Now that I’m 25, I want to reflect on the things I learned at age 24.
Year 24 was a year of peaks and valleys for me. It started strong in the first few months with receiving my mom’s life insurance check of twelve grand; but as the months progressed, I tried finding ways to advance my poetry career while enjoying the benefits of living on my own in Jacksonville, Florida. Unfortunately, things quickly went south as I bit more than I can chew, trying to find creative ways of making money as a poet but always fell short. Then, Thanksgiving rolled around. My money was getting low, so I got scolded for an hour by Godmother on the topics of money and adulting, and I went through a deep depression on Thanksgiving Day.
From November ’till now, it’s been an uphill battle finding financial security, but here are some key things I learned at age 24:
1. Never Jump Ahead Of God: This one was huge for me because there were so many times I prayed about something, but instead of waiting for God to give me an answer, I did it my way and ended up living with regret. So now I know to pray about something and wait on God for an answer before taking action. That doesn’t mean we sit and do nothing, but it means we diligently seek God until He gives us an answer.
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
– Psalms 27:14 NLT
2. Waiting On God Is Not Passive: As I said in my first lesson, waiting on God is not sitting and doing nothing. Waiting on God means you seek God for His wisdom by praying, reading His Word, and meditating on His Word, etc. Getting deep in Scripture is a grind, especially when we have many other things to distract us. Satan loves to keep us idle while we’re waiting for a blessing, so we must keep our minds occupied with the things of God. Serving others helps eliminate the possible distractions in our lives. Serving at church or serving your local community in ways you can keep your mind busy while waiting, especially if you’re unemployed or self-employed. That doesn’t mean we should be pressured to make a hasty decision regarding finding work, but we should be doing something productive.
3. Beware Of Peer-Pressure: People will try to give you ideas on what you should do, but not every good idea is God’s idea. They may be well-meaning and sometimes may even be Christian, but they are not God. Throughout these past seven months, I tried listening to everyone’s advice except for God’s, and it cost me big-time. I applied to multiple jobs, tried numerous government programs, but none of it worked. I concluded that instead of trying things and seeing what sticks, I was going to wait for God to give me direction before taking action on the things I prayed about. People will use the “faith without works is dead” argument or “a man doesn’t work, a man shouldn’t eat” argument. God wants us to work, yes, but God wants us to take action in His will, not ours. The way you can stay busy while waiting on God for a job is by serving (like I mentioned earlier) by not asking what can you do for me but what can I do for you? Let God take care of things you prayed about while you focus on being a servant to others in any way, shape, or form on the things you haven’t prayed about.
4. Time Never Runs Out On God: No matter how desperate the situation, maybe time never runs out on God. It’s easy to rush God when we have deadlines to meet, but God can override those deadlines when you trust in Him and remain still. I was supposed to be evicted on June 10, but by God’s grace, my landlord extended my time here.
Those are the 4 lessons I learned at age 24. I hope this blog post blesses you to those who are struggling to find God’s will. I believe that year 25 will be sweeter than year 24.