Here you are, in the wild. Yes, life is wild. Things are continually changing. Where you thought you would be, you’re probably not, and what you think will happen next may not. Maybe your life has just been turned upside down, or perhaps it’s just now settling down from the last wild turn, preparing you for the next one.
When will all of this calm down? When you’re dead. Things get real calm after that final breath. But until then, you’re on a ride and while the ride is in motion, it’s going to be wild.
You may think you want a calmer ride. You may be craving a slow, meandering roll with long pit stops along the way. But all that equals is a watered down life absent of the natural wild you were created for. If God would have intended for you to live a tamed, tethered, tidy little measured out life, he would have cleared all the problems, removed all the troubles and plopped you by a bubbling brook where birds sing.
Look around … are you by a bubbling brook with singing birds? No! That’s because you’re not a Disney Princess! Your life is real and it’s meaningful and it is WILD.
Why did God design your life this way? Could it be because your eyes would glaze over with the repetitive nature of everything always going perfectly? Could it be because you would wander farther away from a connection with your creator if things were always good? Could it be because you would never grow to your fullest potential if problems didn’t plop themselves squarely in the middle of your path?
Paul wrote in Romans 5: 3-5 “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.”
Have you run into problems and trials? This is for a purpose! This is the thick of the wild, and this is where you develop your endurance. Honey, this is where you learn to keep going. This is where you learn there’s more in you than you ever thought before. What’s in you … the power of God! Remember that when you question if you have strength to keep going. YOU DO because you have the power of God dwelling inside of you. That’s true power.
When training for a marathon, you begin with the first mile and then you build up to 3 miles. I’ll never forget my first 3 mile training run. It took everything I had to finish it. How in the world would I ever build up to do nearly 10 times that? The answer was to train. Training would build up my endurance to break through my prior limitations and learn to run longer and further.
The training God has you in as you go through problems and trials is to build up your endurance. You’re learning to trust God through bigger problems for longer times before you have answers. This isn’t punishment, this is training. He has good work for you to do sis, but first you have to learn to trust God for longer distances between the answers.
Yes, between the answers. This is the time between your last clear direction from God and your next. This is the part where you’re not sure what the heck God is doing. This is basically like miles 15 through 19 in a marathon. You’re on some backroad in the middle of nowhere and there’s no one to cheer you on. Yip, the wild. This is you learning to trust.
As you keep getting up, keep pushing through, and keep believing, this endurance develops strength of character. Oh yes, this is where you learn who you really are. This is the part where the refining fires melt away all the layers you’ve carried around to disguise and protect your true self. This is where you become who you were created to be!
The character God is developing in you through your wild times is the ability to choose to do the right things on a consistent basis. When the crowd is cheering you on, and when they’re not. When someone sees you, and when no one would know. Here where you’re learning to trust God, you are growing more and more likely to consistently make the right choices. That’s character. You’re tapping into your inner guidance from the Holy Spirit and you know what is right.
Did God have to bring you to the wild to bring that character out in you? Probably so. As humans, when life is going splendidly well and every day is easy, we stop growing. And when we stop growing, our character slowly fades. We sink into ruts and habits and fall away from the greatness we were designed for. So hello problems and trials because God loves us too much to let us miss out on the fullness of the life he created us for.
And finally, this brings us to hope that will not disappoint. While life may be wild, unpredictable, chaotic and messy, know this … God does not disappoint his girls. He uses all things together for good for his girls who love him. God takes even the things that were intended for our harm, and uses them for ridiculously good things that save lives. Can you believe that what you are going through right now will be used to help save someone else? Isn’t that amazing? God’s big picture plan is so much better than you could ever imagine. While you can’t see it, and you’re not supposed to right now, you can place your hope in it.
Because of all of this, you can actually rejoice in your problems and trials. That’s not exactly easy to do, and I’m not proposing it is. Rejoicing doesn’t mean you’re necessarily happy about it. Rejoicing means we are trusting God is working here and what he’s working on is going to be good.
When things go wrong, you may not feel happy about it, but you don’t have to feel hopeless about it. You can know God is growing something in you here. Something he is going to use for good. Something that will lead you toward the BIG Life you were created for.
It’s okay to be uncertain. Let yourself be uncertain. It’s okay not to have all the answers, you aren’t expected to fix all of this anyway. Here in the wild, you have an invitation to find peace and just grow to become more. Yes, in the wild, you grow naturally, as God intended.