I recently came back from a mission trip to Boston, where I had the opportunity to serve with several church groups from Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia. While in Boston, I had a hard time comprehending that I was really in Boston. The week of our trip was one of the hottest weeks of Boston in the summer, so it felt similar to Alabama weather. My local church team was also surrounded by many other church groups and believers during the week when we were on the residential campus and at the worship services each night.
While we were able to learn about differences between cultures from the local church members in Boston, I wasn’t hit with the reality of those differences until I arrived back home. I remember during the mid-point of the trip, I was in the car with a lady, who I got to meet at the church we were serving with in Boston. She was a local of Quincy, and she offered to drive me and another member on my team around the city when heading to our service site. In the car, she stated, “We actually just got our first Christian radio station up here called ‘KLOVE’”. I noticed each time we got in the car, that was usually the station she would play.
I remember as I was growing up, my dad would have about four or five different radio presets, each being a different Christian radio station. We would typically change the station to another one if we didn’t “like” a song, “weren’t feeling it”, or wanted to listen to a different artist. Why? Because we HAD multiple options to choose from, and we COULD pick what we WANTED to hear.
I think we tend to overcomplicate our lives by focusing on all the different options and choices we have. While my friend from Boston listens to one Christian radio station because that’s all she has, I spend many minutes of my day trying to find a song I want to hear based on “how I am feeling”. It was evident that the local church members in Boston truly enjoy their church and appreciate their church. I think it’s because they are content with where God has placed them, and they aren’t focus on all their other “options”.
I’ve been listening to the song, “Jireh”, by Maverick City Music lately. There is a lyric that says, “And I will be content, in every circumstance“. God doesn’t want us to be content in every circumstance that we approve of. Not every circumstance where we are happy, satisfied, or comfortable in. No. We need to be content in every circumstance, whether we are comfortable or uncomfortable, or if we are “feeling it” or “not feeling it”.
I think too of Genesis 3, where Satan tempts Eve to doubt God:
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” – Genesis 3:1-5
How often do we begin to add questions and distractions to the clarity or peace that God gives us? How often do I think, “Does God really want me here?” or “Is what I am doing really making an impact?” when God continues to show me evidence that He has me in this place for a reason.
There truly is beauty in simplicity, yet we overcomplicate matters. God is the same on my good days and my bad days. He is the same God in the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. I am building a shaking foundation on God when I only chose to love, obey, and walk in obedience with Him on the days that are “good” or when “I feel like it”. At that point, I start building a foundation on myself and my control. However, there are thousands of things in this life that we are not in control of.
When we start to put our confidence solely in our personal control, on the days when things are out of control, we will fall fast to the reality and lose sight of who God truly is. Our understanding of God needs to become bigger. We must realize that His ways truly are higher than our ways. I don’t need to be so focused on all the options or distractions around me. I need set my mind on God, who desires to be at the center of my life. When I build my life on the solid rock of God and His character, I can begin to discern His voice and let it be the loudest voice I listen to. The doubts and questions can begin to fade away if I truly pursue Him and where He has me.
I hope you can find some peace and clarity with where God has you planted today. Choose to deeply know God and His character each day. He is our firm foundation that we can continuously rely on no matter what our circumstances may be.