I love when God uses every day work things to create a parallel process in my life. I was going about my workday, and boom, I get that slap on the behind to wake me up and move me out of my stinking thinking. The doctor was answering a question posed about the training he was doing. He was giving an example of how we think things should be. He shared about how sometimes we want the whole cow, and won’t allow ourselves to settle for anything less. When in reality, we are going to butcher the cow into pieces and we’re going to make steak, ground beef, and ribs. We are going to make a lot of different things out of the cow, and a lot of it we will not even use. Yet, we’re so focused on obtaining the whole cow, that we can’t grasp the idea that we could buy one section at a time. We could just buy the steaks, then the ground beef, and the ribs and eventually get the whole cow through the process of buying one piece at a time. The end result will be the same, but we can’t let go of the whole cow to get what we really want and need.
And just like that, my mind trailed off to my own life. Clinically I know his description is a cognitive distortion, called all or nothing thinking. “If I can’t have all of it then I shouldn’t or can’t have any of it” is the thought. I recognize it a lot as I talk to clients, friends and family. Yet, obviously I needed my own parallel processing because have been blind to my own thinking patterns. It took a story about a cow and a steak for God to open my eyes.
What do I mean? I want to walk in my calling. I know that God created me on purpose and for a purpose. I want to know what it is and have believed that I will find contentment when I am fully surrendered to the call. I realized in the doctor’s story, I am looking for the cow and God keeps handing me steaks and ground beef. I have definitely had some stinking, all of nothing thinking going on.
“But when He who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by His grace,”
Galatians 1:15 ESV
Earlier this week I started a Bible study by John Bevere called “Called” about how to discover and live out your calling. This passage was one he referenced in regards to our specific calling. He shared Webster’s dictionary definition of calling “A strong inner impulse towards a particular course of action or vocation especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence.” I’ve watched a few episodes so far.
When I learned I will be moving to New Mexico I knew that God had a plan and purpose for it. New Mexico had not even been on my radar even six months before. Yet God knew before I was born that I would come here.
By His grace, when I cross the state line, I felt at home. The transition over the past three months has been smooth. Although I miss my friends and family I have a deep peace within me. I feel like I am called to be here, my God will use this time to help me step in to my calling. I’m trying to be obedient to his voice and find out what that really means in my life.
Every move that I have felt led to do, I have stepped out and done. Going, applying, inviting, giving, sharing, etc. I don’t feel like I have held back. Still I have felt underwhelmed. I want more. I need more. I am looking for the cow, and all I see is steak.
“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith.”
1 John 5:4 ESV
Lately, I have felt like everything but an overcomer. I have felt weighted, discontent, and depressed. I hate feeling this way. I’ve been looking for the underlying cause. Things like missing my family, feeling isolated and alone, the anniversaries of my parents’ and grandmother’s deaths, not feeling completely challenged in my job, not feeling connected with Tim, not feeling God’s presence as clearly as I am used to, and not feeling passionate about anything.
Regardless of all of those factors, the cause is not going to help me overcome it. I need child like faith, an innocent faith to overcome where I am at right now. I am born of God. His word says I overcome the world. My victory to overcome is through my faith.
Faith – pistis – conviction of the truth of anything, belief; in the NT of a conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, generally with the included idea of trust and holy fervour born of faith and joined with it. “G4102 – pistis – Strong’s Greek Lexicon (KJV).”
I believe in Jesus and His Word. I need to except His truth into my current emotional state so that I can overcome. I need to look at the little blessings, and the small steps that I am taking that lead to eternal outcomes. It doesn’t look like I think it should, I don’t see the cow. I do see that God keeps handing me steaks.
“Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.” Psalm 37:4-5 ESV
Delight – ʿānaḡ– to be soft, be delicate, be dainty. “H6026 – ʿānaḡ – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (KJV).”
Those words don’t typically describe me. When I come to the Lord though I am usually softer but I wouldn’t say delicate or dainty. When I am impassioned and feel tender about something, I come to Him softly, almost in tears. I am often told to speak up if praying corporately. When something hits too close to home or to close to my heart, I come softly to the Lord.
After a while it can become a bold declaration, as I pray with authority and it becomes a deep desire of my heart. Sometimes, in those moments I am able to accept the steak. Yet, I quickly find myself looking again for the cow.
Commit – gālal – to roll, roll away, roll down, roll together. To transfer what is rolled away from ones self to another “H1556 – gālal – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (KJV).”
As I thought about Psalms 37:5, To transfer my way, rolling it away from me to God, and if I trust Him, He will act. Immediately I pictured a large boulder that I will call “my way.” If I roll it away from me, the person on the other side is going to react.
I am growing weary holding the boulder, attempting to keep it from rolling away. I don’t want to let go of control. Despite the fact that my boulder is too heavy for me to sustain it long term in one spot. I know it has a tendency to roll and could crush me under its weight. I still insist on my way.
God is patiently waiting for the opportunity to react to my rolling boulder. God is not concerned about the size of my boulder, it is not going to crush him. He is there waiting to catch it, almost like a parent would catch a child’s foam ball. He is waiting for me to commit my way to His. He wants to release the weight.
Yet, I have been holding out for the cow. Steaks don’t seem like they are enough of Him for me. I am sure that He wants me to just have the whole cow all at once. He can’t just expect once piece at a time. Even though I can’t hold the whole cow, I just assume that is what He expects of me; because I expect it of me.
The reality is, I only have two choices. The boulder will eventually roll. Once the momentum gets going the boulder will either crush me or keep moving towards God as I trust Him to act through me. The question is will I accept that God’s way is one steak or piece at a time, or will I keep up my all or nothing thinking holding out for the cow?
Prayer – Lord, speak I am listening. I want to fulfill the calling that you have placed on my life, in the fullness of your grace. I am tired of feeling miserable when as your child I am called to be an over comer! Help me to walk by faith, to joy unspeakable, peace that surpasses all understanding, in your wisdom and power overcoming the world. Help me to truly commit my ways to you and delight myself in you that you can act on the desires of my heart because they match the desires of your heart. Remind me often Lord to accept the steak and realize that the cow is still in your hands, to give to me as I can handle.