There’s No Other Way
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.
I’m not much for New Years resolutions. In making them, I am choked by the weight of obligation to uphold them, and when I stumble and fail (as I am prone to do) I open myself up for harsh self-criticism and ridicule (which I am also prone to do). <sigh> So I don’t make them anymore. Last year I chose one word for the year, one little word that would be woven through the events, a sort of theme for God to use to grow me. I didn’t choose the word lightly, and to be honest, when I felt as if I knew what word it would be, I was afraid of it.
What would this mean?
My one word for 2011 was obedience. God has stretched and pulled at me in every corner and decision I have been asked to make this year past. That word has been the undertow that draged me out further into the raging seas of events in recent months. I am certain there were times I would have completely run the other direction had I not heard that word whispered into my ears again and again. Obedience.Our faith in Christ is about freedom, but I’m learning that true freedom comes through obedience.
I’ts about coming when we’re called and waiting when we are told to wait, and about being quiet when Abba speaks- and I’m not very good at any of those things. But this year, God has stretched me hard and taught, and I am learning what it really is, to obey. Obedience brought with it, her pesky, and sometimes style-cramping friend, discipline. We are becoming well aquainted, the three of us. It’s quite a sight, me wrestling against the discipline of obedience. Some days have been easier than others, and all the while, I recognize that I am one distraction away from losing sight of the bigger picture, of what this word really means-
Jesus doesn’t always give enough information for my liking. Sometimes, he just calls out a direction, and we have to trust Him.
I want details. I want dates and times and outcomes outlined for me to consider, before I am willing to obey.
But what I am learning, through discipline of prayer and standing still, is that whatever He says, it’s enough. He can be trusted. Whatever information He gives, it is complete for the time.
My job, is to obey.
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people. At once they left their nets and followed him. Matthew 4:18-19
This scripture amazes me every time I read it. Peter and Andrew didn’t stand there questioning Jesus. They didn’t ask for details and specifics. They put down what they were doing and they went. They trusted Jesus without question. They were obedient to His calling. Amazing.
If you’d like to read more about the ‘one word’ idea, you can HERE.
Mary Demuth is taking the ‘one word’ challenge a step to the right and choosing one picture for the year, a single image that speaks to God’s presence and direction in her life.
I’ve got my word for 2012. I’ve got my image too.
It’s just a telephone pole. Just an ordinary, every day thing. I drive past hundreds of these a week and never noticed them, until one day, I was taking photos of my son and I looked up and there it was.
I didn’t see a telephone pole.
I saw a cross first.
God has spent the better part of this year teaching about obedience, to look for His calling and to walk in the direction He calls me to. It has been hard. It has been painful. It has also been fun and exciting and terrifying. I know what he’s telling me this next year is going to be about, and I am a liar if I tell you that I’m not a little anxious about what it will mean. But I’m going to have to trust Him. This cross, this everyday, ordinary object shouted Christ to me that afternoon and does still, every time I look at it.
God is teaching me to look for Him everywhere, to trust that He is with me even when I don’t see Him. In all the spaces where I expect Him the least, He continually turns up. If I am willing to trust God, then I can obey more easily, and go where he calls.
When I trust Him, I don’t have to be afraid.
Are you considering a “One Word” for the year 2012? What about joining with Mary and praying for God to give you an image? You can share your word with me, and link your picture up to Mary’s blog HERE. I’d love to know what you’re thinking.
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