A true story…
She was told to never walk on the Indian path, but the sisters decided to race home after they spent the day at Gerritsen Beach in Brooklyn; the forbidden path promised a shortcut. She felt quite confident in her independence (at the rough age of 12) to win the race, so she separated from her sisters and speedily began her journey. In what seemed like a moment, she was stuck; quicksand engulfed her body and she knew it was a desperate situation. She clung to the one patch of grass in reach. The sand covered her entire body, to her chin, with the exception of the one arm that clung to the grassy patch as her lifeline. She can remember the face of a neighborhood girl watching in horror from a distance. The little blonde eye-witness ran away.
A young man in his twenties came to the scene. Who was he? Did the little blonde girl send for him? It didn’t matter to her because as their eyes met, she knew he was there to help. He said: “Give me your hand.” Her eyes widened to suggest that there was no possible way that she would let go. What if he didn’t grasp her hand when she reached? What if she would sink entirely?
What other choice did she have?
She must trust. Adrenaline pumping, heart-pounding sensations radiated throughout her body as she approached the moment that took all of her internal strength and focus to accomplish. This was her crucial moment, a now or never deal. She trusted. She let go and she reached up.
He rescued her.
She remembers barely muttering the words “thank you”
as she trembled with a rush of emotion
…and continued her journey home.
She is my nearly 90 year young grandma.
God desires for His children to trust His Mighty Hand.
I’m not Alice in Wonderland, nor Dorothy in Oz. I don’t always desire adventure or want to explore. I don’t think I would’ve ventured down the forbidden trail of quicksand as my grandma attempted. The unfamiliar places of life overwhelm me. I long for assurance, security, and peace in the journey far beyond adventure and exploration. I want to victoriously overcome and not cave to the overwhelming possibilities or fears of the unknown. I’m willing to learn lessons along the way to a destination, but oh yes, I want that assurance and security!
Is it possible? This life is full of disappointment, unexpected struggles or loss, and full of hurting and sinful people who hurt others. Everyone experiences the painful, the hurtful, the heart breaks… and the result is lack of trust. It’s difficult to trust in an untrustworthy world.
I cannot trust in man alone (because there will be disappointments).
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the LORD.” (Jeremiah 17:5 NIV)
Nor can I trust the best provisions of man for the fulfillment of the deep longings in my heart, including that assurance and security I so much desire!
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God. (Psalm 20:7 NIV)
I’m a child of God settling my life and heart in the palm of His Great hand.
Do I trust Him?
Jonah in the whale, Daniel in the lion’s den, Joseph in slavery and prison, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace; the disciples as they watched their leader die on a cross…
I’m sure the characters felt overwhelmed and fearful, but when everything else was stripped away, what choice remained?
Trust God or not?
Job piercingly states:
Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (Job 13:15 KJV)
Be His friend unto death, or not?
The once highly favored and successful Job had all stripped from him, including the lives of his family members, his property, his health, and the loyalty of his friends. He stood falsely accused of unconfessed sin that his friends claimed must be the reason for his loss and pain. His friends didn’t trust him and didn’t encourage him. Job could’ve lost all hope. He knew that God could allow him to die, but he put his trust in God, maintained his position of integrity, and continued to plead with God. Job sought to understand God, and God granted revelation of Himself to Job.
Job’s depth and understanding came with a great price, but God chose to honor His faithful servant and doubly restore all unto him.
God is with His faithful servants in the beautiful places of deliverance, restoration, and blessing. He seeks to be honored and glorified in the lovely seasons of life.
God is with His faithful servants in the ugliest of places… in the belly of a whale, in the den of lions, in slavery and prison, in a fiery furnace, in false accusation, in grief, in loss, in illness, disappointment, and sinking sand. He wants to be trusted. He wants to be honored and glorified as He’s trusted and called upon.
In this life, can I trust God is a Healer when He hasn’t healed me or someone I love? Can I trust He answers prayers while in waiting for the answer? Can I trust He is good when the bad happens?
How can I trust Him? The only way to trust Him is to spend the time knowing Him. Faithful prayer and Bible reading is the way to the secrets of His heart. Trust cannot be built in any relationship without the time dedicated to the other person. It’s the same with God and it will be difficult to trust Him if I don’t know Him. I read in His word the sweet encouragement to call on Him in the day of trouble. I know His word on the matter; I see His heart in the matter. He wants me to call on Him in trouble … so indeed, I will!
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. (Psalm 50:15 KJV)
There is so much to juggle in life, why not entrust it all to His skillful hand? I stand in a place needing the peace and assurance for the future, for the lives, health, and provision for my husband, children, and other loved ones. I can only stand secure when I first let go of my fears; my trust in man; favorable circumstances; any sense of entitlement to the promises of God for having previously suffered and remaining faithful through the trials – I must let go of it all. Absolutely all of it must go, and then I can extend my hand upward to God and allow Him to reach down and rescue me from all that entangles, engulfs, and entraps me in lack of trust of Him.
I otherwise feel like I’m sinking fast in sand.
