Why Won’t God Give Me What I Want?

Five minutes.

In just five minutes, I can order a coffee, get said coffee, smell its tasty aroma, and sip that delicious venti caramel macchiato.

In five minutes, I can search for an item, add to cart, check out, and receive it by tomorrow.

I want to watch my favorite show? The click of a button pulls it up on Netflix.

This doesn’t stop with the physical items that can be purchased at a store or online. It meshes into the intangible things we hope to attain in life—into our hopes, dreams, and prayer requests with the Good Father.

I want that marriage.
I want that vacation.
I want that . . . Fill in your want.

I wanted the full-time job.

Well, truthfully, I only wanted one because it’s what everyone around me told me I needed. Was I ready to sit behind a desk for 40 hours a week for the next 30-40 years? Absolutely not. But, that’s what the responsible student graduating from college would do.

My senior year of college, I interned for a company that offered me that sought-after full-time job with benefits. I wouldn’t even have to interview. But the Lord kept nudging me, through conversations with trusted adults, prayer, and an overwhelming sense that where I was wasn’t the right fit for me. I declined the offer without having anything else in place, but trusted He would come through.

After a summer of crazy but good contracting, however, my heart wanted that consistent, stable job. But the more I prayed about it, the more I knew that it wasn’t going to happen just quite yet. One contract led to another without applications or interviews, while any full-time roles I applied for were not even calling me back.

This lasted for four and a half years. There were many interviews and rejections, tears, and times where I became so frustrated with the whole process. At times I tried to take matters into my own hands, tired of trusting God—like when I tried to stay at the original job because it was comfortable. But inevitably, I’d end up a restless, short on sleep, snappy, anxious soul. Good thing God was patient with my stubbornness.

Sometimes, God uses seasons to strengthen us . . . to prepare us for what’s ahead.

We want that job, but we don’t have the skills necessary to accomplish what God needs us to do in that position. He must first take us through a season of unmasking qualities and skills in us that will differentiate us from the other candidates for the position. During the four and a half years of part-time gigs and contracts, God was molding me, equipping me, and introducing me to people who would greatly impact my life and ultimately lead me where I am today. God was taking me out of my comfort zone to teach me the skills I needed for His plans for me. Working long hours and juggling a few different jobs at once helped me learn prioritization and perseverance—keeping at it until the items I needed to complete were finished. Presenting at networking groups, though intimidating, helped develop my public speaking skills that I now use every week in my full-time job.

If God gave to us now what we are hoping for, we might not have the capacity to excel in it, or we might not be ready to carry it out as He intends.

In the four and a half years of not having a steady job, Colossians 3:23 became the verse I clung to:

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.

No matter where I was or what I was doing—whether or not I enjoyed it—I didn’t treat it as working for those around me. I thought of it as working for the Lord and shining for Him, and this outlook helped me grow deep patience in this season.

When I became frustrated, I remembered that God had me where I was for a reason. That although I wasn’t crazy about it, God had a crazy good reason for me being in that exact spot in that exact moment. Whether what I was doing was for a short period of time, or a long one, I would strive to work well and imagined God being right in the workplace with me. We might not understand why right now, but as Psalm 37:7-9 says: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him. . . do not fret—it leads only to evil. For those who are evil will be destroyed, but those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”

If you’re in a long season of waiting, don’t be discouraged. God will turn this into a season of fruitfulness. It might not be the future that we had dreamed of or imagined, but let’s have faith and trust in God’s timing and in His plan.

If we don’t get the job, don’t end up getting married, don’t get to take the vacation—whatever it may be, it might be because God loves us so much. He loves us too much to give us something before we’re ready. He loves us too much to give us something we wouldn’t be able to handle quite yet. He loves us too much to allow us to settle, or to veer off the road He has marked for each of us. It might be different, it might be uncomfortable, but nevertheless, what God has in store for us will be good.

It might not be the five-minute express we’re hoping for, but wouldn’t you rather wait until the coffee is steamed and flavored, than to take it before it’s done, only to have a steaming hot cup of water?

One specially designed, five-star, perfect, caramel macchiato coming up with your name on it—are you ready?

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