I hate that feeling when life seems a bit like driving a car that doesn’t drive where I want. I have a steering wheel, but for some reason, the steering wheel’s not connected to anything. I spin the wheel in the direction I think is right, and nothing happens, or worse, maybe the car turns the opposite way.
I especially hate it when it feels like God wanted me to do something and I think I know what He wanted me to get from the situation, but it turned out to be completely different. There should be a visible reward at the end of the suffering. (In other words, something that makes me feel like this is all worth it.)
But what about when that doesn’t happen?
I often think that if I go through this, I should be able to get what I want in the end. I think it should be like a trade: “Okay God, I’ll go through this mess, if you give me what I want at the end of it.” In my completely human way of thinking, I say, “If I don’t know why I’m suffering, if there’s no visible reward at the end of it, if the reward isn’t what I wanted it to be, then WHY?” It’s just not efficient to have all that suffering with no product.
But something occurred to me recently. What if that wasn’t God’s point at all? What if God’s point wasn’t that I come out of that situation feeling successful and like I had accomplished what I had set out to do? What if the only thing He wanted out of that whole experience is for me to come out of it knowing Him better, loving Him more, trusting more steadfastly in His goodness? What if all that other stuff is only peripheral compared to what God actually wanted to do in my life?
In case you wondered, that peripheral stuff is rubbish compared to having a working relationship with the Creator of the Universe. That’s not to minimize the great blessings in this life. I could list quite a few. But those are only bonuses. What He really wants is you to develop a relationship with Him that causes you to love Him, to trust Him, and to be transformed into the image of His Son.
Those are the results He wants from suffering. If he chooses to give tangible blessings with them, great! But those blessings aren’t the point of life, like I sometimes think they are. The point is for my obedience to glorify God, and leave the results of that obedience up to Him.