Focusing on the process, trusting God with the product
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5, ESV)
Recently, I had a serious conversation with God about what’s next. You see, I am very much a planner. I always have the end product in mind. As a young 4-Her, I spent hours in the summer heat working with my animals with the end product in mind: to win grand champion. As a high school student in forensics, I practiced and competed with the end product in mind: to qualify for state competition. As a college student, I wrote paper after paper and sat through classes I felt were meaningless with the end product in mind: to someday lead my own classroom.
Lately, I’ve been struggling, trying to lean on my own understanding to determine where I’m headed. In this journey of writing words, I don’t have an end product. I don’t know what’s next or what I’m working towards.
Without an end product, I struggle to find purpose in the process.
I don’t handle this well. I want to know what God expects of me, what He has planned, what the end product is. Inspired by a podcast I recently listened to, I decided to sit silently and work through this with the Lord. My heart pleaded with Him to reveal what’s next, to show me the end product.
But He didn’t. My silence was met by His silence. Not a single thought entered my mind that hinted at what He might ask me to do next. And I was frustrated. This wasn’t how it was supposed to work. I was supposed to sit quietly, reveal my heart and my need for what’s next, and He was supposed to respond.
I carried that frustration with me, continuing to plead and listen, waiting anxiously on His voice.
Later that day, I opened my phone to a message. Tears welled as I read it. The message both encouraged me and affirmed to me that what I’m doing right now is exactly where I’m supposed to be. And though that message was written by a woman, I am sure it was delivered by the Lord. It was His answer to my prayer.
He still has not revealed the end product, and He likely won’t. Instead, He’s telling me to trust in Him, not my own understanding. He wants me to focus on the work He has for me right now instead of an end product.
My right now is to take care of my baby, love my family, and write when He gives me a message. Even though I don’t know where this writing journey is headed, I know this process is preparing me for something.
And when I trust God to design the end product, I am freed to focus on the process.
Are you struggling to know what you’re working for? You don’t understand where you are headed. Are you, too, looking for an end product? Sit quietly with the Lord and ask Him to reveal Himself and His plan. Release the end product to Him and begin to focus on the process, the right now. That might mean caring for your family, serving at your job, being a witness for Him during a difficult time, or giving your time to help others.
No matter how insignificant our right now feels, I truly believe if we stay centered on our Lord and live our right nows for Him, He will be faithful.
And when it’s time for the end product to be revealed, we’ll look back and see how these moments prepared us for it — even when we didn’t know what it was.