As I’ve been processing this season I find myself in and talking with friends about where they are, there are 2 recurring themes I keep bumping into:
1. We are often very aware of what produces the most growth in our life
2. We will go to great lengths to avoid it
I recently had coffee with a friend who confessed they had been nearing a breaking point and “begging God not to let it all fall apart.” I could certainly relate to what they were saying and knew where this was headed. For the sake of throwing another log on the conversation I asked, with a grin on my face, “if you’re honest, when are the times in your life that have grown you the most?”
“When it’s all fallen apart.”
Lest I assume you’re as prone to be fickle-hearted and woozy-eyed as I, let me speak for myself. I tend to want the answers without the pain of grappling with the questions. “Just tell me!” I want to somehow miraculously understand what is happening in my life, and the trajectory thereof, and for that knowledge to produce unparalleled character and remarkable growth in my life. But I don’t want to feel the icy cold grip of disappointment, the helpless free fall of uncertainty, or the unrelenting gnaw of waiting on the unknown.
Sure, I want what these things produce in me. I KNOW what they produce in me. I’ve lived through and survived enough seasons of crisis, deconstruction and rebuilding to know that I’ll emerge with deeper hope, stronger trust and fresh faith.
I want the hope, but not the disappointment.
I want the trust, but not the waiting.
I want the faith, but not the uncertainty.
I want the new beginning, but not the ending.
But here’s what I know: while I often want the product, but not the process, God loves me enough to not let me have one without the other.
I love the confidence of Romans 8:28:
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Ultimately, God promises ‘good’, but not without ‘things’. At the same time, he assures that the ‘things’ won’t be without ‘good’. To paraphrase, God says, “not just this, and not just that. I’m giving you both.” He doesn’t want me to get so fixed on the product that I fail to realize the value in the process; so desperate for the good that I discount the things. So wanting THAT, that I miss the worth of THIS.
The process without the product fosters bitterness and distrust.
The product without the process cultivates entitlement and pride.
The process WITH the product develops character and faith.
Knowing the ‘things’ are essential to my ‘good’; this, my friends, is the process…
Not for tomorrow. Just today. Without answers. With hope. In this. Toward that.
Check out my FITS OF BRAVERY Spotify Playlist, a soundtrack for the “the process”.