A Pre-Programmed Note

As you may know, Amanda and I are in El Salvador right now.  While here, we do not have internet access.  Fortunately for those keeping up with your readings, WordPress has a nifty feature that lets me write a post that will be published at a predetermined time (pro-tip: almost all of the posts that I write are actually written a week ahead of time, which gives me time to think about what I am writing, or at least that’s the idea, and also makes sure that I don’t forget to post if I am busy on a Thursday or something).

While I was writing this and being conscious of the fact that I will not be here to see it launch,but had to plan ahead even more so than I usually do, I was acutely aware of God’s plan for our lives.  It is interesting how he plans things the way that He does.  I have heard countless stories of how little, seemingly random instances have lead a person to be prepared for what God has in store for them in the future.

Amanda is one of those cases.  She was not someone who thought she would want to work with kids, but through random occurrences, ended up being prepared to work with kids and now she is preparing to work with them as a career (there is more to this story, but I will let her tell it).

I am another one of those cases, though I often forget it.  Even as we are going on this trip to El Salvador, I feel prepared because of my experiences in other missions fields.  More on my story in another post too, I suppose.

You are another one of those cases.  Be encouraged because God is preparing you and that is exciting news.  He has a plan for you (Jeremiah 29:11) and he is working all things for good (Romans 8:28).  You may not recognise it now but maybe in 20, 30, 90 years.  Or maybe never.  Regardless, God is still working all things for the good of those who love him.  I believe that when the bible says all, he means all, and that is one of the greatest encouragements that we can get!

 

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Trusting God Hurts.

What does it mean to trust God? We often say things like “if we trust God, then everything will be alright”.  This is 100% true, but probably not in the way that you expect.

If we trust in God He will care for you, it may change your perspective of God and/or the situation, but it will not make everything “alright” as we may think of it.  Jeremiah 29:11 is just as true for Daniel in the lines den, Shadrach Meshach and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and Jesus on the cross.   Gods plan, (and by extension our trust in that plan) is for our good, because He loves us, but sometimes the things that are for our good can be painful.  Sometimes, that means ripping our safety net out from underneath us.  Sometimes, trusting God means having to step away from our place of comfort.  Sometimes, living according to Gods plan can be painful, hurting us deeply.

This is a thought that I have had for a while and would love to hear your perspective on it. Please comment on this blog to continue this conversation.

Recently, I have taken this idea to the next step.  I often think about what an ideal Christian life is or what it should look like; rarely do I actually take these ideas and test them against what God has said, and then (this is the part that I usually fail at) let it transform my life.  The question God recently confronted me with was: What am I not trusting God with? What am I clinging to that is preventing Him from using me more fully?

If I am honest, I am still not sure that I have a good answer to that question.  The hard part is that, I think, the reason that I do not have a good answer is because I have not let go of whatever thing I am clinging to enough to see that I was clinging in the first place.

Okay, so that seems convoluted, but imagine that you have are blindfolded and someone hands you an object and tells you to hold it close, and don’t let go.  Now you take the blindfold off and continue with life, clinging to this object obscured from view by your chin.  It is not until you can let go that you can see what you are clinging to.

I am going to continue to search my heart to see what it preventing me from more fully trusting God, using Psalm 139 as my guide for my prayer:

Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me, and know my anxieties;
And see if there is any wicked way in me,
And lead me in the way everlasting.

Will you join me in the search for the things that we are clinging to that prevents you from trusting God?