Today’s devotional from Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence, by Sarah Young, has been a reminder to me, yet again, to TRUST!
Don’t be sad.
Don’t shake your fist and shout to the heavens.
Don’t isolate yourself.
Don’t fall back into worshipping the things of this world, as if they could provide any lasting comfort for you.
“When you start to feel stressed, let those feelings alert you to your need for Me.”
How many times has God said that very same thing to me over the past three years?
Last night on my way home from work, my pastor hit me up on the cell.
“Do you have a minute to chat?”
I did…but first, prayer!
Why is it we always think when a call comes in that it’s bad news.
Remember, Lori, I am working out all things for you good. Do you believe it? Will you trust Me?
I’ve been trying to make a decision for a few months now. It involves pushing down the hurts of the past and trusting God to have my back in this moment. Not just in this moment, though, but in all the moments that have yet to be lived. Next week. Next month. Next year. The decision I’m making will have an impact on me and others far into the future if I remain in this world. It is a big one; one my pastor had the courage to broach with me a few months ago. One I was hoping we wouldn’t have to talk about. One I wanted to ignore, not address, push to the back of the line.
The ironic thing about these conversations I’ve been having with my pastor is that God’s been having them with me. Long before pastor’s calls. Long before we sat down together, and I discussed my reluctance/resistance/rebellion. Long before I shared my story and exposed those wounds again, and felt weak, powerless, and unable to direct this chorus on my own.
Hi, I’m Lori, a control freak who likes to drive my own bus, thank you very much!
Here’s the thing, though: God had been convicting me long before pastor and I talked to consider something I didn’t want to consider. A needed change in my life. Mind you, I did not see it as needed. That was all God. His idea, not mine. His prompting, not mine.
His question: Do you trust Me?!
I’ve been learning to trust God over the last three years. That sounds awful, I know, and I hate to have to admit it, but it’s true. Even though I’ve been following a spiritual path of enlightenment for decades, rarely have I let go of control long enough to really trust God with the outcome for anything in my life. It feels safer to me if I drive. And while I’m willing to invite Jesus along for the journey, there are rare instances when I take him up on His invitation for me to ride along with him. I will say that regardless of where I am driving, or where Jesus drives us, the outcome is the same. What God has prepared for me, no one can thwart. Not even me! So, I end up in the same place that I would have ended up in the end, anyway, but for some reason (pride, idolatry, self-care), I feel safer when I’m doing the directing. Cue Job’s story. Sound familiar? For, who among us doesn’t want things to go well for us ALL THE TIME? Who among us doesn’t want it done OUR WAY-ALL THE TIME? Who among us doesn’t think we KNOW what’s BEST—ALL THE TIME!!
So, I’m “driving” merrily along when this thing happens. God starts speaking to my soul in a variety of ways. The same topic every time but coming at me from different angles. And my pastor gets caught up in that, because of course he’s praying all the time about things and seeking God’s will all the time, and doing brave and scary things all the time, and God has pointed him in my direction. Drats!
I try to deflect. I try to joke it all off and downplay the thing. I try to convince pastor that we don’t need to talk, to meet, to probe…it’s okay if we put it off. What I’m really screaming inside is: I DON’T WANT TO GO ANYWHERE NEAR THIS WOUND, AND BELIEVE ME, NEITHER DO YOU!
Pastor is deaf to that. Insistent, although gently so, and remember, God is insisting too…the whole time…but I don’t think pastor knows that. I don’t think.
Sidebar: I’m so glad I’m not called to minister in the ways pastors are called to minister! How do these gals and guys do that job? How do they trust at such a deep level? How do they dare? They have got to be the bravest people on the face of the earth. Seriously, poking at hurty places all the time. Not for this girl! I run from it. Sooo respecting the job these frocked ones do each day. I don’t know how they do it, but I respect the heavens out of them for doing it.
Back on point. The call comes in. “Can we chat?” Yes. But, prayer first. (Thank you, Danielle, for that sign. It’s on the shelf staring at me every day, reminding me about what’s primary. Thank you!!!).
The phone rings. He’s checking. Are we going to do this thing? Am I ready?
Yes… Yes. YES!!!
Truth?! I’m exhausted from the hounds of heaven chasing me. I’m sick to death of being challenged and afraid. I’m tired of putzing around with things that God deems important. I still have my doubts that they are, but apparently God thinks so, so IF I TRUST HIM I have to do something about all this attention He’s giving to this challenge in my life.
I’m not 100% certain about this, just so you know, but God is asking me to TRUST HIM, so I am taking the action necessary to do that.
Not 100% certain. But doing what I’ve been asked to do.
Isn’t that the substance of faith? Isn’t that spiritual growth? Isn’t that trust—doing what I’ve been asked to do by the One who gave up everything for me? Gave me this life. Gave me love when I needed it. Made me one of His kids? Not an orphan anymore. Isn’t that faith?
“Do not resist or run from the difficulties in your life. These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth.”
I hear you, Lord. Still not 100% sure about this, but faith + obedience = blessings, right? Trusting you my math is right this time.
Is there something God has asked you to do, but you haven’t wanted to do? What have you been willing to do, that you didn’t want to do?