Some time ago I posted about Jesus’s question to Paul, “‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads’” (Acts 26:14 NASB).

(If you want to check out that post, click on goads.)

That verse and what I’d said in the post came to mind the last few days. Jesus’s words, of course, refer to Saul’s persecution of the church and Saul’s resistance of salvation. But I felt like it also could apply to us Christians when we fight against God’s will or when we don’t know God’s will and we scramble trying to make something happen.

The second scenario is what has been happening the last few months and looking back I can identify how I was “kicking against the goads.” Larry and I made our plans to visit our daughter and her family in Washington state for two months. Just like last summer, we wanted to be with family and get out of the heat of the Southern California desert. It worked last summer to stay with our daughter for the whole time but this time we wanted to rent somewhere for most of the time.

Larry took on the assignment of finding a place to rent and I frequently asked him how things were going. I was amazed to hear that he was having trouble finding someplace to rent for a month. That just didn’t make sense to me. Certainly there was something. If only he would look more diligently, I was sure he would find something. What were we going to do? I felt tense. I was trying to fight against becoming a nag but I found myself urging him to take care of it! 

When he finally found something that rented by the day/week/month, I was relieved. But then he found out the rental’s schedule wasn’t available the whole time we needed it. I felt tense and asked Larry more urgently, “What are we going to do?”

Then it dawned on me. “I’m supposed to relax and live by faith. We’re not supposed to know what’s going to happen beforehand. God will reveal the plan in His timing. Why not see this as an adventure?”

I was excited. I didn’t have to nag Larry. I was kicking against the goads of God’s direction and seeking security through having a plan. I was fighting and kicking and demanding and not trusting God. And I was being a bother to my husband, mistrusting his concern for our welfare!

I relaxed by trusting God who wanted our welfare and knew the plan. We committed to rent for a week and see what else we could find later. 

But God knew we should not make a commitment to rent for the duration we thought. He was closing doors and preventing us finding places because He knew the future.

Now so do we. We were needed at our daughter’s home more than we thought in order to take care of our grandson. And we were in the rental for a week and now we need to start driving home this week because my mom has some health issues. If we’d made a commitment to rent for a month, we would have had to cancel and lose money.

And do you know what’s funny? While here in Washington, Larry has continued to research places to stay short term in the future and he has found lots of suitable places. 

How does God do that? How does He cloud the vision? Block opportunities? 

And why do I kick against the goads? Fight Him? Distrust Him? Demand there be a plan?

When it’s much more exciting to walk by faith and see God’s plan come together step by step?

Is there something you’re kicking against? Do the “goads” prick you but you just keep kicking anyway? Why? Wouldn’t it be more adventurous to walk by faith and trust your Almighty God for His plan to be fulfilled? Or course, I’m not saying we don’t make plans. We should. But when things get blocked over and over again, maybe the Spirit is leading. We don’t need to become stressed.

These are questions I’ll ask myself the next time I start kicking. Please join me.