In a Word: Striving

Stair Case To Heaven Found In China

Hello all my wonderful readers! I’m back! And full of apologies for my long absence. I have a whole list of really good excuses but I’ll sum it up: Movin’ to Houston. The day of the move draws nigh, but I hope to submit a few posts in this calm before the storm.

The most common question my move announcement has produced is “Why Houston?” The ‘spiritual’ answer I usually give is, “Because God said so.” Which is true. If my husband and I had our druthers, we’d probably stay put. But God’s direction isn’t the only reason.

The whole truth is that of all the cities we researched, Houston seems to provide the healthiest job and housing markets. From where we’re sitting, it looks like the land of opportunity and prosperity, and my husband and I are setting out with hope in our hearts and stars in our eyes.

But hey, aren’t we all?

Prestigious, high paying job; big, beautiful house; healthy, precocious kids; it’s the American dream, right? It’s our dream, anyway.

But this creeping, little doubt has been needling me for a while now: What if God’s plans don’t line up with mine?
This not-so-secret fear led me to ask God the question, “Why Houston?”
And in typical fashion, He answered my question with questions. “Why a big house?” “Why a high-paying job?” “Why healthy, happy kids?”

Because that’s my dream. That’s the goal my husband and I have been planning and working and waiting and, in a word, striving for.

This answer didn’t satisfy the Lord, and He asked me again.


Because, I want to be happy. I want to feel secure and at peace. I want to know our bills are paid and there will be food on the table. I want to rest in the knowledge that we’re home, safe and sound. I want to feel well loved and well taken care of. I can hardly wait to feel that joy and peace and fulfillment.

That’s the ultimate goal. That’s what I’m striving for.

I was talking to God about this yesterday when the truth hit me like a ton of bricks: I don’t have to strive for those things. I don’t have to work toward them. I don’t have to wait patiently for them. They are all ready right in front of me.

God is all ready holding out His hands and offering me all the peace and joy and security and love and fulfillment I could even want or need. And unlike the fleeting and uncertain fulfillment the world and its shinies offer me, God is offering genuine, eternal peace. Genuine, eternal joy.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.

John 14:27

See, God wants to satisfy us. But not with the things of this world. Because they could never possibly do the job. God wants to be our all in all. He is offering everything we’re actually striving for: Love, forgiveness, peace, contentment, security, etc. And He’s offering it all, freely.

What are we waiting for? Why should we keep striving in hopeless, earthly power for even one more minute?

You may not realize it, but God’s goal for you and your goal for yourself are the same; He just wants you to be happy. But, He wants you to have genuine and lasting happiness, which can only come from loving and following Him.

Please don’t waste another minute striving in this world. Enjoy Jesus, and everything He has for you, starting now!


About Leah Ness

I am a self-professed story addict. Ever since I was little, I've had an overactive imagination and a passion for a well-spun yarn. When I grew up, I was blessed with a passion for God as well. It was then that I noticed a relative shortage of unique Christian fiction, the kind that can both captivate you and glorify God. So, despite the hurdles of things like commas and homonyms, I am endeavoring to write some of my own. Check out my Books page for updates on current and future books. View all posts by Leah Ness

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