"The reason God didn't give me what I so desperately wanted was simply because I was not ready."
One of the teens in the youth ministry at my church said that on a Zoom call last Sunday. God used a painful relationship to show her that He sometimes allows us to fail because He loves us.
But God won't leave us stranded. When we do things out of His will, He will always guide us back to Him.
Failure is just a pit stop, not a permanent destination.
I love the book of Jonah. The Lord told Jonah to go to Nineveh, and he deliberately disobeyed Him by getting on a ship to Tarshish.
While he was on the ship, the Lord caused a violent storm that threatened to tear the ship apart. The sailors were afraid so they called upon their different gods and tried to lighten the ship so they wouldn't die.
But get this, while all of this was happening, Jonah was sound asleep.
What many people don't realize about Jonah is that he had a lot of faith in God. He knew how just and merciful God is, which why he tried to run from Him in the first place.
I'd argue that it's because of Jonah's faith in God that he was able to sleep while everyone else was panicking and afraid. He knew it's impossible to hide from God.
Look at the parallel in Matthew 8:23-27.
While the disciples were on a boat headed across the lake, a violent storm struck the lake. The disciples were afraid for their lives, so they called on Jesus, who was sound asleep.
"Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm." - Matthew 8:26
The disciples called on the Lord to save them because they wanted peace. They had Peace (God) with them but no faith. Jonah ran away from the Lord because he knew that Peace wanted him.
He had faith, but Peace wasn't with him.
Jonah was thrown into the sea, and God arranged for a "great fish" to swallow him. He was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights.
When you have nowhere to turn but to God, you're in the perfect place for a breakthrough. God used that pit stop to get Jonah to focus his attention back on Him.
Embrace the pit stop.
Setbacks are opportunities to refuel and refocus your mind for an even greater comeback. And with God, you will have a greater comeback!
God is persistent and will send you a lifeboat when you're sinking, but what you do with it is on you.
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid." - John 14:27
So what will you do? Will you choose peace or stay asleep and ignore what's going on around you?
You don't always have to learn things the hard way. Choose peace and trust God.
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Do great things with God.