Getting back into a routine has been rough. My darling children are tired and fussy post-camp so school has been a stretch this week. I have to admit that weeks like this make me feel like I’m on a hamster wheel–I have a hard time seeing progress. I’m tired of being sick and having chronic fatigue. I feel like my fantasy novel won’t ever be done (despite the fact that I hit 200,000 words last week–woohoo!). Evan and I have been working on a podcast which I will definitely be telling you guys all about once we start posting it. But progress is slow. Some days it feels so slow as to be nonexistent.
I was encouraged though that God has a plan. A plan to me involves a timeline or a path traveled–in other words, it’s progress.
2 Timothy 1:9 says that God gave us His grace before creation because of his purpose and grace. Check out this super awesome definition from The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament for the Greek word for “purpose”–prosthesis: “a setting forth, presentation, an exposition, determination, plan, or will. It involves purpose, resolve, and design. A placing in view or openly displaying something” (Spiros Zodhiates, 1219).
Purpose, resolve, and design. God’s grace isn’t on accident. It isn’t about staying in one place. And it has design–which to me means that it’s beautiful. Maybe not easy. Life is rarely easy. Although, as Jerzy Gregorek says, “easy choices, hard life; hard choices, easy life.” So life can definitely be easier. And it’s not worthless.
1 Cor. 15:58 is one of those verses I cling to. It says, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (NIV). How fabulous is that?! Whenever we’re giving ourselves to God’s labor, when we’re building where He’s building, it’s never a waste of time. We’re never actually on a hamster wheel.
And I love the resolve because that reminds me that God never gives up on us. He’s working His plan and He’ll do it until the day Jesus returns (Phil 1:6).
So if you’re in a place where you’re feeling a little stuck or maybe frustrated with how little progress there is, let me encourage you: God has a plan even when we can’t see it. He is the God who changes hearts, who drags us along when we ask Him to. No matter what you’re going through, God can transform it into something amazing–He’s the God of full redemption (Ps. 130:7), not partial redemption. There are no hamster wheels in His economy.
If you’re stuck because you’re not surrendering to Him, well, maybe you should check out this video by Tim Ferriss about Fear Setting. In my life, a lack of surrender has always come back to some fear–whether it’s fear of what God’s asking me to do or fear of what He might ask me to do or fear of losing myself, etc., etc., etc. But, when you do the last step of Tim Ferriss’ Fear Setting–which is to write down where you’ll be in 6 months, 1 year, and 3 years, I can guarantee the results of not surrendering are way worse than the results of surrendering. It’s just nice to see it in black and white, or whatever color ink you use.