Whenever we set out to accomplish a goal, we encounter tons of problems, usually a lot more problems than we bargained for or predicted. The challenges often surprise us and it seems that the easier we think something should be, the more likely we are to experience obstacles. As the problems mount, we begin to doubt ourselves and wonder if the whole venture wasn’t a big mistake. I’m speaking about myself of course, but you might be able to relate.
I often feel divinely inspired to start projects. I certainly felt divinely inspired to start my non-profit organization. In divine inspiration, God shows us a beautiful picture, a vista filled with colors and wonder. Our emotions soar, we get excited about doing something amazing, and if we can overcome our fears, we set out on our journey.
What we don’t see is the rocky road that awaits us. It is the difficult path of problems, unforeseen obstacles, heartbreak, and discouragement. We don’t see these things because God does not show them to us. He doesn’t let us in on the secret, because if He did, we wouldn’t get started in the first place. Very few of us are interested in self-inflicted pain. We are not eager to take on challenges that may kill us. I’m not using kill literally here, but I have certainly felt that I was going to die emotionally or spiritually along the way.
If you are anything like me, when the problems hit hard you begin to doubt the divine inspiration that led you down the path you are on. I think that is a mistake. I believe that facing those problems is just as much the point as achieving the outcome. God wants us to tackle tremendously difficult problems. He entices us to do so by showing us the beauty and grandeur of the end result and then He continues to strengthen us, guide us, and help us on the difficult journey, especially when we think we are going to “die”.
Why would God subject us to such pain and frustration? Well, it is because we are amazing people with amazing potential who don’t know our own strengths and are often too interested in comfort to face our fears and rise to the level of greatness that God created us for. I think that every “mistake”, false start, obstacle, painful experience, triumph and lesson learned is part of what God is trying to do in our lives to help us grow into the amazing creations we can be.
God is patient. He doesn’t miracle us to success. From our own little tiny perspective, everything takes too long, works too slow or is too difficult for our tastes, but He waited 13 billion years for you to come along. Scientists say that it took 9 billion years for the Earth to be formed. Bible literalists don’t agree with that, but it makes sense to me. I wish God would work a little quicker on my behalf but that doesn’t seem to be His nature. Of course, if He did, then I would miss the whole point of the journey, which is the growth process.
Look, you can do what you want with all of this, but it really encourages me to know that the problems I encounter in the pursuit of my dreams are not from my misreading God’s divine inspiration, a lack of intelligence on my part or punishment for my unwillingness to conform (I am an incorrigible non-conformist. Not even 30 years in the Army changed that). The rocky path is all part of God’s plan and the best thing for me to do is enjoy every minute of the journey, even the parts that hurt like hell.