image courtesy of Matchbox
One interesting fact about me is I have been pulled over more than 10 times. I don’t mention this to brag; I am not a speeder. I just happen to get pulled often. I have gotten two tickets going 35 in a 25. I have been pulled driving overseas in a money collection tourist trap. The latest activity was when a radar detector misread my speed (at least that’s how the cop explained it to me). Why do some people constantly speed and never get a ticket, while I set my cruise on the speed limit and get caught for the smallest infraction?
God, why are you picking on me?
People often feel God picks on them the same way. How come some people have blatant sin and God still continues to bless them, while you say a word at the wrong time and you feel God’s conviction? Why does God have some on a shorter leash than others?
Beyond the obvious answer that He deals with each of us differently (meaning God is not fair), sometimes the short leash is for those who need it for the calling that’s on their life. Think of Peter. Jesus may have had some harsh words for the Pharisees, but He never addressed them as Satan like He did Peter (Matthew 16:23). All of the disciples ended up deserting Jesus the night he was betrays, but Peter was called out as disowning Jesus (Luke 22:34). Was Jesus being hard on Peter?
No, Jesus was preparing Peter to be the Rock on which He would build His church (Matthew 16:18). If you feel like you are on a short leash, remember that God disciplines those He loves (Hebrews 12:6). He wants you to succeed in who you were created to be. Therefore He forms and fashions you to be prepared.
Still, why are some people on a shorter leash?
Maybe it is in response to your prayers.
Some of us have prayed prayers for greatness in God’s kingdom. “Use me however you want.” “I just want my life to glorify You.”
These are great prayers, but you need to understand that God will prepare you to receive the answers to those prayers. You pray to be more patient, and you start having trying circumstances. You pray to be more loving, and you realize how unloving people are being to you. God answers your prayers by allowing you opportunities to grow.
In the Gospels, James and John had the gall to ask Jesus for the rights to sit at His right and left in the kingdom (Mark 10:5). Jesus didn’t chastise their request, but He did warn them of the consequences of that request. “Are you able to drink of my cup?” In other words, I don’t mind answering that request, but I will need to put you into training to make you ready for it.
Why does James consider it pure joy when he experiences trials of any kind (James 1:2-3)? Because they develop faith and faith is what pleases God (Hebrew 11:6). God works through all of our circumstances for the good… if we let Him (Romans 8:28). Seek God for what He is doing. Talk to Him. Share your frustrated laughter at your short leash. He is still good.
He does not send evil your way. The police car is not a sign of God’s displeasure. But God does work through it all to refine you and create extra blessings.