top of page

I Didn't Ask for This

So, for the past couple of weeks, I have been reflecting on my life and my experiences. The things that have brought me the most pain and sorrow, the seasons where I was frustrated and confused. The times where I didn’t have any control or power over the situation and I had this thought, I didn’t ask for this. I found myself talking to God, well, really, I was complaining to God, let’s be transparent here. I was complaining to God like, "God, I didn’t ask for any of this". I didn’t ask for my parents to get divorced multiple times. I didn’t ask to be put in a work environment where my character was attacked and people who don’t even know me, talked behind my back, and spread lies about me. I didn’t ask to be cheated on. I didn’t ask 6 months ago for my grandma to die. I didn’t ask for any of this! But God is so good. I can just imagine Him sitting there, nodding his head, looking at me, His eyes filled with compassion, like a father listening to his child. Then, He just comes close. He comes eye to eye with me, puts his hand on my cheek and says, “Celine, you’re right. You didn’t ask for any of this. But I am going to use all of this. All of the pain. All of the confusion. All of the trauma. All of the disappointments. All of the sorrow. All of the anger. All of the moments your heart was broken. I am a God that wastes nothing. This is what the Bible and God promises.

In Romans 8:18-30, the title of that section is called “Present Suffering and Future Glory.” We love to quote Romans 8:28. We love to put it on mugs, and buy journals from Etsy, and use it as our phone background or computer background, and then when the suffering comes, we're like, God, wait, no! This is not what I meant when I was singing refiner. This is not what I meant when I said, I want to be tried by fire. This is not what I meant when I was singing Jesus, bring new wine out of me. Bring new wine Jesus! But don’t do the very thing that needs to be done in order to actually make wine. I want the testimony, but I don’t want to be put to the test.

Everybody wants to be used by God, but no one wants to be used. Instead we have a new whine. W.h.i.n.e. A lot of us out here, including myself, don’t actually want to be made into new wine, we just have a new whine. I think we often forget the things we say, we tend to be very forgetful. You may be reading this and thinking the exact same thing. There have been things, traumatic, horrible, things that have happened in your life, and you didn’t ask for any of it. I don’t believe God causes all of those things to happen, but I can tell you one thing I know, He will use them. Sometimes, we are so quick to blame the devil for the very thing God is trying to do in our lives. We give the devil way too much credit. I know for me personally, when I went through a heartbreak, I knew it was God. That wasn’t the devil. God had to get me out of there ASAP Rocky because otherwise, I don’t think I would’ve ever made the decision to leave myself. I was too scared. So, what I want to spend the next few moments on is this thought, or thesis if you will: I may not have asked for any of this. But God is going to use all of this.

I may not have asked for any of this, but I am thankful. I cannot even begin to tell you, now, how thankful I am for the things that have happened in my life, and I am talking about the difficult things. I am talking about the things that made me want to quit. I am talking about the things that made me question, where are you God? You seem lost, uninterested and you say you’re a waymaker, but I don’t see any way out of this. You say you’re close, but you feel awfully far. Really, this makes me think of the life of Joseph. When I think of someone in the Bible who didn’t ask for this, I think of Joseph. You know Joseph, the 17-year-old with the coat of many colors from anthropology. I just feel like his coat would’ve been from anthropology if he was alive right now. But, if you don’t know the story, Joseph is one of Jacob's 12 sons, and he just so happens to be the favorite, you can read all of this starting in Genesis 37 all the way to Genesis 50. So, you read in Genesis 37 that Joseph has this dream. He has a dream that he and his brothers were out in a field tying up bundles of grain and suddenly, their bundles (the brothers) stood and gathered around and bowed low before Joseph’s bundles. Then he has a second dream, and he decides to tell his brothers about his dream, again. Please be careful who you tell your dreams to, not everyone who says they are for you, are actually for you, even the people with the same last name as you. So, he tells them about the second dream and the broskis get really upset, they become infuriated.

Later on, one day, Joseph’s father sent him to go help his brothers with the sheep. Joseph is making his way downtown, walking fast, faces past and he’s homebound and from a distance they (his brothers) see him and decide the only logical thing to do would be to kill him (If you think you have family drama, just read the Bible, this stuff makes Jerry Springer look like kindergarten). One of his other broskis, Ruben, is like, "guys, that seems aggressive, let’s just throw him into a pit instead". So, they take his coat from anthropology and throw him into a pit. Once this happens, they proceed to sit down to have a meal when they saw a caravan coming and Judah said to the rest of them, "instead of hurting him, let's sell him".

