I get very frustrated, even angry when I hear well-meaning people use scripture verses to support the idea that living to the best of your ability plus trusting God equals smooth sailing, like it's a math equation.
Is that really God's message to us? Does He really say, that if we live to the best of our ability and we trust Him, He will magically make everything in our lives all roses?
SPOILER ALERT : Y’all, if that is what you've been led to believe, then what I'm about to say is really going to mess up your rose garden… so you may want to stop reading right here.
If you have packaged your life into a beautifully wrapped box with a magnificent bow, my heart aches for you dear friend. I once had my life nicely packaged in a beautifully wrapped box with a magnificent bow. I was totally oblivious to all the pain and suffering in the world around me, not because I hadn't experienced any myself, but because I chose to gleefully put blinders on and live in a fantasy world. In this world, I worked hard to be the picture of perfection. I believed if I worked hard enough to be a good wife, a good mother, and a good Christian woman, life would be peaceful, joyful, and fulfilling. I believed in this fairy tale and I lived in a make-believe world. I believed that if I did my part, God would surely do His part and allow me to sail smoothly into the sunset on a sea of glass, right?
Here's the thing, living to the best of your ability plus trusting God does not equal smooth sailing. Although it is easy to selectively pick out verses in the Bible that seem to support that idea, it is also easy to ignore scripture that tells a very different story. A story we'd rather not consider because it speaks of tumultuous storms and rogue waves. Let’s face it, this kind of story just doesn't fit nicely into a beautifully wrapped box with a magnificent bow.
So, here’s the reason my heart aches for you if your life is packaged in a beautifully wrapped box with a magnificent bow… someday that box is going to get smashed and trampled on by life circumstances. If you believe God has promised you a rose garden in exchange for your efforts, my friend, you have been lied to. You may envision sailing smoothly into the sunset on a sea of glass, but you are in danger of being shattered by a rogue wave.
He never promises us rose gardens or smooth sailing, on the contrary, His word is filled with examples of great struggle. He goes to great lengths to prepare us for the rogue waves in life. He never promises life will be easy, but He does promise to walk through it with us. He will even carry us when we are too wounded and exhausted to take another step.
He wants to be the Captain of our ships. He never promises smooth sailing, but He does promise to navigate and guide us through the darkest and most turbulent storms... if we will let Him.
My friend, may you know the truth and be ready to batten down the hatches and ride out the storm with the Captain at the wheel. He will navigate the storm, even when the wind and waves are so rough you feel like you are about to be hurled overboard into the raging sea.
Remember, there is always a rainbow in the calm after the storm, but you must look for it dear one.