He is gentle. He is loving. He is kind. He sweetly promises and reminds that…
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV)
The great men and women of the Bible first grew in their faith. They developed a strong relationship with God even when they didn’t have all of the facts about what would happen as they moved forward. I love the story of Abraham when he was called to venture into unknown territory. Hebrews 11:8 says that he “obeyed and went even though he did not know where he was going.”
Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1) and trust is knowing the facts and odds are potentially lined up against you, but being willing to take a leap of faith anyway… because God is God. He is the Great I AM. He is trustworthy. Period.
The new seasons of life with unfamiliar territory of emotions and questions require new levels of trust, but also bring new revelation of who He is. Embrace the opportunity to know Him more and trust Him to guide.
I honestly trust my car GPS to get me to my desired destination. Likewise, God is my Guide. He knows the way through life and the secrets of life and the heart. He knows the way to eternity and He provides direction through His word. He promises to lead and guide through life and to eternal destiny. I trust He knows the best path for my life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV)
We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NLT)
He furthermore promises restoration in the next life for all of those that faithfully love, trust, and serve Him in this life. In the circumstances of this life when promises are not fulfilled, we can rest assured that He will fulfill every longing, reveal all things in truth, and reward in eternity.
I want to trust Him right here and right now, so I will seek Him… to know Him… to trust Him.
I will trust in the Mighty Hand of God. I will trust in HIM.
For such is God, Our God forever and ever; He will guide us until death. (Psalm 48:14 NASB)
How abundant are the good things that you have stored up for those who fear you, that you bestow in the sight of all, on those who take refuge in you. (Psalm 31:19 NIV)
Planting God’s Seeds of Hope
This post was written by Brook Joy. She writes articles on Faith, Life, Culture, and her personal journey with Health (IBD). Brook is a chocolate-loving wife & homeschooling mama (and a Christian for 20+ years)… planting and growing God’s seeds of hope at missionzera.com
It always feels good to have goals and a plan in place to accomplish those goals. We tend to spend weeks, months or years writing and fine-tuning all the things we want to accomplish.
It’s very time-consuming deciding on a destination or end goal and mapping out just the right path to get there, only to find that somewhere in the journey it wasn’t the direction we were supposed to go.
That kind of revelation can sometimes bring us to a grinding halt. And then we find ourselves wondering, ‘Now what? Lord, what do you mean that’s not the direction you intended me to go?’ After all, my plan was going so well.
Like many of you I’ve been that person. I’ve had to change direction in the middle of something small and I’ve had to change direction in the midst of something of huge proportions. Are the lessons the same? For the most part they are. Are the gamut of emotions involved the same? Absolutely not.
Some of the journeys we have traveled have been long and arduous and planned to a tee. Some of the journeys have been short field trips; the kind that were easy to adjust and we could change course in an instant. But regardless of what the goals or destinations were I’ve always made a point to rely on Him for His will to be done. Psalm 37:23 tells us, “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm.”
Isn’t it reassuring to know that Jesus knows something we don’t? He knows what’s ahead and what’s changed that He no longer wants us to be a part of. Things could be rocking along fine for us and in the words of author, Suzanne Eller, in The Mended Heart, ‘Jesus can stop us with a blazing light of glory and a voice of thunder because He knows something we do not.’
Of course it’s exciting when we pray through a series of journeys and find the open doors and the pathways have been made smooth for us to move through. The challenging part is when we realize we’ve almost reached our destination only to find the door has been firmly closed on us.
That’s the time to re-evaluate our plan and our goals. That’s the time when we find ourselves at a crossroads and we either decide we are flexible enough to make the minor adjustment or totally change our thought process to a full-blown u-turn.
It is so important for us to have intimate conversations with our Heavenly Father. And it’s essential to hear God’s clear directions in the middle of our selfish prayers wanting what we want. His word tells us in Psalm 32:8, “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.”
It’s difficult to understand why our journey has been re-routed. But it is comforting to know that God wants His very best for us. Why would we get in the way of His best?
We don’t always understand the big picture and we certainly don’t understand the reasoning behind the twists and turns of life. But one thing we can be certain of is our ‘God wants us to pursue and embrace things of great worth, rather than those that hold little value.’ (Suzanne Eller, The Mended Heart)
Even though I struggle to understand all that He has for me, I know without a doubt He has my absolute best at heart. That makes me smile all over. And it reminds me how much better I handle things when I have perspective and peace about the situation.
I’ll be praying for you.
This post was written by Mitzi Neely. Mitzi is an inspiring motivational speaker, a gifted soloist, an accomplished seamstress, and a dedicated career educator. She encourages women of all ages through her experiences and shortcomings. She has been blessed with a passion and love for people that stretches across the generations. Her heart is to lighten your load, while conveying her message that nobody’s perfect. So often God places certain people in your life at just the right moment; whether the reason is to help teach you, help you grow in your walk with Him, or to simply love and lift up others. Whatever your struggle or need, you will find encouragement through her words. Follow Mitzi at peacefullyimperfect.net because the joy of the journey is learning His word together.