Stuck by God’s Design

We were trapped in a mess we didn’t know how to escape. Our finances were in shambles. My husband Brian was seeking answers to major medical problems, but his commander believed he just wanted out of field duty. Brian’s job put him in the field five days out of every ten and in the office three-to-four additional days before the field rotation started again. My hormones were crazy due to pregnancy, and I was exhausted from chasing around a three- and a five-year old.

Where was God?I felt stuck. I didn’t know how to move forward because so much relied on the action of others. I couldn’t change the commander’s mind. I couldn’t talk to the doctors for my husband. I couldn’t control my hormones or afford to put my children in activities to burn off energy, if I could even find the energy to take them!

To complicate matters even further, we were 1700 miles from the closest family. And church—yeah, it was one of those places that required mother’s of babies to take turns working in the nursery.

The stress was incredible. Was this really the abundant life Jesus promised? If so, I didn’t want it.

Joseph’s example

Many of you are familiar with the story of Joseph from Genesis. It starts in chapter 37 with this not-so-glorious statement:

Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers … and he brought their father a bad report about them.

That is not the introduction to the world I would want. Clearly, the family had issues. The Bible places a lot of the blame on the father’s shoulders when it says, “his brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them.”

And when Joseph shared a couple of dreams about the brothers bowing down to him … Well, you can imagine.

So the brothers got a chance to get rid of Joseph, and they threw him into a pit. Then sold him into slavery. He then found a good master with a bad wife, which ended with him in prison.

Does that sound like abundant life? Anyone want to sign up for Joseph’s life?

Genesis 39.21The cool thing is that Joseph never lost his focus. I’m not saying that he knew what God was planning for him, but the Scripture indicates that he stayed faithful in trusting God. Why do I think that? Because of verses like this one: the Lord was with him; He showed him kindness and granted him favor” (Genesis 39:21).

Joseph wasn’t stuck in the pit, or in slavery, or in prison. No, far from it. Joseph allowed God to position him through one bad event after another for unimaginable success.

Look at his words to his brothers when he reveals his identity to them in Genesis 45:5

Do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you.

Isn’t that a great perspective?

Are you stuck? Or being positioned?

Okay, so my life at the beginning of this post wasn’t fun. And no, I didn’t see myself as being positioned by God. I was depressed and lonely. I felt powerless, and sometimes hopeless. I wanted out of my life. I wanted something better. Something bigger. Something that would make an eternal difference.

But in my loneliness, God positioned me to reach out to others to start a small group. Which positioned me to take it online so military wives in transition could stay in touch. Which positioned me to learn more of the Bible. Which positioned me to take writing classes. Which positioned me to write books, and eventually be here talking to you.

Who would have thought? Not me. Not in a million years.

I may not know what you are facing, but I encourage you to quit thinking about what is limiting you or confining you or preventing you from moving on to something greater. I’m not saying you don’t have to grow or change—honestly, you probably have a lot of growing and changing to do.

What I am saying is that the Master Grow-er is positioning you to be able to do exactly that which He has called you to do. Designed you to do. Purposed you to do. Something big. Something that makes an eternal difference.

Isn’t that exciting!?