This time of year people are often creating resolutions, or revising them. I don’t plan to revisit my same old resolutions—the ones I make every year and never seem to stick with—but I DO plan to focus on looking outside of myself, to be more proactive in reaching out to others. As a writer, home schooling mom and as an introvert, my life at home is comfortable. Maybe too comfortable, you know what I mean? I need to get uncomfortable and get out to meet my neighbors and look for opportunities to help others, pray for them, lead them to the Lord and teach them His ways. In other words, make disciples. After all, isn’t that the great commission?
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen
Matthew 28: 18-30 (KJV Public Domain)
I could almost say my word for the year is outreach. But I know without a doubt the most important word I’ve been given is TRUST. My life is filled with stories of faith, of how God has taken care of us, and come through. How He’s led us in miraculous ways. So I was surprised to find out this last year, when it seemed like I was on a roller coaster (and I’m still on it, by the way), how much my faith could be shaken. I’ve been someone who could KNOW without a doubt things would work out this way or that. But not this year.
My faith has been shaken because none of the usual things seemed to work. I realized there wasn’t anything I could do. I can’t pray harder or longer or have more faith. Do I believe these things make a difference? YES! I believe God hears my prayers and He does act, and He even changes his mind. He did in the Bible, so I know He can and will. And I know when He plants something inside me that I can believe it will happen. God is in control yes, but He asks us to join Him in changing the world. We have free will so we can choose to follow, choose to make a difference, or not. Choose to work against His will.
So in that way God doesn’t move us around like pawns on a chess board.
Still, in 2014, my faith, built on a lifetime of experience with God, has been shaken and even tossed out the window. It’s been a wild, adventurous and very uncomfortable ride, until finally I just gave up and told Him that I trusted Him. No matter how it turns out, I trust Him.
I hadn’t realized I’d been in a wrestling match with God!
So this year, maybe I have two words—outreach and trust—but mostly if I focus on the one, the other will follow. God wants me to trust Him blindly, if you will. He wants me to trust Him no matter how bleak things look.
What about you? Have you had struggles that challenged your faith recently? I’d love to hear from you.
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