Too Much of a Good Thing

Last week an odd thing happened. I was offered two amazing jobs.  The first one I had already started, and the second one came a day later.  I found myself in a predicament.  Overestimating my abilities and underestimating the time commitment,  I agreed to do both.  After all, both were a good fit, both involved working from home, and I just thought I could do it.

Yet even 3 days into it, I knew that wasn't a good idea.  My mind was going crazy, asking "Why would God open both of these doors for me if He didn't want me to step through them?"  Have you ever done that?  Some awesome opportunity comes along, and we automatically assume it is God. We have been taught that He will close the door if He doesn't want us there. Sometimes He does that, but sometimes He doesn't. There are many situations that He leaves up to us.

In this predicament, I didn't want the decision to be left up to me.  Friends had been praying that God would close the door if it wasn't His will, yet He opened it anyway.  Then there I found myself, between a rock and a hard place, having to decide if I should close the door on my own.

It reminded me of a saying that my youth pastor once told me, "Not every good opportunity is a God opportunity."

Saying "no" to good things is hard.  We think we know what we need, so when a good thing comes along, we snatch it up.  Yet sometimes God has something even better just around the corner.

So how do we know what to do if God opens a door?  Do we automatically take it or let it go, hoping for something even better?  I believe the answer lies in peace.

Even though the first job seemed perfect, I still lacked that complete peace. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I started feeling anxious. However, the moment the second job was offered to me, I had complete peace about it.  It wasn't just a feeling; it was an inner confidence and excitement that did not leave.  I absolutely knew that it was the right fit, no questions asked.  It was during that moment that I realized the subtle difference between the two situations I was in.

Peace is subtle like that, and can easily be overlooked.  I had just chalked my feelings up to the nervousness of starting a new job, but deep inside what I was really lacking was peace.  Instead of asking why this has happened, and trying to analyze it, I am reminded to realize that God's ways are not my own, and He is somehow developing my character through all of this.

Good things can come our way, but it does not always mean they are God things.  We can overschedule ourselves and live a hectic life if we are always snatching up every opportunity that opens, assuming that it is God.   God wants us to develop discernment, learning to hear His still, small voice.  There really can be "too much of a good thing" in some regards, and we have to develop our discernment muscle to know what is really of God or not.

When I Didn't Save the World

It started out so innocently. I logged on to Facebook "just for a minute," but it was the first post I saw:  "Wow! Cleaned the entire house today, got the oil changed in the car, made my own organic baby food, played with the kids, made an amazing dinner, gave them all baths, and had them in bed by 7:30pm.  I feel like Superwoman!"

Well, good for her.  This was one of the days I wasn't feeling like Superwoman, and that didn't help a bit.  My mind took off, and before I knew it, I was caught up again in the daily "comparison trap."  This trap often derails my entire day, as I start to feel down about myself and hopeless about all the things I could be doing better.  Pretty soon I find myself sitting on top of a pile of laundry instead of folding it, because "why bother?" I'm feeling lame anyway!

God whispers to my heart, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  (2 Corinthians 12:9)  I start thinking about my weaknesses, all of them.  Yet He reminds me to look up.  When I take my eyes off of myself, and focus on his grace, I am able to begin to work on my these things.  I have to have my eyes on Him only.

Some friends have told me, "See, that's why I never go on Facebook.  It just makes me feel worse about myself, and everyone is lying about what is really going on." While I won't go into the pros and cons of Facebook here, to me it is okay to wrestle with these things.  I need God to work on this weed in my life and get it out by the roots.  Comparison is deadly, it is toxic, and it changes us. It turns us into someone who is fake, who wants to be better than others, who is bitter, and who resents the strengths of other people.  Comparison is a tool Satan uses to take the focus off of God onto ourselves.

Focus today on His grace, for it is enough.  He is able to show Himself through our weaknesses. It's okay to be real, and it's okay to not be Superwoman. Just be yourself and let Him shine.