Fighting Reality

If what they have planned and done is of human origin, it will disappear, but if it comes from God, you cannot possibly defeat them. You could find yourselves fighting against God! (Acts 5: 38b-39)

Ever find yourself fighting against God? I have. It makes no sense.
• God is all-powerful. Things will turn out the way he wants. It’s inevitable.
• God’s will is for ultimate good to triumph. Why resist?
• God is all-knowing. Do I really think I know better than God?

Besides, when I fight reality, reality always wins.

Unfortunately, self-will is sneaky and dies hard. A few years ago I attended a four-day writers’ conference, convinced it was God’s will for me. I volunteered for service opportunities, made plans to promote my first book, and looked forward to an interview for an ongoing writing gig. Above all, I was excited for the chance to find a publisher for my second book. In my eagerness, I denied my body’s physical limitations. Less than 24 hours after the conference began, I suffered excruciating back spasms and was forced to slink home.
Apparently, God and I hadn’t seen things the same way after all. It took weeks to work through my discouragement and accept reality. I have disabilities. The symptoms may not be apparent to others, but the challenges are very real. It’s self-defeating to ignore them, no matter how much I want to.

Evidently God, who knows all about my limitations, achieves his plans in spite of my willful schemes. Although I could not attend the conference interview, I received the ongoing writing assignment anyway. Eventually, I was offered a contract for my second book—by a publisher who hadn’t even attended that conference.

When my conviction about God’s will is wishful thinking on my part and I try to force outcomes, I’m fighting reality. When I accept circumstances exactly as they are, do my best, then let go and trust God with the results, I feel peace. Even if things don’t go my way, they can still turn out just fine.

Who guessed faith involved accepting reality?

Prayer: Lord, help me trust that you have everything under control.

Reflection: When have you found yourself fighting against God? What happened?

Copyright 2017, Barbara Hosbach

Barbara Hosbach

Barbara Hosbach

Barbara Hosbach, freelance writer, is co-chair of the CJ Chapter of the Catholic Writers Guild and member of the Catholic Press Association. Hosbach’s articles have appeared in a number of Catholic periodicals. Her latest book, Your Faith Has Made You Well: Jesus Heals in the New Testament, explores what happened when Jesus healed and what it means for us today. Your Faith Has Made You Well: Jesus Heals in the New Testament and Fools, Liars, Cheaters, and Other Bible Heroes

Leave a Reply

next post: Seeking Bread and Seeking God

previous post: St. John the Evangelist