Wrestling with God Part 3
It was 2014 and I was standing by the shore in the cool of the night. I was confused, torn, and dejected - I had no idea what God wanted me to do. You see I was in the latter part of my student missionary year in Poland and I was about ready to head home. I had received notification that the Campus Ministries Department, specifically the Student Missions leadership, wanted me to join the team back at Southern. This may seem like an easy decision but it really wasn’t. You see Chantal, my girlfriend at the time - now my wife - was enrolled in school at Andrews University about 10 hours north of Southern, where I was attending. We had both gone into the 2013-2014 school year serving as missionaries in Poland and Turkey respectively and had dialogued and prayed about the opportunity for me to transfer to Andrews after finishing our year as Student missionaries. So when this opportunity presented itself, it felt that God was sending conflicting messages.
Did He not want us to be in the same school? Was this ministry opportunity from God? Did He want us to continue to be long distance? Would our relationship survive longer long distance?
I had no idea what God wanted, so I decided to go to the beach to pray.
There I was complaining to God about my apparent predicament. Telling him how confused I was about my situation and wrestling with Him for allowing all this to happen. In this struggle I began to sense that this ministry job was a great opportunity even though it meant spending more years away from Chantal. As I realized this I began to again stress over what this meant. How was I going to lead? I’m not prepared and I’m afraid. And suddenly, in the midst of my frenzy a strong gust of wind landed on the shore and the cool breeze slightly moved me and it felt as if it enveloped and surrounded me for a few seconds.
Immediately my mind went to Zephaniah 3:17 which in the ESV (English Standard Versions) says, “God will quiet you with his love.” The NLT (New Living Translation) says, “With his love, he will calm all your fears.”
At that exact moment as the wind wrapped around me it was as if God was embracing me as a mother embraces her crying toddler. I truly felt the embodiment of this verse. it was as if God was saying “Sebastian, Be Quiet! Stop stressing and let me do what I do best.”bThe beautiful thing about struggling with God is that He welcomes it. God is not afraid of our questions, our doubts, or our insecurities, rather He is more than willing to take on all that we are struggling with. He is glad for us to go to Him to wrestle with Him. He welcomes us to heal us and listen to us.
So, at that beach as I was complaining and stressing out God reminded me that he is above all things, that he is aware of my situation, and that all things which He calls us to do He will accomplish through us and He will equip us to achieve.
So I encourage you to trust God, to wrestle with Him and see how He pulls you through.
Sebastian Lopez has been involved with Enspire Productions since 2010. He is pastoring in Palm Coast, Florida.