You’re facing a situation you think is terrible, but sister, it’s not what you think. You’re stepping into this assuming one thing, but God wants to reveal to you another. God is asking you to stop fighting this and trust him here. Trust this isn’t what you’ve built it up to be in your head. Trust it’s more than it appears on the surface. Trust this is FOR you, not against you.
What if life isn’t happening to you, but it’s happening FOR you,. What if God really is in the details and the very thing you’re resisting is God’s good plans for you unfolding in mysterious and unexpected ways.
This morning after praying and inviting God to use me to speak to you, he vividly reminded me of one of the funniest things I’ve ever pulled off. He took me back to 2015 on a ranch in Texas where I was hosting an adventure retreat. There, I partnered up the participants into pairs for retreat imitations. The moment I said initiations, they knew they were about to be challenged. And they were right, this would be a challenge.
On a tray I had a clear glass bowl full of goldfish. Not crackers, real fish. They could see them swimming and they watched me reach my hand into the water, grab a fish and put it into a red solo cup. Exactly enough cups for each partnered pair, each with a live fish. Then I announced one person would be the feeder and the other would be the eater. Choose their positions now and blindfold eachother.
As the blindfold was put on their eyes, they could still see me scooping out the fish into the cups to be distributed. As you can imagine, they are panicking. They are questioning my choices as a leader. They are wanting to escape the situation, but here they are on a stage, preparing to be the person to either feed someone a live goldfish, or worse, be on the receiving end of the transaction.
After they are securely blindfolded, I reveal a hidden can of peaches in heavy syrup. Peaches perfectly cut to the size of a goldfish, as well as perfectly slimy in their syrup, just as you would imagine a slimy fish. The cups are switched and distributed in place of the real fish.
What follows is complete pandemonium. Grown women are squealing and squirming reaching into a cup they cannot see, to grab a live goldfish … or so they thought. All while the other blindfolded part of the duo is shivering with her mouth open, awaiting the fish. I’m screaming over a microphone, “Don’t chew, eat it whole. You’ll be fine. This is completely safe!!!!”
There’s such chaos and panic during the exchange, no one ever stops to realize, wait … this isn’t what I think it is. The feeder is convinced the fish is squirming in their hands, and the eater is absolutely certain they are indeed swallowing a live goldfish whole. There’s gagging and crying as they hype themselves up to complete the challenge. And they did it! One person peed a little, but the challenge was completed.
As they remove their blindfolds they see me holding the cans of peaches, and then they realize they were just freaking out over absolutely nothing. Nothing. All along it was a peach.
But sis, when you think it’s a live goldfish, it feels like a live goldfish. It tastes like a live goldfish. Maybe you’re THINKING about things wrong. Maybe you’ve assumed this is going to be way worse than it is. Maybe things have changed since you first started and things are no longer the same. You don’t have to be afraid here, this isn’t going to hurt you!
Perhaps there’s something in your life right now you’re stressing and fretting over that really isn’t a threat at all. You’ve just assumed it’s a threat because of what you’ve seen before. Stop and consider it may not be so bad after all. Remember you said you believe God is in the details of your life … then okay, trust the details.
Before you freak out, have you asked God to help you see this for what it is? Have you asked him for wisdom? Have you asked him for clarity? Or are you still having flashbacks of what you saw before and blindly assumed that’s what you’re about to experience now?
If the participants in my gold fish initiations would have stopped to think, they would have realized the blindfolds were to hide the trick. Eating a goldfish was bad enough. Why blindfold them too? I didn’t want them to see because seeing the switch would reveal the trick.
Isaiah 64:4 (TPT): “These amazing things had never been heard of before; you did things never dreamed of! No one perceived your greatness. No eye has ever seen a God like you, who intervenes for those who wait and long for you!”
You can’t understand the things God does. You can’t imagine his ways. It’s like a blindfold. But get this sis, the blindfold has been removed! Jesus took off the blindfold so you could see what God is doing in your life and move forward trusting him.
This same scripture is now referenced later in 1 Corinthians 2:9-10 “However as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’ the things God has prepared for those who love him, THESE ARE THE THINGS God has revealed to us by his Spirit.”
What this is saying is what was previously hidden from us is now revealed through the Spirit of God. Yes, the Spirit which now lives within us shows us what we could not understand before. It reveals what has been hidden from us so we no longer have to be afraid of what could be, we now understand God is working FOR us, not against us. God intervenes on our behalf as we wait. As we wait thinking we’re about to swallow a goldfish, God switches cups. Can he do that? ABSOLUTELY! He can do anything he wishes for his girls … and he does! And when the blindfold is removed, we can see there’s absolutely nothing to freak out about.
Chapter 2 ends with verse 15 and says “We have the mind of Christ.”
My sister, we don’t have to think the same things we used to think. We don’t have to freak out over the surface level things we see. We have the mind of Christ. We are Spirit led and we can now understand the things that previously made no sense to us. We don’t have to rely on what we saw being put in the cups before. We can pause, consult with the Spirit, use the mind of Christ, and see the truth. And the truth is, we are often freaking out about something that isn’t that bad afterall. We know our God is good, good, good, and we know he can switch the cups when the cups need to be switched!
Our minds are powerful. If we think it’s going to be bad, what we experience is truly bad even if it didn’t have to be. If we think we’re going to fail, we set our perfectly equipped and prepared selves up for failure through our thoughts. We sabotage this ourselves. We assume this is against us, so we walk in struggle and dread every step. When you think it’s a goldfish, perfectly good peaches taste fishy.
But what if this isn’t really against you? What if this isn’t what it used to be? What if the cups have been switched for you and you’re going to need to trust God in the details to see what he’s been doing on your behalf? What if you’re going to need to listen to the Spirit which lives within you and use the mind of Christ which has been given to you, and stop assuming doom and gloom?
Things have changed.
God has intervened for you as you wait.
He can be trusted.
You have been equipped with the tools to proceed without freaking out!
What if life isn’t happening to you, but it’s happening FOR you? What if God really is in the details and the very thing you’re resisting is God’s good plans for you unfolding in mysterious and unexpected ways. This isn’t what you think. You’ve been assuming one thing, but God wants to reveal to you another. Stop fighting this and trust him here. Trust this isn’t what you’ve built it up to be in your head. Trust it’s more than it appears on the surface.
Trust this is FOR you, not against you.