Holy Frustration

Do you have a knot on your head from the last wall you hit?  Frustrating isn’t it, to be headed somewhere and then you run into a roadblock.  Frustration is the feeling of discouragement coupled with anger when we don’t get our way.  Life is not always easy and it becomes even more difficult when we plot our course without consulting God.

I have listened to many people over the years who had big dreams and became frustrated when things did not unfold as planned.  Perhaps that frustration was actually holy frustration because God stepped in to thwart the plans of man. A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV).

The unseen hand of God moves in our lives often frustrating our plans and dreams so that the unfathomable wisdom of God can be accomplished.  When I was a young man, I was a dreamer with big plans.  I wanted a big farm, a business, and to be in leadership of some secular organization or government position.  I had the trajectory of my life mapped out and now those dreams seem like fairy tales compared to the reality of the now.  Who was that young man?  And what was He thinking?  Today that dreamer seems like a different person altogether in another time zone, in another life.  I am joyful where I am today and not disappointed that those early dreams are now buried under God’s desire.  I walk dusty roads with joy instead of marbled halls in regret.

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If all my dreams had been accomplished, I am certain I would have become a pompous, arrogant smug possibly without my family intact and even away from Christ.  God has a way of frustrating your dreams to accomplish His plans.  So as I began my journey to smugness, God began to frustrate my life.  I hit some walls and had difficulty getting around them.  Why wasn’t things working out like the books I had read?  All those life-coach gurus who had told us to dream big, set our minds to it, and you will make it–seemed to live in an alternative universe than mine.  I became frustrated.  I didn’t know it at the time but it was actually holy frustration.

I was a young man who loved God but I didn’t really inquire of Him.  I thought He would just bless whatever I put my hand to do.  My plans were not His plans and He wanted me in His plan so much, He frustrated my way.  Now I am glad He did but I suffered through many disappointments and trials before arriving on the path God had plotted.  It was not as if I was this worldly prodigal who was wasting his life on wine, woman, and song.  I was not.  I loved Jesus and thought I was following Him completely but I was not.   I was going in the right direction but on the wrong road.

Don’t be afraid to dream big dreams but make sure your dreams align with God’s desire.  He will direct you as you go, but you must listen to the Holy Spirit and not override His still, small voice.  If you keep hitting your head against a wall, it may not be the devil’s wall but one God put there.  Ask Him, He will reveal His plan unless you just like hitting walls!!

Harry L. Whitt

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