Trusting in the Rock

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On Saturday, Jason and I took Barnabas out for a hike.  We hoped to get away from all the stress and decision-making taking place in our lives right now as we prepare to sell our home and purchase a motorhome for full-time deputation. Overall, it served its purpose, but more than that, God used a moment of that hike to point out a hard truth in my life. Allow me to set the scene.

We came to a water crossing. The stream was wide but not deep if one planned his steps carefully. Barnabas crossed first. No big deal. Jason followed, and I was next. I did well until I reached the last step, which was more like a leap to the river bank. I made it across but landed in the gushy sand that sank and squished as soon as my foot made contact. This is the conversation that followed:

Me: “Ew, I stepped in the gushy stuff.”

Jason: “I used that rock just under the surface so I could step far enough to be on the other side of the gushy stuff.”

Me: “I guess I didn’t see the rock.”

Jason: “It wasn’t a rock you would trust.” (He knows I’m very particular about what size and shape of rock I’m willing to put my weight on.)

Me: “Oh, well, I’d rather step in the gushy stuff than stand on a rock I don’t trust.”

At that moment, it was if those words flew out of my mouth then circled back and hit me right between the eyes. How often do I settle for the “gushy stuff” in life because I’m not trusting in the Rock? How many times do I take flying leaps instead of standing firm on the Rock? Why is it so hard for me to trust the Lord? He has come through time and time again. He has proven His power, His love, and His goodness. Yet, I still bypass His way for my way. I step around Him to take the path I see, the one that looks best to me.

As I discovered later that day, my trust issue with the Lord has wreaked havoc in all my relationships. Not only have I stopped trusting God, but I’ve also stopped trusting others. I expect the worst out of people and situations and have fallen for the lie that the only one I can depend on is me. When I realized this, I had to laugh out loud. Not because it was funny, but because it was so ironic. I know I’m a mess. I know me better than anyone, so surely, I understand I cannot depend on myself. Yet, I do. It makes no sense. And all of it began when I refused to trust God with my life.

Maybe you can relate. Perhaps you know what it’s like to follow your own plans and try to solve your own problems. Maybe you, too, live a life of fear, worry, and stress rather than trust, peace, and joy. If so, I will tell you the same thing the Lord recently showed me—it doesn’t have to be that way! It’s a matter of choice. We can choose to stand on the Rock or to make our own way through the gushy stuff. We can choose to trust God instead of fretting over every detail of our lives. We have a choice, so what’s it going to be—the Solid Rock or the sinking sand?

For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
— Psalm 31:3
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
— Psalm 40:2

When I Can't See - A Repost

I apologize that I haven’t gotten any posts out this week. If I told you everything that was going on around here lately, you probably wouldn’t believe me. I will tell you this though. Now that Jason is no longer working at his job, we have decided to go “all in” for our missionary efforts. What I mean by that is that we will be selling our home and purchasing an RV to live and travel in for the remainder of our deputation. This has been a difficult decision to make, but we feel it is what the Lord would have us do, so we’re stepping out in faith. This means the next few months are going to be even busier than normal (Lord, help me!), and we would greatly appreciate your prayers on our behalf. I will do my best to keep posting devotions at least once a week, so please bear with me. My prayer is that once we’re in the RV, I’ll be able to go back to daily posts because I can write while we’re rolling down the road. Anyway, for today, I have a repost for you. I pray you’ll enjoy it!


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Several nights ago, Jason and I were driving home from an enjoyable date night in North Carolina. With all that's been going on and my poor health of late, Jason felt I could use a short time to get away from the house and try to forget my troubles. It was a great idea and quite successful. . . until the drive home.

As we began our descent of the mountain, we ran into the densest fog I've ever seen in my life. It was beyond thick, and I couldn't see anything. Not the vantage point one desires when driving down a curvy mountain road. Evidently, I wasn't the only one having trouble as numerous cars--and even motorcycles--were parked on the sides of the road, presumably waiting for the fog to clear. I wondered if we shouldn't do the same, but Jason (who was thankfully driving) assured me that he could see. "I've got it, babe. Just sit back and relax." Yeah, right! Did he seriously expect me to relax? Doesn't he know me at all?

