watching Peter right before he sinks. Wind comes & thunder cracks, and he starts looking around at his surroundings, then he loses focus and becomes distracted. Distracted from what he’s doing and distracted from Christ. Distracted by things we feel are worthy variables, or justified wonderings, when in fact, they aren’t. What if, like the laborer in the vineyard, we look around and become distracted by what doesn’t make sense & what is unwanted & we spend our time worrying & complaing & about things that really only end up taking our focus off Christ and His ability to do the impossible, defy logical odds and remembering the reality of being His and being in His hands. Always.
Are we trapping ourselves? Are we getting too distracted by all these other variables that we lose focus on the most important? Are we caught up in personal justifications that are blinding His “diligent labor” for us in His care?
While I was thinking of Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail, it was not the well-quoted verse that things “shall be but a small moment” that brought me perspective but seeing how Joseph had spent his time while locked up. While the Saints are suffering, the Prophet is pleading with the Lord for things to be over and things to be different. And what happened? Months passed, and he was still in jail. But just because time seems to be standing still doesn’t mean God is. And just because we may be waiting doesn’t mean that we are to be idle. I think of all the revelation Joseph Smith received while captured, the many chapters in Doctrine and Covenants that we wouldn’t have if Joseph decided to shut down from his situation if Joseph had allowed the adversary in his mind any longer with negative or unproductive thoughts that keep us standing still or moving back. Maybe it’s not just about making it out alive and dragging ourselves to the end, or wishing for a new year – or waiting for a new season. But what if, like it was with Joseph Smith, it’s about what we do and get during it all?
SO, the next time we look around and things look dark and confusing and things are longer than anticipated & it seems we are working against the odds and logic, and we wonder what good could come from this or how anyone could grow and thrive under these circumstances, and we demand why from God or where is God? Think of the olive trees. Little growth and a lot of correction and good-for-nothin’ fruit came to those who were in a desired place–or a place of comfort. And much growth and the most fruit – desirable best-of the-best fruit came from those in the less-than-ideal spot. “Counsel Him not; [for He] knows that it is a poor spot of ground.”
You are not hidden. You are not forgotten. You are His.
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