My portion is customized by an all knowing God, just for me. Yet I can sometimes find myself dissatisfied with it. Before I evaluate the portion in front of me I can want more or have a change of appetite all together. The above passage exposed my dissatisfaction and stirred some strong emotions in me that I could not completely identify. God said that he has set boundaries for me and that they fall in pleasant places. Feeling overwhelmed by a recent trip home left me restless with my portion and I found myself wanting to impulsively clear my plate and start a new one. Thoughts swirled in my head of aging grandparents, more and more peers getting married and/or having children while my family members press me on my singlehood; friends going through trials that are beyond my control or help; ministry needs exceeding my physical ability to be in multiple places at once and a sense of blurriness regarding next steps in my career. My schedule was packed and I was busy but I was not bringing these things before God. I found myself expressing my dislike to God with my portion but never took the time to be still before him and seek his guidance with any of it.
Days later I read an article by Ann-Marie Slaughter in The Atlantic that discussed why women still can’t have it all. This discomfort within me churned even more. If my portion is supposed to be pleasant why am I so uncomfortable with it? Why can't I have it all? What does that even mean to me?
Ps16:4 “The sorrow of those will increase who run after other gods.”
I can lose focus of what’s most important. The second part of that passage, in verse 6, addresses my delightful inheritance. When I start to feel discomfort or dissatisfaction with what I have it often indicates I am running after things other than God to satisfy me. My sorrow is a result of my distrust in Him and a shift to a reliance on myself. There will be times when I am angry at God and not happy with how things are going. I need to be honest with Him in those times and then return to the truth about who He is. I think sometimes he fills my plate just above my capacity in order to force me to turn to him for help. It’s his way of saying, “You can’t carry this or take care of what I have placed within your boundaries without relying on me.”
Micah 4:12 “But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not understand his plan, he who gathers them like sheaves to the threshing floor.”
Sometimes to get to the most genuine parts, the good parts, I have to go through a threshing process. The process isn’t orderly or pleasant but it’s necessary. The process of threshing was performed by spreading sheaves on the threshing floor and causing oxen and cattle to tread repeatedly over them, loosening the edible part of crop from the scaly, inedible chaff that surrounds it. Then winnowing forks were used to throw the mixture into the air so the wind could blow away the chaff, leaving only the good grain on the floor. God is always deliberate; He always has a plan for me. I don’t fall off His radar. In the moments when I find myself getting anxious and restless or thinking that I know what would make my life better; when I find myself wanting to add to my portion, He reminds me that he knows better. In those hard moments I need to remember that a part of my character may be on the threshing floor being refined so as to get to the good part.
Micah 7:7 “But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior, my God will hear me.”
Originally published at http://www.liveasif.org/. Used with permission.
God's brought me a long way from the New York City Housing Projects. I studied the Bible, repented, and was baptized for the forgiveness of my sins when I was 17 and have been repenting and striving towards heaven ever since. The hardest thing about becoming a Christian at 17 was trusting that God would take care of me, meet my emotional teen needs, and help me overcome my enormous insecurities...what else would a teen girl have trouble with?
Since those first days, I have made it out of the Projects, finished my Masters degree in International Development, and moved to DC to work in my field. As a young single Christian woman my struggles today are a little different than they were when I first came to know God, but who am I kidding, not much. It's the every day battle for my heart to be pure before God, to strive to please him, and help others to seek and know Him.
Over my years of a faithful walk with God I have received much grace and compassion and have been blessed beyond my wildest dreams. Throughout it all one thing has stayed consistent: God's word. Through His word I have been inspired and it has kept me faithful even when faith seemed like a foreign concept and God seemed deaf to my prayers. I started emailing my Quiet Times which helped me stay accountable as I shared my struggles and fought for understanding. Some wrote back and said they too were inspired and could relate. I hope some of my times can help inspire others who are seeking and fighting just like I am, to get to heaven and take as many as possible with me along the way.