What is God doing in my life?
This is a question that I think we fail to ask ourselves enough. It is a simple inquiry, but if explored in depth and consistently, this question can ground us. It can provide hope. It can alleviate fears and anxiety. It can offer a sense of belonging and being loved by a God that is, in fact, very involved in our day-to-day lives.
I met a man when I first began serving others as a Christian counselor. I trained under him quite a bit. I remember he would ask this question frequently in counseling sessions, as I trained under him. “So, what is God doing in your life?!”, he would ask them. I picked up this question and, as I began seeing my own clients, I offered it to them as well. Some would immediately say, “Nothing”. Others would stop and think, but have a hard time deciding what in the world He WAS doing. A few would come up with words that sounded good but were generalizations that could apply to anyone. For instance, “God is watching over me.” There’s nothing personal about that kind of generic involvement!
What if He is ALWAYS up to something in our lives? What if He is constantly active in and around us, never stopping to take a break from us even when we’ve strayed far away from anything resembling fruit of the spirit?
God is relational.
According to Bill Thrall, “Grace is an environment we get to live in”. As a child of God, I am under grace, not law. He’s not just telling me what I should and shouldn’t do. He is very relational. My Father lavishes grace and love on me constantly. Being under grace means God is always up to something. He is massively involved in my life. It is because of desire that He does this, not obligation. I go to my day job out of obligation, so I quit working and go home as soon as I’ve met the obligatory hours. I am not “a job” to God. He is all about relationship. At any given point His involvement in my life may include listening, speaking, guiding, comforting, protecting, teaching, or anxiously and patiently waiting for me to surrender my own efforts to control my life.
God is motivated by love.
If I make myself truly embrace the truth that the aforementioned depiction of God is accurate and then ponder and possibly discuss with others “What is He doing in my life?”, the sometimes slow unraveling of the answer will present to me an unfolding reality that I desperately need to see and experience. If He is involved, then He is involved because He loves us. We are loved by Him, and we need that love to be real to us. Love does many things in our hearts, minds, and relationships, including the casting out of fears (1 John 4:18) and the covering of a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8).
God is intimately involved with us.
Being able to see that He is, indeed, involved in our lives may not give us all the answers we would like, but it can give us confidence, security, and direction. Perhaps the question leads us to see that He has things in His hands and is waiting for us to burn out our bondage- and anxiety-producing self-effort, so we can release things to Him and rest. Maybe through the question we discern that He is rooting for us to make a decision and trust Him with the outcome, so we are able to forsake the paralysis of analysis where we overanalyze our options to the point that we are stuck.
So, what is God doing in your life?
Perhaps the thought of the question produces anxiety for us. For some of us, it feels like just another thing to try to figure out. For others, we are scared to find out what He may be doing and what it may require of us. If “the question” produces fear, it is likely that we are failing to see Him for who He truly is. We may need to be reminded of some basic truths, such as the following:
- He is personable, intimate, and involved (Psalm 139:1-18).
- He is kind and compassionate. He is not “out to get us” or always looking to teach us a hard lesson (Psalm 103:8-14).
- He accepts us and is filled with joy and love (Romans 15:7; Zephaniah 3:17).
- He is warm and affectionate. He is not cold and distant like some of our earthly fathers have been. (Isaiah 40:11; Hosea 11:3-4).
- He is pleased with me and wants to spend time with me (Hebrews 13:5; Jeremiah 31:20; Ezekiel 34:11-16).
- He is patient and slow to anger (Exodus 34:6; 2 Peter 3:9).
- He is loving, gentle, and protective of me (Jeremiah 31:3, Isaiah 42:3; Psalm 18:2).
- He is trustworthy and wants to give me a full life. His will is good, perfect, and acceptable (Lamentations 3:22-23; John 10:10; Romans 12:1-2).
- He is full of grace and mercy, and gives me freedom to fail. Failure never drives Him away from us. He just holds us even tighter in his unconditional love (Hebrew 4:15-16; Luke 15:11-16).
- He is tenderhearted and forgiving. His heart and arms are always open to me (Psalm 130:1-4; Luke 15:17-24).
- He is smiling when He thinks of me. He is proud of me. He calls me His child. (Romans 8:28-29; Hebrews 12:5-11; 2 Corinthians 7:4).
I realized years ago that the bulk of the anxiety I was experiencing at the time was from the fact that I didn’t believe God was doing anything in my life. With this false perception, I felt left to fend for myself. I had to do all the work and keep everything under control! If you would have asked me if I thought God was present, I would have known to tell you the correct answer. “Yes! Of course He is. He always is present.” However, my actions and emotional state revealed that deep in my heart, I did not embrace the truth of a Father who was immersed in my life, loving me, and relating to me in every way possible. If I had been trusting that God was actually doing something, I wouldn’t have felt the pressure to do it all myself!
So, in closing out this little thought process, I encourage you to take a long look at this question. Carry it with you for a while. Revisit it often. He is ALWAYS present and ALWAYS involved. He is ALWAYS doing something in your life. However, if we fail to make that a reality, we will act as if He isn’t!