Stop Striving…for now
So I had this dream. I had promised to cook some kind of dish for a big event. It was a side dish for a couple hundred people. I volunteered because I had the ingredients already, so it would be easy to make. When I began to make it, I could not find the ingredients. I could have sworn I had seen them in the pantry just days ago. I looked and looked. I looked in places where they should have been and placed where they should not have been. I could literally feel my anxiety building and panic heightened as I considered not delivering on my promise. Finally, I just gave up, went to the store, and bought a bunch of green bean casseroles. I woke up feeling the physical effects of that anxiety.
Now this is not a profound dream by any stretch of the imagination UNLESS you know what preceded it. I had been hearing softly spoken words in my spirit for some time: “Stop striving”.While I did not ignore these words, I didn’t fully process their meaning, especially while I was considering all the things I wanted to accomplish. While I was thinking of everyone I needed to help and lend support. While I was contemplating how to reach my short term goals. No, I was not processing these words at all.
And then it happened. I was in a serious automobile accident. I am so grateful for God’s protection, and I can say that it could have been much worse. But most or all of the things I was striving to accomplish were immediately put on the back burner. Things I had no desire to be bothered with became a priority—like insurance claims, health concerns, etc. Even as I attempted to navigate these things, I continued to hear: “Stop striving”. I could not exercise control over everything associated with this circumstance; and ultimately I had to allow others to handle the outcomes. Scratch that: it was God who was controlling the outcomes.
So back to the dream. It was profound because it signified my desire to accomplish things on a large scale without considering what it would require of me. When I began to realize that some of the tools—or the required time—were lacking, I became more and more frustrated. When I finally realized that I would not be able to complete the task without help, I elicited that help from the supermarket. I let the professionals handle it.
Herein lies the lesson. To everything there is a season. In some seasons, it requires us to push and to press. In others, our charge is to take our hands off. This may be my season of Selah. It seems that it is time for me to reflect on the good seeds I have sown and to let God add the increase. The reality is that this increase is taking shape without my driving it. But I was unable to fully realize it because of internal and external pressures to execute it. I realize that I have nothing to prove to anyone; and the only One I have to please is the One who is perfecting the things that concern me.