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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Minor

Meaningless.


So I've had some beef with God lately. But after a few weeks of being frustrated and complaining to Him 24/7, I finally decided to sit down and deal with the issue.

If you grew up in the church or you've been around people from the church, you have probably heard someone say "God wants to give you the desires of your heart." It comes from Psalm 37:4 and it's one of those verses that people get tattooed on their body without even knowing where it comes from.

This verse is usually a comfort for most people, and it was for me for quite some time. However, recently it's been the kind of thing that I roll my eyes at every time I hear it. And no, I'm not proud of that, but I'd like to tell you why.

See, I started asking God this question: "If you know the desires of my heart and you know they'll bring me happiness, why aren't you doing anything about it?"

And guys, this is from years of the same desires gnawing at my heart. I've even prayed about a million times, "If these desires aren't what you want for me God, take them away," and still, when I go to bed at night I find myself laying there wishing for the same things.

It's not like God hasn't given me anything... that's not what I'm saying. I'm talking deep desires, like (just to be real with you guys) wanting to write music for a living, wanting a husband and a family, or wanting a close group of friends that doesn't live 15 hours away from me. These are the things that I really struggle with because it's like, they're good things. They can bring glory to God. So why does it feel like I'm shouting my requests over and over again into darkness?

So I figured in order for God to really give me the desires of my heart, I really needed to be pursuing Him and living in His will, and let's be honest, even at our best we can always do better. However, this new thought really only resulted in my mind taking my frustration to another level and I began asking God ANOTHER question:

"Why do you have to be so mysterious?"

It's like, if God knows that all I want is to do His will, then why is it such a guessing game? Why does every leap of faith have to be a BLIND leap of faith? Why is it so freaking hard to determine God's will?

And again, churchgoers, you've probably heard about a million times that "His thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways" (Isaiah 55:8-9). Or how about this one... "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding" (Proverbs 3:5, and... another tattoo). Yeah. I've heard them too. Let's add them to the "used-to-give-me-comfort-but-now-make-me-roll-my-eyes" category.

Because again, I'm asking God, "why?". WHY can't you just tell me what to do? And yeah I've heard the whole argument of "then it wouldn't be a relationship" and "God wants you to have a choice"... but like I CHOSE to submit my life to God, and I CHOOSE His will over my own, so honestly, I wouldn't mind a step-by-step plan.

SO. *Heavy sigh*. This has been my frustration for the past few weeks. What triggered it all?

As most of you know, I just made a big move across the country for my first job, and so I think subconsciously I was just hoping to have an absolutely perfect landing and enter into the prime of my life. Let me just say that my job has been great and I do love Madison. At the same time, I feel like I'm still reaching for something else. It's been especially difficult to find a church and friends my age. And of course it's only been a short while, but I think I was just expecting everything to go well from the moment I stepped foot into the town. After all, I felt like God sent me here.

So over the past month in a half, it's been a gradual push towards all these questions and frustration with God. The last few weeks I started actually vocalizing these questions, which led me to want to sit down and actually get to the bottom of this frustration.

So after visiting 4 churches, I finally found one that I feel like I'll end up calling my church home, though I haven't really been able to get plugged in yet. The series the church was starting when I first started attending was in Ecclesiastes and was called "The Search For Meaning". Immediately I knew this was for me, so I decided to start studying Ecclesiastes in my private time. And wooooow what a difference it has made.

For those of you familiar with the book of Ecclesiastes, you probably know it can seem like a bit of a downer. For those of you that are unfamiliar, Solomon (the author of the book) says "life is meaningless" about a billion times in 12 chapters, so that's why.

Just to give you a quick summary of the book, basically Solomon, the wisest man in the world is on the hunt for the meaning of life. He decides to conduct experiments by trying to find meaning in different things. He tries to find meaning in pleasure by denying himself absolutely nothing and surpassing all who went before him, just to find it meaningless. He tries to find meaning in work, just to realize that eventually he will have to leave everything he has earned to someone else. He tries to find meaning in money, just to find that money cannot satisfy.

It's pretty easy to read through Ecclesiastes and feel like, "Ok well nothing matters then, cool thanks." Which is honestly how I've been feeling for the past few weeks. However, weaved throughout the book several times is a mention of Gods gifts to us. Check it:

"A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?"

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

"I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God."

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

"Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God."

Ecclesiastes 5:19

"And I commend joy, for man has nothing better under the sun but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil throughout the days of his life that God has given him under the sun."

Ecclesiastes 8:15

So basically, we're seeing over and over in the middle of Solomon's talk of meaningless life, this purpose. And as if God was directly speaking to me, which he loves to do when you seek Him in His word by the way, he brought it all the way home for me in Chapter 11, Verses 9-10.

"Rejoice, O young man (or woman), in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgement. Remove anxiety, grief, and anger from your heart and put away pain from your body, because childhood and the prime of life are fleeting."

Suddenly it was like a light switched on in my brain. I'm 22 years old. What the heck am I doing trying to find this extreme purpose for my life right now? Why am I coming at God with these demands, like I'm incomplete without everything I've ever desired? Hasn't he given me many sweet gifts to enjoy at this point in my life? Basically God is telling me, GO HAVE FUN SAMANTHA. Which is insane. God, telling me to have fun!? Isn't is usually the other was around?!

I've been tying to force this big picture perspective onto my life when I've barely even lived. It took me reading through Ecclesiastes to realize that none of the big picture stuff even matters anyway. I will never be completely fulfilled by my job, my pleasures, or my wealth. So whatever desires I may have in my heart concerning these things--which is okay by the way... it's okay to want a good job, family, etc.-- BUT, they won't completely fill me up in the end. So it's silly to think that God is holding back on my happiness because he won't give them to me right this second.

Solomon finishes up Ecclesiastes by saying:

"This is the end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and obey his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil."

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

The only thing that will ever completely fulfill me is Jesus. The wisest man in the world had to find out the hard way by chasing every other avenue... but we don't have to! That's why the Bible is so cool, because it prevents us from a lot of searching and heartache.

And as far as trying to understand God's will.. well, wouldn't you know God answered that question for me too.

"Then I saw all the work of God, that man cannot find out the work that is done under the sun. However much man may toil in seeking, he will not find it out. Even though a wise man claims to know, he cannot find it out."

Ecclesiastes 8: 17

Basically, we're never going to know God's ways. Is that a little frustrating? Yes. Of course. But at least he lets us know! At least it's not like, God is telling everyone whats up except for me. And let me just say this, God WILL meet you when you seek him. Maybe not at the exact time you expect (check out Ecclesiastes 3), but look, sometimes you just have to sit down and get in the word for awhile. I literally needed to sit down and read through the entire book of Ecclesiastes just to hear what God had to say at the very end. And I'm really glad I did. I wish I would have two weeks ago.

And as soon as I finished, it was like a huge weight off of my shoulders and a new feeling of peace in my body. Which is ddddyope. God is telling me to stop analyzing everything, to stop trying to find my forever place in this life, and enjoy the amazing gifts he has given me for this season. And honestly, I can't help but just be overwhelmed with how amazing our God is. He loves us so much he literally will tell us to just take a chill pill and be happy.

So I just wanted to share this with whoever out there wants to read it. There are plenty of other scriptures out there that talk about Gods plan for your life, but if you haven't read through Ecclesiastes (in depth) before, I would highly recommend it. And if you're stressing or feeling unfulfilled about anything in your life, maybe just take a step back to look at the gifts in front of you and take some time to enjoy them.

As always, I apologize for typos (lol), and thanks for reading! BLESS YA.


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