I tried to calm down or, at the very least, sit back in my seat, but it just wasn't working for me. I wanted to see, but as hard as I tried, I couldn't. It was like staring into a misty void, and more than once I wondered how in the world Jason was able to see. I mean, I know his eyesight is better than mine, but this was ridiculous fog. Sensing my increasing apprehension, every few minutes he would squeeze my hand and say, "Trust me. I'll get us home." I wanted to trust him, but I simply couldn't understand how he could see any better than I could. It wasn't until we neared the bottom of the mountain that the fog cleared and I could finally unclench my various body parts.

As Jason drove and I tried to remain calm, a line from an old Gold City song kept playing through my brain: "When I can't stand, I have to lean, and when I can't see, I must believe." That's what Jason was asking me to do. He wanted me to believe that he could see what I couldn't. He longed for me to trust him enough that I could relax. God desires the same.

How many times in life does God lead us through a patch that is so dense with fog that we can't even see where we're going? And how many times does God squeeze our hands and say, "Trust me. I'll get you home"? I don't know about you, but it happens often in my life. I've seen more fog in my spiritual journey than I care to admit, but the shameful part is not that I've had to make my way through the misty void but rather that I've found it nearly impossible to simply relax and trust God to see me through. Just like on my trip with Jason, I can't understand how God could possibly see when I can't, so instead of relaxing and enjoying the ride, I tense up and strain my eyes and neck trying to see something. . . anything!

But you know what? As hard as I tried the other night, I still couldn't see anything. No matter how much I strained my neck and squinted my eyes, the dense fog was still unpenetrable to me. My efforts only caused a lot of tension and worry. The same can be said in our spiritual walk. When God leads us through a dense section in our journey, it's not because He longs for us to strain harder to see. It's because He wants us to let go and trust Him. Give up control! Stop trying to see what He's hidden for a reason. He wants us to know, without a doubt, that He can see just fine and that if we'll simply trust Him, He'll lead us through.

When I can't see, I must believe. It's really the only thing to do!

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. . .But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
— Hebrews 11:1,6
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My Own Understanding

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A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a word game app called Wordscapes. The levels consist of a crossword grid at the top of the screen and a circle of letters (between 5 and 7, so far) at the bottom. The object of the game is to create words out of the letters within the circle and earn points and coins toward future games. I’ll confess—I’m hooked!

The game is an excellent exercise for the brain and acts as a refresher course for both spelling and vocabulary. As a writer, it’s perfect for me. Once I introduced it to Jason, he was equally intrigued. It’s now become one of our favorite things to do in our quiet time together.

My biggest problem with the game is that I lean on my own understanding. I get an idea in my mind of what I think a word is, and when it doesn’t work, I get frustrated. I see a five-letter word and falsely assume it must end in the letter “e.” Why do I think that? I don’t know, but once I do, I can’t seem to make myself explore other options.

The other thing that trips me up is when words begin with vowels. I’ll go through every combination of letters I can think of to figure out the next word, but in my attempts, I neglect to try words that begin with a vowel. I’m getting better about keeping this in mind, but it’s still a struggle.

I do the same thing in life. I get ideas of how I think things should be, and when they don’t work out the way I expect, I fall apart. I make plans, but I do not allow God to lead, so I act in my own understanding, and things become stressful and messy. I’ve learned with my word game that things go much smoother if I don’t have any preconceived notions. If I relax and enjoy the game, it’s actually enjoyable, not frustrating. However, if I try to force things to be the way I expect, I’m headed for disappointment.

I’m learning the same thing in my life, but it seems to be a slow process. I know my spiritual walk will be smoother if I allow God to direct my steps instead of taking the lead myself, but putting that knowledge into action is difficult for me. The planner in me wants to know what’s coming. The control freak in me desires to see things done her own way. And the worrier in me seems to think she knows what’s best. But the warrior in me knows the truth.

God knows our tendency to try to control things and to act in our own strength. I believe that’s why Proverbs 3:5-6 are in the Bible. They serve as our reminder that the puzzle of life is much more enjoyable if we leave the pieces in His hands and trust Him to guide us along the way. He has all the answers. He knows every bend in the road and what’s around every corner. He sees the beginning from the end and cherishes every chance to show us how much He loves us.

It’s time for us to let go of the illusion of control. We don’t know what the future holds, and we would be better off if we didn’t manipulate things to work in our favor. Yes, friends, we need to let God be God. He’s much better at solving puzzles than we will ever be.  

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
— Proverbs 3:5-6