Thursday, June 30, 2016

Life hasn’t been smooth lately. And although I know better, if I was honest I’ll admit it’s left me a little disappointed with God. I mean, I’ve been holding up my side of the relationship—prayer, personal devotions, service, charitable giving…

God, on the other hand, seems to be neglecting his commitment to keep my life ticking along comfortably.

In my head I know being a Christian doesn't guarantee a worry-free existence.

The Bible is full of examples of how God has let his faithful servants endure unspeakable problems (see Hebrews 11 for examples) and frankly, mine aren’t nearly as bad as theirs. And I look around and see fellow Christians who, through no fault of their own, are today trapped in the mire of messy lives.

But still—I’m being honest here—I’ve been miffed that God has withdrawn his protecting hand and left me—me—to suffer.

A few months ago an interesting post appeared on my Facebook feed. Death, the Prosperity Gospel and Me by Kate Bowler. I scrolled through it and passed it along to a friend, never imagining what a profound impact the article would have on her life—and through hers, mine.

You see, like Kate I've inadvertently been indoctrinated into the prosperity gospel. Terms like seed faith, name-it-and-claim-it, and kids of the kingdom have been familiar since childhood. I accepted them without question.

But, like Kate, God has brought me to a place that challenges this theology.

It is true: God wants the best for us. (See: Jeremiah 29:11.) The issue is how we’ve come to understand ‘best.’

Could the mess I’m experiencing right now be God’s idea of ‘best’?

As I mulled this over I re-read Hannah Hurnard’s classic, Hinds Feet in High Places. It reminded me that there is another way I can look at my circumstances. They are no less messy or uncomfortable, but from my new point of view I now see them as part of a larger picture, 
a longer journey, 
a more significant ‘best.’

I am being reshaped in Love.

Step by step, incident by incident, trial by trial, God is sanding away the parts of me that do not bring Him glory. The ‘best’ I am journeying towards is His Best, not mine.

What I find most amazing about this revelation—or maybe it’s a re-revelation—is the peace it has given me. The circumstances I find myself in are no longer frightening. Though the outcome is unknown, the outcome is certain.

He will make my feet like hinds' feet, and set me upon my high places. Psalm 18:33
Thank you, Lord.


Jayne Self is a writer being reshaped in Canada.
Visit her on Facebook or check out her website and books at


  1. Thank you for jolting me out of feeling sorry for myself. The little God is allowing me to face right now does not merit being called suffering, but I still ask why he hasn't spared our family. You are the second person in as many days who has recommended Hind's Feet to me. I really need to read that book. I remember it as a slim, beautifully bound volume on my parent's shelf when I was a child. I opened it once, and it looked boring. I have a feeling it wouldn't look that way to the adult me.

  2. It's a profound little book that I'm sure has touched more lives than it's author ever imagined. (An inspiring thought for writers like us.) I pray your struggles today will lead you into a deeper, more revolutionary faith in our Lord--as mine have for me. God bless you.

  3. Great thoughts. Thanks for sharing. :)

    1. Hi Angela. Thanks for your encouragement.

  4. Wisdom, Jayne. :) Have you ever listened to Laura Story's song, Blessings? I first heard it when I was feeling exactly as you describe. :) m

    1. No, Marcia, but I will check it out. Thanks. (It was so good to see you last week, even if for only a moment.)

  5. Jayne, thank you for a wonderful word. I read "Hinds Feet…" last year and found it stirring too. It's fabulous knowing how much the Lord simply wants us to know Him - to really know Him. (john 17:3) It's so easy for us to seek His hand rather than His face.

    Keep pressing into the Lord, Jayne and may His peace continue to fill your heart.

    1. Thank you, Ian. I pray the same for you.

  6. Oh Jayne, life is a long learning process and our dear Lord is so patient with us. But each step closer to complete trust in His Ways is a heap of blessings for us.

  7. Such a fabulous and really, profound, reminder, Jayne. Thanks so much for sharing this.

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