I was reading the following devotion yesterday, from Girlfriends in God, and it immediately took me back to a few different times in my life when I just wasn't sure where God was leading me. Last year was one of those times as my hubby went through interview after interview, searching for a job, and then playing the waiting game. We had moved to Connecticut for a short time, for his final year of training and the job search began almost immediately. Several months were spent researching jobs and locations, making phone calls, sending countless emails, and constantly updating the resume. It was an exciting yet frustrating time... we watched some of his co-workers sign contracts and celebrate their new positions... when would this happen for us? We had it all planned out where we wanted to be... but where did God want us to be?
These times are so special... it pulled B and I closer together and when he accepted his offer here in Florida, the moment was so sweet and so joyful! We chose to let go and let God, and it paid off.
I'm sitting here at our kitchen table... B just left for work. I look out the window to my left and I see the sunshine and palm trees. I feel my sweet baby kick and move inside of me and I am reminded of God's plan for us... it is far bigger and far better than anything that we could ever plan or ever imagine. The year is coming to a close and I look at how much our lives have changed in just one short year and I am forever grateful for all the challenges, the road blocks, and the blessings that He has sent our way. I can't help but sit here and smile and feel overwhelmed with contentment.
Our life is far from perfect but it's a wonderful life and we truly owe everything to God!
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 2 Corinthians 4:7-9
Friend to Friend My husband and I were in a waiting period. His company had gone through a merger and was collapsing positions and territories, which left his employment in jeopardy. For months we didn’t know if Brad would keep his job or if he would need to look for another one. During that time, God bid us to trust Him.
Choosing to trust God is so daily, isn’t it? When I only looked at the “what-ifs” of Brad’s job situation – the possible unemployment, the grueling process of job-hunting, the financial strain unemployment would bring, and the uncertainty of the economy – my faith and God-confidence shook and waned. Fear and doubt knocked on my heart, suitcases in hand, wanting to move in and take up residence. On the other hand, when I fixed my eyes on God, looked at His character and at the ways He had brought us through hard times in the past, my faith was strengthened. Courage, confidence and joy knocked on my heart! They are much better residents!
The Old Testament book of Ruth features the heart-warming story of Ruth and Naomi: two women who faced difficult circumstances and an uncertain future. Following the death of her husband and sons, Naomi decided to move back to her homeland of Israel. Though she freed her daughters-in-law to stay in their home country of Moab and re-marry, Ruth refused to leave Naomi’s side.
Determined and loyal, Ruth held tightly to the mother-in-law she loved deeply and to the God of Israel whom she now called her own. Though our natural tendency in hard times is often to try to go it alone, I’ve learned from Ruth, and from my own experience, that in turbulent times it’s vital that we hold fast to our faithful God and to the ones we love.
“Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”
But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her” (vv. 15-18).
God breathed hope into the souls of Naomi and Ruth through their kinsman-redeemer, Boaz. The book of Ruth goes on to tell a fascinating account of how God lovingly cared for and blessed Naomi as He used the faithful friendship and kindness of Ruth to “renew her life and sustain her” (4:15). She traveled back to Bethlehem as a broken, depressed and hopeless widow but was comforted and restored by the loving hand of God.
Like Naomi, when I experience difficult times – like the one Brad and I were facing a few years ago – I have to choose to trust God. Some days I choose well. Some days I don’t. Choosing to trust is essential.
How can we choose to trust God? I’ve found that my courage to trust is bolstered by playing praise music, meditating on God’s goodness, reading Scripture, and praying. Those things collectively renew my mind and strengthen my faith.
No matter what challenges you face today, take comfort that God knows every issue on your heart and is able to shoulder your burdens. Hold fast to the faithful One. Your challenges do not fall outside the scope of God’s ability to intervene. God is mysterious, He’s powerful, and He’s able! When you lift your eyes from your situation and fix them on your Savior – when you choose to trust Him – you will find peace in the pain and strength in the struggle.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Let’s Pray Dear Lord, You know exactly where I am right now and You know the circumstance of my life. Please give me the courage to be gracious in my relationships, and help me to trust You today. In Jesus’s name, amen.