04: I Can't Even Handle What I'm Begging God For

Have you ever taken a moment to yourself to assess where you are in life and look at your accomplishments on a list like, "MAN! I look good on paper.. look at this list!" yet you still feel like something's missing? You look at yourself and maybe look at others and start to ask God, "What am I NOT doing to get a come up in life like everyone else?"

First of all, #deathtocomparison, and recently, I sensed the Holy Spirit say, "Jameka, you are not even in the position to handle what you're asking me for."  Can you relate? Lately, I am learning that for everything I "wish" for God to do in my life, I must first ask, "God, Can I even handle what I'm asking you for?"

Taking a critical look at ourselves and being self-aware doesn't come easy. Oftentimes, we see ourselves in a better light than we actually are. We want to illuminate our strengths and hide our flaws or areas we could improve in (PS This is why true community is important to have.)This reluctance to be real with ourselves can create atmospheres where we ask God for things that we aren't even ready to have manifested in our lives.

  • Are you ready for that job promotion you're praying for? What might happen if you get promoted to a position with larger influence when you didn't learn valuable skills in the smaller position?
  • Are you ready for the spouse you're begging for? What might happen if you didn't truly seek wholeness as a single and carry brokenness into the marriage?
  • Will you still be faithful and/or financially responsible with that financial increase? Or will you make irresponsible decisions because you're not used to taking care of your money when you had little?
  • Can you handle the addition of a child to your family? Does your marriage have a stable enough foundation to stay in tact once the added responsibilities of a child come?
  • Will you crumble if God blesses you with ________ before you're ready? Could you recover from the effects of that?

Something that has helped me be more honest with assessing whether or not I'm ready for what I'm praying for is understanding I'm a steward of God's blessings. What is a steward? A steward is one who looks after or manages another property. Knowing and understanding God as the intentional creator of all things, I must recognize that when God blesses me with something, He is entrusting me to manage HIS property. What a privilege! That completely shifts when and what I pray for.

As an almost 30 year old single, I can ashamedly admit that I have these moments where I'm like, "Hello, God? Still single, you know? I think I can handle a marriage." So a few weeks ago, I sensed the Holy Spirit say, "If I blessed you with a husband, are you in a position to steward that relationship and my son well?" That stopped me dead in my tracks. So I proudly started listing off all of the internal work I've done that I think better prepares me.

I think I'm on the right track, right? Remember earlier how I said "We want to illuminate our strengths and hide our flaws or areas we could improve in." Then the Holy Spirit reminded me...

  • You struggle to wake up and get to work on time. How will you handle a commute to work when you get married if you can't be punctual with a 1 minute commute? You still overcommit at work, stay too long, and take too much work home. You will struggle professionally and within your marriage if you don't start disciplining yourself now and setting up some boundaries.
  • Because you wake up late and stay at work late, you struggle to spend time with me in your Bible and prayer. If I add a marriage to your plate, how will you fulfill the added duties in a marriage without neglecting devoted meaningful time to Me?
  • Everytime you leave the gym, you go study because I've called you to get your doctorate. That means you may leave for work at 8:30am and not actually come home until 11:00pm at night. You then collapse in your bed shortly after. What happens to your husband if that's how you live your life? 
I could go on, but you get the point. Now, yes- when you get married, things change, priorities change, and you make adjustments; I get that. But what I'm clear on is that when I feel overwhelmed because I don't manage my time well, I can become very anxious, imbalanced, and start to lose track of walking in purpose and/or spending time with God. In this season I'm in, God has been clear to reiterate my purpose, my gifts, and what He wants me to do on earth. He doesn't want me doing the 5 things He has called me to now, and then get married and abandon some of the things I'm called to.
Marriage is a medium to accomplish purpose on earth, not a distraction from it. How negligent it would be to set myself up to "lose" purpose in exchange for something I'm praying for. God's not going to let me do that. I have heard Him so clearly say, "Jameka, if I blessed you RIGHT NOW with what you're praying before, you will CRUMBLE under the weight of it AND your inability to handle what you're praying for impacts more than just you. How would it be fair to answer your spouse's prayer by giving you to them and you don't even have room in your life to be a steward of them. Are you truly in a state where you can steward the blessing I want to entrust you with?"

I had to stop and really reflect on this. Unintentionally, I think I've always had this idea that God will 
bless me with something and then magically everything else will get in order. While, yes, God can give us something we aren't ready for and grow us into it, sometimes we have to show God we are ready. After all, He knows what's coming AFTER He gives us what we are praying for, so He wants to make sure we can handle the blessing, sustain it, and stick with Him all along the journey. If we're honest, some of us stay hand-in-hand with God while we're praying for something, and then abandon Him once we get the blessing.

In Exodus, God's children, the Israelites, are delivered out of bondage from their Egyptian slavemasters, and God reminds them that He had a Promised Land that was going to be theirs. The catch? They weren't going from Egypt straight to the Promised Land, and if you read Exodus to Joshua, you know they spent 40 years in the wandering in the wilderness. Why? Disobedience to God, yes, and there were things God was pruning out of them (behaviorally and mentally) before they were ready to enter the Promised Land. Might it be the same for you and I? What does God want to develop you in NOW to be able to best handle what He's promised you?

Maybe, for you, it's not a spouse. Maybe it's a new place to live, getting out of the stronghold of financial debt, a baby, a new job. My question to you is, If God blesses you right now with you're praying for,  could you steward it well and still be faithful to God? Or would you crumble under the weight of not being ready for it? 

You know what's beautiful about the Israelites' time in the wilderness and then entering the Promised Land? Yes, they had a 40 year delay BUT God was with them the whole time... developing them, communing with them, building their faith, and empowering them. And when they were ready, God absolutely blessed them with what He had promised. (SPOILER ALERT: What you need developed in you might be different than what/how long the process is for someone else. #dontcompare)

Understand that God is SUCH a good, good father. He's not a "your wish is my command" genie. He knows us better than we know ourselves, so His delays are always to help develop us to best be able to handle what He wants to do in our lives. Let's not operate under the assumptions that when it happens, then we will get ourselves together.

 Let's be intentional to create spaces and make room in our lives to steward what we are asking God for.