Letting Go of My Lot in Life


A week or so ago, I read this line in one of my daily readings from the devotional My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.

"God puts his saints where they will glorify him, 
and we are no judges at all of where that is."

It's crazy how I can read Utmost four or five or six times, and during each read something new is revealed to me. This line has stuck with me, and over the past few days I've thought about it often.

We all seem to like to talk about our "lot in life" a lot. (I would say maybe this is just me, but I'm pretty sure everyone does this.) "Some people have all the luck," we say. "It's so nice that he had parents who could afford to pay for his college. I had to get loans." "It's good for her that her husband makes enough so she doesn't have to work." *grumble grumble grumble*

We (myself included) say these things with such bitter, self-pitying undertones. It's great for them, but what about me? My lot in life, we think, is to be poor, ugly, fat, lonely. The list goes on.

I'll never be able to travel. I'll never get married. I'll never own a new car. I'll never have a house. I'll never be able to retire. (<-- this last one stresses me the crap out)

I think my problem is that I'm viewing life from the wrong direction. And because of that, I'm completely missing the point.
I posted that line from Utmost on Facebook, and someone commented with another quote that fit perfectly:

"If two angels were to receive at the same moment a commission from God, one to go down and rule earth's grandest empire, the other to go and sweep the streets of its meanest village, it would be a matter of entire indifference to each which service fell to his lot, the post of ruler or the post of scavenger; for the joy of the angels lies only in obedience to God's will."  -John Newton

Isn't that beautiful?

To think that God assigns us a place, a time, a moment in history. And it should be of no consequence to us what place or time or moment that is. The only thing we should focus on is how to best glorify him with where we're placed.

It was no random chance that caused me to be born on a specific day and time to my specific parents. It is no accident that I live in Midwest USA. 
This is my place. 
My moment.
My time.

God has placed me here. He gave me the desires and goals and skills that I have, and he wants me to use them to glorify him. My lot in life is the same as everyone else: to glorify God. And more than that: it's not a "lot" at all! 
It's a gift. 

When I covet my neighbor's house (which I do) or their bank account (which I do) or their job awesome job with the matching retirement fund and the $1,000 bonuses (hypothetically speaking, of course), then I'm basically telling God that I think I know where I should be better than he does. That's a laugh. What do I know about anything?

Maybe God allowed me to lose my job so that I could serve as an example of his provision and grace. Maybe he is trying to show me that he is enough. He saw that I was starting to care too much about material things, and he wants me to focus on him and not place my joy in a job or a paycheck or a retirement fund.

Who am I to argue and complain about the creator of all asking me to trust him? He never promised that I would have a "perfect" life full of riches and glory. He never said I'd be popular. 

But he did promise that I would get to spend eternity with him. And he told me he's preparing a place in his house just for me. And he told me that he wouldn't allow me to go through anything he wasn't sure I could handle.
I could go on, but I'll stop for now because I'm starting to get all worked up. The bottom line is that I'm really mad at myself for being so jealous of other people. Has God not shown me that he will provide? Has he not proven that he cares about me? Do I believe that not one hair falls out of my head and he doesn't notice?

Then I need to get over myself and stop whining

Let go of my lot in life and start thinking about it as my joy.

God put me here.
This is where I will most glorify him.
This is not my lot.

It's my gift 
and his eternal glory.
Allison said...

Well said! This definitely hits close to home. I have come to hate the phrase "I'm so jealous..." both when I hear it and when I find myself saying it. How little we know about God's plans for our own lives and the path that led someone else to where they are now! Instead of saying "I'm jealous" I've tried to start thinking, "I'm so happy for them and I hope one day I too can __." It helps a little... but mostly it's a work in progress :)

Laura Morgan said...

I think one of the reasons God put you in my life is to be a lesson in not letting other people rule over you. After The Speech at work, I remember being very, very frightened of our boss and what he said he would do to people. But I also remember how you stood in the doorway of the office and told us not to be scared of him because he was just a bully of a man and he shouldn't have that kind of power over us. You were totally right about that. Now, most days, I can laugh at how ridiculous he is
Even now, I never hear you complain about the employers who've "done you wrong." It would be so easy to get stuck in blaming those people for where you are and being bitter toward them, but you're not. That's so, so impressive to me.
Thanks for the reminder to be thankful for what I do have. I have days too where I'm counting everyone else's blessings, but from the outside looking in, man. I've got it made.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I hate that I am always looking and wanting bigger and better rather than being happy with what I have.

I love where you say, "I'm basically telling God that I think I know where I should be better than he does. That's a laugh."

