‘The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.’
1 John 2:17
Father, give me a heart receptive to do Your will. Give me eyes to see Your will. Give me feet to walk according to Your will.
Just a few weeks ago, I was very nervous about exams. ‘God, I need to get a 2:1. I must. I want.’ It wasn’t really a prayer, to be honest. It was more of a demand.
Those feelings of fear and anxiety had stirred within me for about a month, until just two weeks ago, I sat down and reflected.
Q: Why are you afraid?
A: Because I want this grade
Q: Why do you want this grade?
A: Because I want to get an internship in a top law firm
Q: Why do you want that?
I couldn’t believe what my answer was going to be. It’s not that I didn’t know it, it’s just that I didn’t want to admit it.
I wanted status. Recognition. Success. I wanted to meet the world’s expectations.
All along, deep inside of me, I had this feeling that I was going to be known as one of those people who followed God to a place she had never really heard of, and then she would emerge triumphant with a job, status and relationship. Those kind of people that I always heard about and wanted to be. To put it bluntly, I wanted God to reward me with success and riches because I did His will.
But the thing I never really got until now, was that if God called me to go to Durham, it wouldn’t stop there. God’s plans are for a lifetime. He wouldn’t write your story halfway. God’s plans for me go way beyond just Durham. It’s a journey of a lifetime, and it’s not always a journey that we want.
I remember sitting on the train going back to Durham. I had just finished a law internship, and I had seen glamour, skyscrapers, brands, canapés. I saw and salivated: God, I want.
And as I slumped back into my seat on the train, I saw field after field of rapeseeds. (Rapeseeds are these yellow flowers that are harvested oil).
‘Fields of gold’
Those were the words that kept flashing in my mind. And yet, almost immediately, the words ‘Be content’ flashed side-by-side to ‘Fields of gold’.
‘… for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.’ Philippians 4:11
Be content. | Fields of gold.
After that reflection, that was when I realised that contentment in life was not about walking through fields of gold. Of course, I always knew that it was so, but I never really understood it in my heart.
When we follow God’s will, it would not necessarily be easy. We may never walk through fields of gold, because God understands the temporal existence of wealth and success. In fact, God knows that at the end of the day, these things will count for nothing. Rapeseeds are never around all year long. They are seasonal, temporary, short-lived. And so will material wealth.
It’s like a house that is burning, and the man who lived there watches as it burns and disintegrates into ash. All the things that he had worked for in his life are all gone. Everything that defined him, his car, his wallet, his passport and his money – all engulfed into the flames. He has nothing else.
But God shows another type of wealth and harvest. One that concerns our heart, mind and spirit. So what if He doesn’t lead me through the fields of gold? As long as I am gold.
Through this journey with the Lord, and through the challenges that I face, may I myself become a treasure. May I live a life worthy of the gospel. May I live a life worthy for Him.
‘And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold’
The point I’m trying to say is that God may or may not choose to bless me in the way that I want Him to. I might walk through fields of gold, by His grace, or I might never do so. He might lead to me a top firm, or He might give me a minimum pay job. I might get my grade, or I might not.
God might heal you, He might not. God might give you that promotion, He might not. But remember that God is sovereign and He has a plan for our lives. He knows what he’s doing – after all, He created the heavens and the earth by simply speaking. So how much more will He lovingly lead you along the paths that He has set for you.
What is more important is your heart, your journey to do His will so that your heart might be as pure as gold. Gold – treasure, purity, worth.
In whatever circumstances, I will learn to be content. I will learn to understand the finite existence of the world and its desires, and I will learn to grasp the eternity of my spirit and my life with God.
Exams. God’s will. Come what may.
So Lord, goldify me.
Sovereign in the mountain air
Sovereign on the ocean floor
With me in the calm
With me in the storm
Sovereign in my greatest joy
Sovereign in my deepest cry
With me in the dark
With me at the dawn
In your everlasting arms
All the pieces of my life
From beginning to the end
I can trust you
In your never failing love
You work everything for good
God whatever comes my way
I will trust you
God whatever comes my way
I will trust you
All my hopes
All I need
Held in your hands
Thank you Daphne for introducing this song to me. Indeed, God is sovereign through pain and joy, failure and success, gain and loss.