During my quiet time each day, I read from various different sources in addition to my Bible and current bible study
materials. It is always interesting to me when these sources seem to “align themselves” and speak to me on the same theme. I generally take this as a ‘sign’ to dig a little deeper into this theme and see if there is something that God is trying to say to me or show me.
Last week, two of my devotional readings for the day hovered over the theme of trust and trusting Him. Some quotes from those readings include:
‘Just trust Me in everything.
Help is here all the time.’
‘…simple trust and persistent prayer…’
‘Trust is not a natural response.’
‘Tomorrow is busy worrying about itself. Don’t get tangled up in its worry. Trust Me one day at a time.’
True, I guess, that worry is a symptom of incomplete trust. Because if I truly trusted Him to take care of everything and work things out in His way and His plan, then there would be no reason to worry. But it’s that “free will” business that causes me to fear – I know that He gave humans free will to make their own decisions and go their own way. And I know that I cannot trust humans (myself included!) to make decisions that are completely correct, completely within His will and His plan, and that won’t harm me or others. The vulnerability and frailty in that idea is sometimes overwhelming!
The more I thought on this, the more I realized its truth in my life. I thought of all of the things that I am currently concerned with and worried about – the things that drain the joy out of each day. For me, right now, those items include worry about a couple of relationships and how those issues are going to play out, worry and concern for an upcoming trip that my husband is going to take deep into the jungle (safety), concern for another missionary couple, stress for some issues in the ministry that are particularly difficult right now… I began to analyze each of these to decide exactly what was making me stressed and worried, and the bottom line was basically that (#1) I can’t control the decisions and actions of others, (#2) I have a deep desire to make good decisions regarding all of these issues and want to be within God’s will, but I do not trust myself to always discern those decisions correctly, and (#3) I worry about the impact of my decisions and the decisions of others on the ministry and on other people. I worry that with free will also comes the freedom to make bad choices, accidently (or on purpose) hurt others, make grave mistakes, etc. And this sometimes makes me ‘decision impaired’. Can I change any of this and force people to make good decisions or use their free will wisely? No. But it is true – if I trusted Him more, I would worry less. If I truly believed that He is in control and has a plan, then I could relax a little more. And who couldn’t use a little less worry and stress in life?!
And so I am left with trust and prayer. I’m working on it. It’s hard to let go of some of those things and give them to God with complete trust that He is fully capable of dealing with them. It’s even more difficult to forgive myself when I make bad choices or inadvertently hurt others because I wasn’t 100% in-tune with His plan. As I fall deeper and deeper into step with Him and follow Him more and more closely, I realize just how much more I need to know and just how much further I am from truly understanding Him. So there is definitely more work to be done in my personal trust-and-prayer department! I just pray that the decisions of today will be treated with grace and mercy…
Who am I? In my USA life, I was a teacher in Texas for 15 years. I was also a professional photographer, a Southern Living / Martha Stewart wannabe, a soccer mom, and a short term mission team coordinator / intern director for missions in Mexico... you name it, I probably tried it!
In 2006, my husband Billy and I became cross-cultural workers (CCWs) with TMS Global. For five years, we served in three rural Quechua Wanca villages in the Andes of Peru. And when I say rural, I mean RURAL - like no potty! We have three incredible children... two adult boys who live in Texas, and the Sarah (14) lives with us in whatever country we are serving. I'm still teaching, still taking photos, still leading teams and mentoring, I just do it all in full-time service now! And I'm working hard at giving Southern Living and Martha Stewart a run for their money! I spent my days in Peru learning to live a Quechua lifestyle in a rustic adobe house - cooking Peruvian foods, sewing with Quechua women, raising my chickens and goats and pigs, and planting my gardens. Now I live my life in small town Spain, serving other cross-cultural workers and immigrant peoples, writing, and trying to figure out what life looks like for a Texas girl serving Christ in Southern Europe. Life in His service is AWESOME! I'm happy to share it with you here... Enjoy!