It reminds me of my dad saying, "man plans, God laughs." At some point, you have to just realize that you're not in control of everything, and this is the life and gift you've been given.

Such a great post!

Anonymous said...

Good post - sometimes it's really hard (especially for a Type A, control freak like myself) to accept the fact that He knows what He's doing and that I am right where I'm supposed to be. Thanks for sharing!

Kelsea said...

I love this post, Amanda! I am such a planner and analyzer and have a hard time just accepting that for the most part, neither of those really help with controlling life in the big picture. I love that book and might need to get it back out. Thanks for writing honestly and beautifully!

Helene in Between said...

I needed this today. i have so much to be grateful for and I forget that sometimes. life is the way it is for a definite reason.

Kate said...

Wow! I love this and I love your friend Laura's comment. And I really want to know the story!

Freedom Fighter Amanda?

Michelle said...

I really love that quote about jealousy. So true!

Linznoel said...

I love that. My lot in life is to glorify God. Beautiful.

Rachel Sedaker said...

This is such a good reminder, and I feel I constantly need it. I am always comparing where I am in life- single, behind in career, just getting by, living with my sister- but maybe this is where I belong right now. Maybe there are things I am able to do, people I am able to know, that I wouldn't if I had the things that I envy. It's hard to see how we fit into the big picture, and that is where faith comes in. Thank you so much for this reminder.

The Girl who Loved to Write said...

This is amazing. Such a good reminder.

Shaylynn... a girl, a story, a blog said...

I don't think I took a single breath while reading this. It's beautiful, simply beautiful.

Katie said...

what a great reminder. i think it is so hard to not look at others or think about where we wish we were in life. and to understand why god put us where we are. but i think we aren't always supposed to udnerstand it but just trust that he knows what he is doing!

Mallory said...

Thank you for this, Amanda. It's just what I needed to read. Lately God has been trying to get this pounded into my head through a variety of sources. Maybe I should start listening and believing that He does have my best in mind and be more than content with my current situation. God has always provided for me and my family, why would I doubt that He would continue to. In His way and in His time...not mine.

Jena Roach said...

I think this is really great :) Such a good reminder that God has blessed us so richly. Who are we to complain?

LeAnna said...

Great post, girl. I think it's important to realize that everyone whether they choose to admit it or not, is fighting some sort of a battle. We have a sin nature, how can we not? Your struggle may not be my struggle, but I assure you, I struggle. When we are IN Christ, and our faith is in what He has done, we can rest is knowing that we are exactly where he wants us. And yes, what joy to be found in that! Love that John Newton quote.

And you're so right. It's not about us. We are here for His glory, to live our life, even full of hardships, to bring glory to His name. Such purpose! I don't need a "Purpose Driven Life" to tell me how to live, I only need to rest in Christ.

ANYWAY. I'm glad you share your struggles, because it's really annoying when people pretend to be perfect. ;)

Anonymous said...

I think we are all very guilty of this and I know I for one don't always think what I have is enough.

The last quote is one I read recently while on a trawl of Pinterest and I have to admit that it made me think of how often I complain about things that really don't matter and it's only because I am not appreciating what I have and comparing myself to others.


Anonymous said...

I keep hearing about this book over & over & over again. I think it's time for me to pick up a copy.

Ashley @TheCreamToMyCoffee said...

So I read this post a few days ago on my phone and I really wanted to come back and give you my thoughts because I think it such a great post and so well written!

I just wanted to say that I totally know where you are coming from - I have experienced feelings like this in my life too (who hasn't?), but God's grace and provision are so ever present and constant that I always realize that it is just so silly to worry. He always provides and his timing is perfect! As I get older I've started to realize some of things I've always dreamed about for myself may not ever happen. And that's ok. My life isn't about bringing glory to myself.

Aaaaanyway, great post Amanda!

Anonymous said...

Wow! I am so blessed that you commented on my blog and that I was able to find yours that way. This post was what I have needed to hear for months. It's a difficult truth -- but it's a beautiful one. Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing it!

The Geeks said...

This is a beautiful post. I find that I need to remind myself of this concept every once in a while- particularly if something *super unfair* happens at work and all I want to do is cry "Why me??"

Hannah said...

This was an excellent post. I'm impressed with your faith and maturity to reach these conclusions in difficult circumstances. We should all be as joyful to bloom where we're planted.

Unknown said...

I think this post says a lot. I am a college student and it is hard not to envy others by all they are achieving. I have recently come back to my faith and I still find it difficult to realize that God has a plan for me. Thank you for the post.