Now, picture this with me, put yourself in Joseph’s sandals because Yeezy’s didn't exist back then. He is in this pit and the only way that his brothers are going to be able to get him out is if he lifts his hands. I don’t know about you, but this to me is a picture of the posture we should have while we are in the pit saying,"I didn’t ask for this". I can see him going around in circles crying, angry, shocked, confused, saying "I didn’t ask for this". I didn’t ask for this. I didn’t ask for this. "I came over here to help and now y'all are out here eating falafel and hummus, while contemplating whether you’re going to kill me or sell me? I didn’t ask for this". But the only way that he was going to get up out of that pit, is if he lifts his hands in surrender. So many of us out here are walking around with our arms crossed, throwing a pity party telling God how much we did not ask for this. Instead, we should be lifting our hands in a posture of praise and worship saying, "God, I didn’t ask for any of this. But I know you’re going to use this, and I am thankful because you are a God that can take this and turn it into that".

The second thing this does in our lives, whatever this is for you, it keeps us humble. Let’s be honest, Joseph’s tone when he was telling his family about his dreams was a tone of pride. Joseph’s dreams, in the end, were not even about him. Nothing about what God did in his life was about him. All of those dreams were about God using Joseph as a servant. Humility is pride in the opposite direction. God used all of that to humble Joseph, and that is what he does to you and me. When you have people around you and they are going through something that you haven’t personally experienced, you may find yourself saying things like, "well, I don’t really struggle with anxiety or depression so it must not be that serious" and "those people are just lazy and don’t want to do anything about it". First of all, Absolutely not true and how dare you. But if you find yourself in that same situation experiencing things personally, I can guarantee that you’ll find yourself in a posture of compassion, empathy, and humility.

When I went to church that Sunday, it had been 3 days since my grandmother passed. Now, on the outside, I looked fine. But on the inside, I was heartbroken. I was sad. I was confused and I still am. That Sunday humbled me because every single person, from the pastor to the person cleaning the restroom, to the servant leader in kids, is going through something and we are so quick, especially in church, to forget this and start judging and criticizing people. You’re wondering why this person isn't singing, but you don't know that they just got handed divorce papers. You’re wondering why that person doesn't have a smile on their face but that’s because they just found out that their kids are battling with a drug addiction, and they don’t know what to do. You’re criticizing that person for the shoes they're wearing but you don’t know they are on the verge of homelessness and that is all they have. We need to do better my brothers and sisters. We have to.

I didn’t ask for this, but God is extremely intentional, this is the third point. You can see this right in the Scriptures, and it might actually be my favorite verse in the entire Bible. Genesis 50, I encourage you to read the entire story, it is incredible, it is a literary masterpiece. At the end of Genesis, Joseph is reunited with his brothers and they are begging for his forgiveness, Genesis 50:18-21 says “Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. ‘Look, we are your slaves!’ they said. But Joseph replied, ‘Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.’ So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.” “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good.” Notice that it doesn’t say, my good, this is a picture of humility. Joseph finally understood that his dreams were never about him, they were about others. All of the pain, all of the trauma, all of the depression, all of the anxiety, all of the disappointment. You didn’t ask for this, but God is going to use it.

Lastly, you didn’t ask for this, but God is going to use this to sanctify you. This word sanctify, a lot of people don’t preach or teach about it, about the process that God uses to make us look more like Jesus, this is the process of sanctification. In today’s society, everyone looks at the word process, like Voldemort, he who shall not be named. Don’t say that word. We don’t like that part. We want the taste of a home cooked meal, but we want it done in the microwave oven in 90 seconds. We want Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice, but we don't want to do the things that will cause us to be ready when the time does come. So, the opportunity comes, and you’re actually undercooked because you didn’t go through the process, and whatever you end up serving to people ends up getting them sick, they get bad theology and undercooked doctrine. As a Chef, I can tell you that there is nothing better when something is cooked low and slow, the question is are you willing to get low and go slow? I have to be transparent, I am saying all of this, but this is hard practice. I say that intentionally. This doesn’t come naturally to us. Our nature is bent on doing the opposite. It is easier to complain than it is to be thankful. It is easier to be full of pride than it is to live a life of humility. A lot of people won’t say this, but sin is easy. This isn’t something we need to try our hardest to do, you don’t have to practice sinning. God uses all of this, to make us more like Him, Jesus. That is the process of sanctification.

But, if you take all of the points I mentioned: thankful, humble, intentional and sanctify, it spells T.H.I.S.

I Didn’t Ask for This, But:

Thankful: But I’m Thankful

Humble: This Keeps Me in a Posture of Humility

Intentional: God is Intentional & He Will Use This

Sanctify: God is Going to Use This to Sanctify Me

I pray that this was filled with love, you leave encouraged and that God brings revelation to your life and whatever this is happening in your life right now. Continue to stay in His face and sit at His feet. It’s the best place to be.

24 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

If I’m honest, I am not one of the people who has fasted for this word or genuinely taken lots of time to write and journal specifically for this. The truth is that it has been picking at me for some

As most of you know by now, I have as recently as this week moved to a brand new country. If you don't, I moved to Mexico as part of a promise God gave me three years ago that is now coming to fruitio

As I am sitting here typing the first words all I can think about is "my family is going to read this", "what is my grandmother going to think?", "this is going to hurt my dad", but at the end of the

bottom of page