As the Rolling Stones used to sing, "you can't always get what you want.." and another early Stones offering, "I can't get no satisfaction.." If I was going to have a couple of worldly songs at my funeral, it would probably be those two. They resonate with me in special ways, even as a child of God.
Many of us faith-centric individuals go through life in search of God's will and some elusive special purpose that we are certain matches what we are thinking we want to do for Him. For some reason, we have it in our minds that we are "more special" than a billion other Christians in pursuit of their obedience. God wants us to do what we want to do for Him. He would not ask us to do this or that thing that would be unpleasant or test us in ways in which we are weak. He would not want us to stay in a situation where, though we might bring Him glory, we would go crazy if we stayed. He would not put us in a place where seemingly nothing is happening.
And so we flee situations that make us uncomfortable or do not line up with the vision we believe God gave us. We run for the hills. We get ourselves thrown overboard. We flail about trying to escape the painful thing...whatever it is. We dread that feeling of a loss of momentum and we wonder what God is doing since it seems like we are spinning our wheels and going no where.
We do these things, even in the face of the uncomfortable truth that we are where we are because God put us there and He wants us to serve Him and each other from that place.
Read that last sentence again and tell me it does not ring true. What? Are you thinking it's true for other believers, but not you? Think again brother. Our purpose here has very little to do with what we want, how we feel or what we think. When we gave our lives to Jesus, they ceased to be our own. We are free from sin, but we are not free from our master. We must stay and obey and go when we are told. Our lives are not our own. Our purpose, generally speaking, is to bring glory to God and be obedient to His will no matter what circumstance we find ourselves in; and to find contentment in these things.
Some of us are like Jonah. We know what God wants, but we actively seek to escape doing it. Then when we finally submit to doing God's will and achieve the purpose He desired, we are still not content. We pout because it is still not what we wanted. Never mind God's glory and purpose.
Others are like Jeremiah who preached his message for 40+ years. No one listened or turned to the Lord. There was no repentance. I wonder how he felt about that? Did he feel like his life had been wasted? Still, the work he did had to be done by someone. He brought the Lord glory through his obedience and tenacity.
I would like to escape my current situation. I would like to walk away. I feel like my time is being wasted.
Then I think about the other lives that I affect in this place that I am in. If I give careful consideration to this, I discover that my influence has been much more pervasive that I thought. People I never think about have listened to the things I have said and read what I have written. These things have probably even brought God glory and honor in ways that I have not realized.
Therefore, I cannot run away. I am where I am because I AM THAT I AM put me here. Sometimes I wish He didn't love me so much....nah...I'm good with it.