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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Borrowing Faith

It happened again. The past few posts have been an outpouring of some of my most embarrassing and secret struggles with trusting God when things aren’t working out the way I think they should. Whenever I feel God prompting me to open myself up like that, I balk. Who wants to publicize their spirituals battles? Not me! But it never fails that when I obey, I receive a letter, email, or message from someone telling me how much they needed to hear what I had to say. They cannot say enough about how much it means to them to know they’re not alone and not the only ones struggling with such raw emotions.

As I read in Lysa Terkeurt’s newest book this morning, I came across two quotes that made me smile, and I wanted to share them with you.

Sometimes when you can’t find your footing with your own faith, you just have to go stand on some else’s for a while.
— Lysa Terkeurst

Oh, I like that! I love the thought of being able to stand on someone else’s faith when mine is weak and wobbly. But even more so, I cherish the idea that someone might be able to stand on my faith when their own is crumbling beneath their feet. That’s what my ministry is all about. That’s why I pour my heart out in writing and share my most secret places with my readers—so they can know they’re not alone. And if something I say gives them enough hope to stand upon my faith while they’re working to repair their own, I say, “Praise the Lord!” This leads me to Lysa’s second statement:

When you make one other human simply see they aren’t alone, you make the world a better place.
— Lysa Terkeurst

I believe that. I know what a joy it is for me to read through a fellow Christian’s struggle and realize they’ve put into words what I hadn’t been able to. They were describing my feelings exactly, like they’d been shadowing me and reading my thoughts. And at that moment, though I mourn for them in their struggles, I find comfort in knowing it’s not just me. There’s peace in discovering I’m not the only Christian who argues with God or doubts His goodness from time to time.

To be honest, I have no idea where I’m going with this. I guess I want to remind you, first off, that you’re not alone. We all go through stuff, and some of it is downright ugly. Welcome to life! But I think I’d also like to urge you to be open with others. Don’t be afraid to share your struggles. Your honesty may be exactly what someone else needs today.  

If you’re in a place where you feel your faith is crumbling from beneath you, I would be happy to let you borrow mine. I won’t say it’s the greatest or most secure faith, but I think it’s strong enough to hold us both while yours is under repair. You’ll get through this—whatever “this” is, and God will make something beautiful from it. Trust in Him. He never fails.