SPOTLIGHT - removing the safety net
About the Spotlight Writer
Kaelyn Matthews is a Senior Theatre Performance Major at Baylor University in Waco Texas. She is preparing to go into ministry as a youth pastor and currently leads and disciples students at Highland Baptist Church. Kaelyn loves to encourage women to pursue the call God has placed on their lives, whether in ministry or other areas of life. She is also passionate about spiritual awakening, and works to promote revival at Baylor and throughout the nation with OneCry for Baylor. For questions or to learn more about her ministry, email Kaelyn_Matthews@baylor.edu or text 509-981-5849.
removing the safety net
by Kaelyn Matthews
Trusting God had never been something I’ve struggled with.
I have always believed that God’s plan is greater than mine, and if something doesn’t happen the way I though it would, that just means God has a better plan. Romans 8:28 says “and we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” It doesn’t say that God only works through the good things that happen in life, the victories, and the wins. It says that He works ALL things, the breakups, the lost jobs, and the rejection letter. He works these things together for our GOOD. Just like how God turned Joseph’s slavery and imprisonment to save his people from famine, God can use the devastating things that happen to us to accomplish his good, perfect and pleasing will.
These were all things that I firmly believed.
But when life gets comfortable and things are going good, it can be easy to overlook God’s fingerprints on our lives. It can be easy to take all the good things He blesses us with for granted. I was in the best season of my life. I was the summer youth intern at my church and I was beginning my seminary applications. I was getting to do ministry every day and I loved it. I loved the kids, I loved my coworkers, and I loved my church. I was under the impression that my internship would carry over into the next year. This would allow me to save for grad school, continue to grow my skills as a teacher and leader, and prepare me for future ministry jobs. In the course of about 4 days, my world and expectations were turned upside-down. I found out that my church had already hired someone else to be the intern during the school year before I had even started for the summer. Even though it was unrelated to my job performance, it felt like a personal rejection. I had counted on that income to pay for seminary. I had planned on that job to help me transition into full time ministry down the road. I felt like God had opened a door, only to shut it while I was still in the middle of the doorway.
I was suddenly struggling to trust God’s plan for my life. I realized that I had put so much trust in the gifts God had given me, that I stopped trusting God himself. Blessings are not sovereign over our lives, God is. Open doors and exciting opportunities did not die on the cross to save us from our sins, Jesus did. I had taken the things God had given me and placed them under my life like a safety net. I was putting hope in the plan I had made because I thought it was God’s plan for my life, but the thing about God’s plan is that He reveals it to us according to his timing, and it can change.
God had to take away my safety net so I would recognize that He is the only one I can rely on. God is the one who catches us when we fall. He is always faithful when it seems like he is taking something away from us. It turned out that I had to have back surgery in September, something that would have prevented me from doing a youth internship to the best of my ability. God knew this already; he knew what was down the road when all I could see was what was right in front of me at the time.
Sometimes my pride gets in the way. Pride is the root of all evil because it causes us to desire things over God. I was seeking out my own will instead of surrendering every part of my life to God. God doesn’t ask for a part of our lives, the parts that are easy to give over. He asks for EVERYTHING, the secret, deepest parts of our hearts and desires. When we become Christians, we surrender our lives to Christ, and that means sacrificing the some hard things. The Bible doesn’t promise that our lives will be easier; John 16:33 says “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
We can trust that God knows what our lives will hold, and when we surrender our lives to Him, he works through the good and bad things that happen to align our lives with his plan.