Growing up with a dad in the army has been beneficial for me over the years, and as of late, in my spiritual life. I learned from an early age that it is important to not see color or treat others who are different from me in a way that makes them feel “less than” or “different” because we do not see eye to eye.
Fast-forward to present day. I was put to the test recently, regarding this idea of viewing everyone with the same lens. Working in the transportation industry as a recruiting manager, I have encountered individuals from around the country. I have almost reached the three year mark, which is about one year and a half longer than I’ve stayed in any other full time job. You may think this means that I have stayed because it is my dream job. No. Not in the least. I’m still here because I truly think God is doing a work in me that cannot be done unless I’m here. At this time. Right now.
As a “natural” my hair is curly. Another natural style that is pretty popular is dreadlocks, which is a style some of my company’s drivers wear. A few days ago, this style on a particular driver was brought up, and an employee of the company mentioned that because of this hairstyle, this driver “looks like he smokes a lot of weed.”
I thought I would explode from anger! How dare this man discriminate against someone who is different from him and generalize that because of a hairstyle that this man does drugs?! That is not okay! I was offended, but while I vocalized how ignorant it is to compartmentalize groups of people because of looks, or skin color, I found myself thinking a little bit deeper.
Without this position that I sometimes feel is lacking for me in a multitude of ways, I would not have come to Christ. I would have not become a believer hungry for God the way that I am now. Circumstances and situations can change people, but sanctification is what happens to us when we begin to yield to His Spirit and His word as we develop the character of Christ within us. Am I proud of the events that led to me becoming a believer? I’m one of those people who is spot on or I fail miserably. One extreme or another. So obviously I had to find myself in a valley so deep that I thought I’d never be able to get out of before I realized the need to submit my life to Christ. BUT, thank God, forgiveness is paramount when it comes to our Jesus and how much he loves us, and I think I’ve finally learned to accept that J I am proud, though, that I was able to see what rock bottom is truly like and that I now have the ability to look back and truly be able to see what God is able to do for us when we begin to allow him the control that we sometimes steal away from him.
Have you ever felt like you were stuck in a situation for entirely too long, wondering why God has you there and won’t “let” you out? For a long time, I fought this battle with work, thinking I’d find something bigger, more appealing financially, etc., and you know what? I am certain there is something out there for me that encompasses each of these things, but right now, God has me here in this place because it has grown me and any attempts on my part to leave and jump into a season of my life I am not ready for may create chaos that I could have avoided while accepting the aid of His Spirit. Plus, I think I’ve encountered people in my workplace that truly need to understand the Gospel and what it means to love everyone and not discriminate because of our differences. As believers, we can get upset with the ways of this world, but that doesn’t mean we have to succumb to them. Instead we need to learn how to turn them around for the good of God!
Think about your current “situation”. How has God grown you? Do you still find yourself struggling and fighting against trying to control your life versus living in His will? Below are a few tips to help teach you how to calm down a bit, and let God do His thing!
1) Work on understanding the meaning of sanctification.
Sanctification is the ongoing progression of yielding to God’s word and Spirit in order to complete the development of Christ’s character within us.
2) Apply this definition to each area of your life that may be running haywire. For example, if you are having a hard time understanding why you are in a workplace that seems unfit for you, think about what God could be developing you for. Obviously there is something you need from this season of your life in order to move to the next. But you have to be prepared before you get there! Do not miss out on what you are being fed because you are in denial that you should be exactly where you are.
3) Pray about this situation. And everything else. Prayer is our way to talk to God. Contrary to what some popular speakers are saying these days, you WILL NOT hear God speaking to you in an audible sense. When you have a nice, quiet spot and you’ve cleared your mind only to focus on Him, you will be able to sort through the thoughts, choices, decisions and actions that need to be marinated on and made on your behalf. Your answers will become clearer when you ask Him what His will is in the situations you are believing in Him for.
Verses to Marinate On
So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth (Colossians 3:2).
He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him (Proverbs 2:8)