About a year ago, God answered my prayers in a way I couldn’t have imagined. He move me to a town where I knew one person, an hour away from friends, family, church. It was the next step on a journey of faith that has taught me so much. In this unfamiliar territory, God has taught me what it means to truly trust Him. He’s shown me that true faith isn’t believing things will work out the way I want, it’s believing that He is in control and his plan is best.
My life has not turned out the way I expected or hoped or dreamed or wanted. I never wanted to have to rely on others for…well, almost everything. I believed when I said, “God will provide” that He would provide jobs to provide money to care for my family. I was one of those who truly believed if I would “test The Lord” by tithing, He would send me more than enough money to cover the bare necessities. I believed that, if I was faithful, He would bless me. And yes, by bless, I meant financial windfalls. What a hard lesson this has been! How smug are we in this “first world” to think that blessing comes in the form of stuff! What about missionaries who have to trust God for every thing, every second of the day, sometimes not even knowing where their next meal will come from? Or truly godly men and women who live in third world countries? If they don’t have an abundance of stuff, if their house isn’t nice…or even a house!…does that mean God hasn’t blessed them? The old me would’ve said, “yeah, but…that’s them, that’s there.” Now, I can honestly say I no longer believe my old version of what a blessing is. I have never been poorer. I have never been more dependent on those God would send my way. And I have never been more humiliated. I walk this path, day by day, not knowing when it will take me to a better place and mostly perplexed about what God is doing. Some days, I’m certain that I must be close to the end of this overgrown, weed-laden, briar-bearing path and that, very soon, I’m going to step out into a beautiful field of wildflowers, bathed by sunshine. Other days, I’m not so sure because I can’t see past the here and now. But, I’ve learned what Paul said, to be content in all circumstances. Okay…maybe not all! But, I’m getting there! Either way, whether this path ends today or next week or never, I have learned this…
I am blessed beyond measure! I know truly, for the first time, God will provide. This journey has been long and hard. I walk it one step at a time, one day at a time, trusting God’s Word to be true. He promises in His Word that He will care for us, that He will provide for our needs, that He will never leave us or forsake us, that He is enough. He is good, all the time!
I want you to know…no matter what your situation today, no matter the depth of your pain, no matter the extent of your sin, no matter the size of your house or the shape of your car, no matter if life has turned out the way you expected or not…God’s promises are true. He sees, He knows, He cares. Lean into Him.
Today, Psalm 37 seems to sum up how I’m feeling. I recommend you read the whole thing, in any version you like, but here are a few of my favorite verses, in NASB.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it. 37:5
Better is the little of the righteous
Than the abundance of many wicked. 37:16
The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.
I have been young and now I am old,
Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
Or his descendants begging bread. 37:23-25
Wait for the Lord and keep His way,
And He will exalt you to inherit the land;
When the wicked are cut off, you will see it. 37:34
Be blessed and tell somebody you love them! And maybe remind them that God does too!