I sat there on my computer reading back the emails and texts my friends and family had sent after I broke the news I would be starting another book. It would be different from anything I’d ever written before, and definitely a stretch for me, but I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I had to write it. In prayer, I felt that God had given me this idea for a reason: that He wanted me to write it.
But everyone around me said, “No, don’t do that!”
“That’s not going to sell.”
“Who would ever want to read something like that?”
“Are you sure you know what you’re doing?”
“You know that’s not popular, right? You should stick to what you know.”
It went on and on, and I remember praying in my bed late one night and asking God for clarity because I was confused. “I thought this was what You wanted me to do, Lord?” I fretted. “But if this is the reaction from people, I’m not so sure anymore. What if I heard You wrong?”
When Other People Are Big and God Is Small
Among the negative feedback that rolled in, some came from my own dad, and I think that’s what cut the worst. His disappointment and negativity in the journey I was about to embark on dulled my excitement for something I felt so sure that God had called me to write about.
I’m a people pleaser. I will admit it wholeheartedly and without shame. I like to avoid conflict and have a tendency to bow to others wants and desires because I don’t want to be the object of their disappointment and anger. So, you can imagine the fear kicking through me when all this happened.
People were big and God felt small.
Small, and so quiet I felt like I had misheard His direction for my creative journey.
Have you ever felt like this?
If anyone were to understand what we are going through, it would be Job. He was a man that knew suffering on the most extreme level, and not because he had done anything wrong but rather because he had done everything right.
Some of us are called to watch and learn from those who are suffering, and then there are those of us who are called to suffer. In Job’s case, while he did everything right in his life, God had called him to suffer so that others might learn from his testimony that still stands true today.
His friends, however, were confused. They couldn’t understand what he had done to bring this upon himself. Surely God wouldn’t punish someone who had lived an upright life, yes? So, it had to be Job’s fault. He’s the one that made the mistake, that had done something horrible to suffer this way.
One of them even went so far as to say, “Consider now: Who, being innocent, has ever perished? Where were the upright ever destroyed? As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it.” (Job 4:7-8 NLT)
So, basically, he’s saying, “You did something evil and must have caused this.”
But Job had done nothing wrong. It was just God’s call on his life for a purpose that would bring honor and glory to His Kingdom. However, his friends didn’t know or see that so they jumped to a conclusion their human mind could understand and comprehend.
God’s plan for Job didn’t make sense to them, so they shunned him and walked away, leaving Job to question their friendship and if he really was in the wrong.
The people around us can stir up doubts in our lives like no other when God gives us a calling and asks us to pursue it, attempting to dissuade us from where God has called us to walk.
However, the right people can lead us back to His promises and give us the courage to follow His call.
Sometimes God’s Call for Us Makes No Sense to Others & That’s Okay
“When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.” – C.S. Lewis
We live in a world where people talk but no one really ever says anything worthwhile, and when you are following God’s call on your life, you are going to face people like I previously mentioned. I don’t blame my dad or the people who tried to talk me out of my book idea, they were trying to look out for me based on their knowledge. The difference between what they saw and what I saw is that I had God’s bigger picture in mind, while they could only see the immediate future and what was directly in front of them.
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.
But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
“Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” Matthew 14:22-32 (NIV)
If we look at the passage above, what do we see? The disciples see Jesus in the wee hours of the morning (3:00 AM to be exact) walking towards them on the lake, and while I don’t make it a habit to be up that late, I have been plenty of times. Let me just tell you, it’s dark!
If Jesus was further out on the water from where the disciples were on the shore, the mist from the water rising and creating a thin veil…yeah, I can totally see why they would be terrified. It was basically nighttime and here was Jesus, or to them this figure, walking towards them on the water. That wasn’t practical in real life, so it had to be a ghost, right? Right?
They mistook Jesus for a ghost because they couldn’t see. They didn’t have 20/20 vision.
Thus, Jesus says to them, “Oh, ye of so little faith.”
Something that is so hard for humans to grasp because we can’t see it, others around us can’t see it, and so, we’re either deemed crazy by those around us, or we claim the crazy for ourselves.
“God couldn’t possibly be calling me to do this…could He?” we whisper to ourselves.
Spoiler alert, He can, and it’s up to us to find if we have the faith to follow Him with obedience despite what others around us may think.
In the world we live in, silence is sacred. When Jesus prayed, He went to do so in silence, away from everyone for a few hours so that He could separate the voices of those around Him from the voice of God.
Everyone talks, but not everyone has something worthwhile to say, and if you feel like God is pushing you to do something radical, something that everyone else around you would deem crazy, seek out the silence.
Tune out the noise of the naysayers and seek first the Kingdom of God, ask Him if this is something that He really wants you to do, and if you still feel the same, go for it. Though the people around you may not get it and you may look like a man running in the opposite direction of the cliff everyone else is running off to, but be assured that God is pleased with the sacrifices you are making to obey Him.
Even when everyone else is telling you not to.
Have you ever been told that following God’s calling on your life was wrong? If so, how did you handle it?
Comment below, Roses, and let’s uplift each other!
Article Written By
Rebekah currently resides in sunny Southern California with her two cats and insanely supportive family. Inspired by the Master Storyteller, she pens novels drawing from her own experiences and society that she hopes brings light to the darkness.
Rebekah is the contributing writer for several online publications and serves as the co-host of Hope Prose, a literary podcast dedicated to books, the authors who write them, and the readers they inspire. When she’s not writing or up reading till 2 AM, she’s binging the latest Kdrama, coaching writers, sharpening her marketing skills, or watching BTS videos. Taehyung is her bias if you must know.