Do you ever feel unsure that you are living the life you should be? Like maybe God had something different planned for you, and somehow you missed the memo? Maybe God had been putting up countless flashing red road signs, and you missed every turning and kept driving along your own path - and now you're a little bit lost?
It's easy to feel a little lost, when we live in a social media world of other people's perfect moments - where it feels like everyone else around has got it all figured out. It seems like your peers are living their best lives in God, on his straight and narrow path, receiving an abundance of blessings on Earth along this way God has laid out for them. And you are feeling a little lost, seeing what your peers let you see, and feeling doubtful of your own circumstances, unstimulated by your own job or relationships, uncertain of the lifestyle you are living and whether this was God's plan.
We question: was this what God had planned for me? Should I be in another place right now, another relationship, another job, should I have no relationship and no job right now? Was there a sign from Him that I missed that would have put me somewhere else with different people doing something else?
Sometimes these doubts are founded, but most of the time I don't think they comes from a place of genuine failure to meet God's expectation. I think it comes from a place of failure to meet the expectations that the world has placed in our minds and a place of disconnectedness from God.
You've seen the wonders and the highlights and the best bits of your peers lives, and it's been a while since you've had genuine time with God, and you doubt yourself. You see the amazing mission of a friend, the certainty of a family member who is marching forward in faith, the colleague who tells you they are so sure that their relationship is everything God had planned that they convince you perfection is attainable and you don't have it yet. Comparison fuels your doubt, and distance from God allows that fire to burn and grow so that you doubt your path and your walk with God, and you feel lost and alone.
It's easy to believe that every person around you has heard the booming voice of God on a mountain top, telling them "you are going the right way, and I am proud of you".
But let me tell you, I know few people other than Jesus himself who has had that mountain top experience of a loud booming affirmation from God.
What I have found instead, is that God's affirmations, the reassurances that we are on the right path, the declarations from him that we are going His way and that he is proud of us, often come in much smaller gestures. In your walk in faith, in your recent life, has anyone ever told you "there is something different about you" or "why are you always smiling?" or "thank you, not everyone would have done that"? Have you ever seen someone's face light up with gratitude when you acknowledge them or show them kindness? Have you ever had a conversation where someone was encouraged by you? I'm assuming the answer to at least one of these questions is 'yes, you have experienced one, if not lots of these examples.
( If it's been a while since you've experienced this, go back to that moment and try to back track, what's changed since then, how have you changed are you as close to God now as you were then? Spend time with God, you'll be on track soon if you aren't already. )
These seemingly insignificant moments are your mountain top moments! They are precious demonstrations that you are where you're supposed to be, that God is with you and other people can tell. It is a small, valuable confirmation that you are on the right path, in that moment, you are exactly where God intended you to be - let these miniature mountain top moments be the affirmation to you that your doubts are unfounded, stop questioning everything and give yourself a break.
I'm sure we would all like a Matthew 17 moment where clouds gather, and the booming voice of God announces to you and everyone around you that you are in the right place, doing the right thing, and that God is proud of you. But instead, the next time someone tells you "you've made their day" or "you're different", the next time someone sees God in you and tells you, consider that your mountain top moment, recognise it as the 20 storey flashing red road sign you've been hoping for and looking for. The next time this happens, hear the booming voice of God in your head announcing "you are my son/daughter, with you, I am well pleased!".
The world will fill you with doubts, and envy and feelings that you're not going the right way and other people are doing better than you. But when you walk closely with God, you are in the right place at the right time. And, when someone offers an affirmation like the examples above, you can be reassured that you are following God's plan, you are on the right path, you are the child of God, and He is proud of you!