It’s funny have something can be both a breath of fresh air that relieves soul weariness and a slap on the face that serves as a wake-up call to an area of much needed refining. But God’s word is like that- the double-edged sword that cuts away the junk and fights spiritual battles, while at the same time being sweeter than honey and bread that feeds and nourishes.
These waiting days (weeks, months) have been a challenge, but as is typical for me, there have been ups and downs. Last week, knowing that another moving was coming quickly and that more longer term planning was needing to happen soon, I went down. I didn’t crash, but I felt a rising anxiety. Thoughts and emotions became more jumbled as I looked ahead and saw so many details clouding the way that nothing made sense. I began to worry. What if we choose X, but Y doesn’t work out well then? What if going there, makes things slow down? How can we organize another transition? What’s best for the family? What makes the most sense? How will people react to whatever we decide to do?
I’ve been reading and prayer journaling my way through the book of James during the last month. I sat up straighter as I read from the end of chapter 4. God always speaks through His word. But sometimes, I don’t notice it so much. But not this day. This was for me. For us. For now.
“Look here, you people who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’ How do you know what will happen tomorrow? For your life is like the morning fog- it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you will be boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil. Remember, it is a sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” James 4: 13-17.
All along we have sought God’s direction for our lives and ministry and as this new thing, SAMSON, has felt bigger and more complicated than we alone can cope with, we continue to seek Him and lean on Him and we rejoice greatly at the continual confirmations He’s sent our way. But we are so guilty of slipping into our own strength when it comes to making the day to day plans. Without being aware of it, we leave God to the “big” parts, and figure we are supposed to work out the rest. We come up with a timeline that we think makes sense and when nothing goes according to that timeline, we are left with doubts and discouragement.
How much we need to grow in this! Learning to lay each day, each moment, each decision, each plan at His feet first and then waiting for Him before we move forward is no easy task. We’re taught to use our own instincts, follow our guts, do what seems logical. But that’s not how God wants us to operate. Sure, He gives us wisdom and the closer to Him we grow, the more we naturally follow His heart. But He still wants us to consciously and knowingly give each and every area of our lives to Him. Every day. And not doing this? It’s a sin. Plain and simple.
Father, forgive us for the ways we have tried to “take charge” of this. SAMSON is yours. All yours!