I have a confession: I am a recovering frustration-aholic.
I’ve spent the last 11 months of my life feeling like I’m not fulfilling my calling in life, allowing frustration to eat away at me like a moth on an old sweater. I’ve wondered countless times, God, if You’ve given me this great vision for my life, why does it seem it’s not coming to pass?
In the midst of job and location frustration, I set out trying to make God’s will happen in my life on my own. I’ve looked for many other jobs that I thought were possibly God’s calling for my life for now. I’ve considered moving. I’ve even thought about adopting a whole new batch of friends—anything to drown the current frustration out with waves of newness.
But in my search for a change in the day-to-day, I’ve only come up more frustrated. One of my spiritual heroes, Joyce Meyer, says, “Frustration is a sign I am acting independently. The more you try your own way, the tighter the doors will stay closed.” But God, what do You expect me to do when You aren’t changing any of my circumstances and things only seem to be getting harder each day?
For the answer to my frustration-filled questions, I started reading about our challenge-ridden Biblical friend Job. Job was a man purer than any man on earth, yet God allowed Satan to steal his offspring, wealth and even his own health. Surely Job had a right to be frustrated after his children died, after his cattle bit the dust—and most certainly after his own body was covered with boils! After he lost everything except his grouchy wife who told him to curse God, he had every reason to believe that his purpose in life was worthless—to throw in the towel like even his best friends encouraged him to do.
Yet Job’s steady response to the gnawing of frustration was, “Though He slay me, yet will I hope in Him (Job 13:15, TNIV).”
Job gave up his right to have a happy life. He surrendered what he thought his life could be or should be and allowed God to do whatever He wanted with him. In the end, God did redeem Job and returned to him everything he lost and more. But Job had to walk through the valley before he could stand upon his mountain.
I’m learning that freedom from frustration only comes when I surrender my dreams and my ability to make them come true. When I realize that my attempt to make God’s will come to pass in my life is about as ridiculous as a 4-year-old driving a Ferrari, I can’t help but hand the wheel over to Him. In the sweet release of surrender to God’s way, you will see Him open doors for you that you never even knew existed.
By Lindsay Goodier