Have you ever had one of those weeks where you seem to question everything? Where nothing seems right and everything seems to be pointing towards another road for your life?
Why am I here? What is the purpose? Who even am I?
I found myself in this situation just a few weeks back. I transformed my thoughts into words, and my words into prayer, but uncertainty remained as I continued walking to class.
Is this really what God has for me?
I was struggling with the fact that medical school can be all consuming at times and to be honest, flat out difficult. If I am fully consumed by my education how can I seek to serve God and his mission for my life? Why would he even put me in this situation? I spent most of my time during my undergraduate years investing in others and enjoying the fruit that it bore. Why can’t I do that now? And even more pressing… does this mean that I am on the wrong path?
From a young age I felt the calling on my life to become a physician, and God has affirmed that calling throughout my educational journey. But still I found myself questioning the very position that I once pleaded for with God. When I got to the root of my feelings, through prayer and reflection, the source of my questioning was glaring. Much of my uncertainty was birthed by the consistent difficulty of my path. I unknowingly fabricated a belief that God should be calling me to the wide and not the narrow. Which leads me here:
We have been inoculated with the lie that because we are called to something it should come with ease.
After all, it is your calling, shouldn’t you be perfectly equipped and able? This belief, which I have fallen prisoner to many times myself, is rooted in self-seeking ease and a path-of-least-resistance desire for a plentiful harvest where one has not sown.
Difficulty does not void your calling, and ‘being called’ does NOT omit your hardship.
Rather, it is the very calling itself that grants the perseverance to endure, and it is the perseverance that produces the fruit.
For example, you have been called to your spouse. Does that mean that at the first sign of a valley God is calling you towards divorce and the pursuit of another? No! The call and the covenant of your marriage is not voided by the difficulties you face, and the fact that you are called to your spouse definitely does not mean it will be without hardship. But BECAUSE you are called… you continue to pursue, and that pursuit develops perseverance, and that perseverance, fruit.
The most directly called individual of the New Testament, Paul, was called both physically [knocked to the ground] and verbally [audible voice of God], and even with such a clear calling, faced more hardship and strife in his lifetime than most of us could ever begin to imagine. His hardships began just seconds after his calling when he was temporarily blinded, and that blindness set the pace for Paul’s dependency on Christ which bore the fruit of the supernatural and unshakable faith we see in his writings. AKA: Difficulties develop dependance.
So I ask… What is Christ developing in you through the hardship you currently face? Because without hardship there is no perseverance, and that perseverance comes from leaning in and trusting that God’s plan is not second best. You cannot persevere in the absence of hardship.
When was the last time you persevered through a perfectly cooked ribeye steak? It is the nights where the budget doesn’t balance and ends don’t meet that require perseverance. And it is often these situations that bring to light our true dependence on God and our reliance on His plan.
I’ve been blessed in my own life to have my eyes opened wide enough to see Christ’s affirmation for His plan. Do I sometimes wish that it were easier? Yes. Do I sometimes question if there is another way? Yes, but so did Jesus. In Luke 22:42 Jesus says:
We learn two things from this:
1. We should not question our calling because of the hardships we face, because no matter the hardship, it will always pale in comparison to death on a cross.
2. And because of that death on a cross, we know that his plan for us is never second best.
So, keep your eyes open in times of hardship because it is often the pain points that develop perseverance, and often perseverance that imparts the wisdom of Christ on our lives. Desire His will. His way is higher.
“To him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” [Ephesians 3:20]
- Quinn Rivera // Humbled Daily Co-founder, doctor in training and aspiring professional lover of life.