It is blessedly quiet here this morning. All the puppies are sleeping, including the one who sneaks into our bedroom when I get up and hides herself in Prissy’s bed, making what I call a Puppy Burrito of herself. Whatever. If it makes her happy, it makes me happy.
I decide to take advantage of this gift of peace and quiet and see if I can turn some thoughts rolling around in my mind into a blog. Assessing the situation and the probability of success, I tiptoe to the couch and slowly pull my iPad to myself. I turn and very s-l-o-w-l-y sit back down on Ted’s Lazyboy, where any sleeping dogs can awaken to see me and know that I have NOT abandoned them, nor do I need them to secure the area and protect me. Lord, have mercy.
So my question for the day is, How are you at trusting in God?
If you’re like me you’ll quickly reply, Doing great thank you!
Perfect! Now show me what that looks like!
And this, friends, is where the rubber hits the road...visible actions that show what we really believe, whether it’s an honest, complete, trust and reliance in God, or a well-held-onto sense of self-reliance that ebbs and flows with our emotional state.
As the Good Book says, As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. For all the world to see...
I heard a sermon last week, the gist of it being, ‘What one thing do you need to change in order to live the life you were called to live?’
At the end of it, my husband and I looked at each other and he said, Stop working! which I completely understand as who doesn’t want to be free of all burdens to live a carefree and flexible lifestyle? Well, unfortunately that’s not going to happen, I replied, doing everything I could not to roll my eyes. He had a point but I’m thinking that’s not what the Priest was asking...he was looking for something obtainable. Sure my husband could stop working, but I don’t think it would end well for us...
So when my husband turned and asked me what my one thing was, I was hard pressed to identify it. I told him I need to think about it.
So I did. For all of one day.
You see, I had a decision to make...a time sensitive decision, meaning I couldn’t ignore it or put it off indefinitely: Should I or should I not go with my sister to Nevada/Utah for a week in October? My nephew, Zachary, who with his dance partner does this amazing thing on ice skates, would be competing in Las Vegas. This trip would be an opportunity for me to see him, and then from there to head to Zion and Bryce National Parks for a week with my sister. Knowing how much I love her and him and the Southwest, it really shouldn’t have been that hard of a decision, right?
Well, it was. As I looked at all the pros and cons of this opportunity, the What-Ifs began their endless chanting...clamoring for my attention...reminding me of all the things that could go wrong while I was away. And not only to me, but to my husband, my dogs, my home, and on and on until I had pretty much established plane crashes, traffic accidents, sickness, starvation, and everything short of a nuclear Holocaust or Yellowstone erupting occuring while I was away.
I became tense and snappish, with depression trying to squeeze its way in to join the party.
It was then that I knew, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that the one thing I need to get rid of is Fear. If I ever want to live a life of peace and trust and joy, it had to go.
Well, it just so happens (read: Divine Providence) that I am leading a Zoom study now on the book Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen and the current chapter is...ready? Unafraid. I do believe that there are no coincidences that are not Divinely inspired. This one chapter had a destiny to be read by me for such a time as this.
The premise of the chapter was simple. When you feel the weight of Fear settling on you…and your mind begins to spiral… Stop. Look. And Listen.
Stop. Whatever you’re doing, take the time to acknowledge the Fear. Don’t let it skulk around the edges of your mind, shredding your peace.
Look. What lie is Fear telling you? It’s so important to identify the lie so that you can…
Listen. And ask the Holy Spirit what God has to say about that lie. And then go to battle against the one who only comes to seek and kill and destroy...your life, your peace, your hope.
It’s that easy! The enemy knows it but sure doesn’t want us to know it also.
For me, it was believing the lie that I was in control of my life, and only by being in control was I safe...and not only me, but everyone and everything I loved. It was up to me to keep it all together.
That God is Lord over all and that all things...everything...are in His control. All He asks of me is to trust and rest in Him and His faithfulness and love for me, no matter what comes my way.
With tears running down my face, I humbly confessed this revelation to my husband, emphasizing how sick and tired I was of being held captive to Fear...afraid to try new things...to take chances. I desperately wanted to come out of hiding and live again.
Being the godly man he is, he looked me straight in the eye and said, “Now you have to go. Just to show you are no longer fearful!”
You gotta love this man!
So yes, I did decide to go on the trip with my sister. All my fears and insecurities melted away before the trust I placed in God. I chose to rest in the truth that even if the worst happens, God will still be in the midst of it. And if the best happens? We’ll be 2 crazy almost-old ladies singing off key as we drive, stopping at every unique coffee cafe, eating Southwest food for every meal, and standing side by side in awe of the incredible, heart-gripping beauty around us.
And to think I almost said, No.
Sitting here today, encouraged that the puppies slept the whole time I wrote, this was what I opened to in my Bible. It was like a hug from God. A hug saying, Welcome Home, my Beloved. I’m so glad you’re here...
You who fear the Lord, wait for his mercy; do not stray,
or else you may fall.
You who fear the Lord, trust in him, and your reward will not be lost.
You who fear the Lord, hope for good things, for lasting joy and mercy.
Consider the generations of old and see: has anyone trusted in the Lord and been disappointed?
Or has anyone persevered in the fear of the Lord and been forsaken?
Or has anyone called upon him and been neglected?
For the Lord is compassionate and merciful; he forgives sins and saves in time of distress.
Ben Sira 2:7-11
In a chapter entitled Trust in God.