Have you ever gone through stressful moments, maybe weeks or months of craziness, and you thought to yourself, “I didn’t sign up for this?” Chances are it’s one of those comments that comes up when you feel like you’ve tried everything to make things better, but nothing helped. Recently, I found myself uttering those words, and I immediately felt dismayed. Let me explain.

Many of us approach new opportunities with a very optimistic sense that finally, things are going to right themselves around. We start a new job and think, this one is going to be the best one ever! We move to a new city, and we imagine things will be marvelous. We get married and we can only imagine the best that is yet to be. For a while, we enjoy those beautiful times and are grateful. Of course, life happens. Things change. The job is good, but nobody told you all the hidden agendas that were also going to be part of what you were asked to do. The city was great, but it took a lot of searching to get fully aligned and established there. The marriage was sweet, but you didn’t really know one another as well as you thought and so there was a bigger learning curve than you expected. 

All of these are true, but I think believers can take all this on with a different perspective.  When we signed up with God, and especially with our faith in Jesus, then we signed up for the whole thing. We signed up for whatever God knew we could handle, and anything that took us by surprise, did not surprise God, and so we learned how to manage it. We got what we signed up for because all of life, any aspect of life has its ups and downs, its awesome over the moon times, and its flaming disasters. Everyone lives exactly like this, and no one escapes it. Some may have more of something you imagine you’re missing, some may suffer far more than you ever will, but the gift of faith is that you signed an eternal agreement. That means you always have somewhere to go when life gets stormy. You always have someone to listen to you when you come to the end of your own resources. When you get to the place where things feel like it’s not what you signed up for, then turn it over to God. He signed up with you and nothing will change that. He sees your stress, your pain, your doubt, and anything else that makes you feel like things are haywire. 

So, here’s what you do. You pray and you thank God for that job that actually helped move you into a far better career path than you ever dreamed. You remember the amazing things you learned by living in a city that was so different than the place where you grew up, and you praise God for giving you a spouse who honors you and challenges you and loves you more than anyone else ever has. With all that, you realize that you have been blessed with far more than you signed up for.

Frustration may give you pause now and then, but your reality is not just fixed on today; it’s taking you through eternity.  Sign up for that!