Good Sunday Morning! Today is a good day for me. I am at a crossroads between waiting patiently for the Lord to provide an answer and staying on course right where I am. I am ready to move forward and to begin doing the work the Lord has in mind for me, but I am struggling with letting go of the past, and with trusting Him to provide for my future. Let me explain...
Yesterday, I spent the majority of the day grading student draft essays. It took me three hours to read and grade 13 essays. Even though I was familiar with the topic, I wanted to make sure that I commented on each paper so that the students could improve their content before the final paper was due (next week). I want to know that I am being helpful, and that the work that I am doing is valuable. Unfortunately, I feel as though I am not doing anything valuable at all. I am sinking down and feeling as though the work I do is meaningless (in the grand scheme of things). It is frustrating for me because I find myself thinking about all the other things I could be doing, like making more money, and then I compare the present work to potential work, and I feel I am in the wrong place.
Today I have a memorial service to attend, and I am upset because I have to go and grieve at the loss of my cousin's husband (he passed last week after a 7-month battle with liver cancer). This service is right in the middle of my day, and I have major work to do on my doctoral studies. I am feeling the pinch of too much work, too little time.
Next week my life gets crazier in that I have to finish grading 30 essays for a Psychology class, and I have a research project due (Wednesday). I also have to finish two doctoral essays and keep on top of my reading and my participation work. In all, it seems like there is too much work, and not enough time to complete it all.
Hence the title of this post: Learning to trust the Lord
Trust is my ISSUE. Just when I think I learn to trust the Lord, another opportunity arises and I find myself crying out to Him, and hearing those same words repeated in my ear: Trust Me.
When will I learn to trust the Lord? When will I finally give in, let go, and let God be the center and source of everything I do?
Today is a good day. Tobias Smollett (1771) wrote, "There is no time like the present" (said by Mr. Bramble, Humphry Clinker) and I agree. What point is there in delaying the inevitable? God is God, and He is not going to change His Mind or His Way anytime soon, so I had better get a move on and agree with Him. The sooner I agree, the sooner I will see that open door and the way out of my present situation.
I am ready to be released. I am ready to be let out of this prison of fear and failure. I am ready to be set free. The WORD tells us that through Jesus' death, burial and resurrection, we are set free.
John 8:36 says, "So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free." I am free. Jesus' has set me free.
This doesn't mean that I will never encounter trouble, it just means that I am not kept in bondage to anything. I can open the jail door and walk out of whatever prison cell I find myself in. I just have to remember that Jesus holds the key that has unlocked every cell door. There is no cell that holds us. We willingly put ourselves into these holding cells when we doubt His provision, and we do not use our faith to confirm our freedom and victory over sin and death. Jesus paid it all, and our debt has been erased. Therefore, we are free to move and to work according to His will and purposes. We are not held back or kept from victory. We are fellow heirs in the victory that Christ achieved for us. We share in His death, his burial, AND his resurrection. Therefore, we are to come up out of that grave (or that cell) and walk in the freedom He has provided for us.
Trust. It all comes down to trusting Him for every need. Do we believe that He is God? Do we believe that He exists to make intercession for us? Do we believe that He cares for us? If we answered yes, then we are halfway there, halfway to walking in freedom and grace. We must say, "Yes, I believe and yes, I am walking in this belief." I believe your WORD to me, and I believe in your FINISHED WORK. I am free. I am able to do all things through Christ who has given me strength. I may feel weak today, I may feel overwhelmed and unable to walk, but I can be strong, and I can walk in His strength and ability. He does that with which I cannot. He walks, he talks, he completes the work, he provides, he guides, he strengthens, and so on. I am not able to do what is asked of me but He can!
As I consider these words, I am reminded of how much I struggle with trusting the Lord. I believe, don't get me wrong, and I state my belief in the power and presence of the Lord emphatically. I believe God is - that He is everything and nothing is without Him. However, I sit in a jail cell of my own accord. I sit down and I close the cell door and then I cry out to the Lord for His help. He is standing next to me, waiting for me to get up and get going -- to open the door and walk out. He could open the door, but He waits for me to do it. He knows that I have to get up and open the door so that I will learn that this is something I do to myself, and not something that He has done to me.
Thus, I am jailed by my own hand. I am stuck by my own unwillingness to remember who He is and my lack of trusting in my own knowledge of the WORD of God. I know the words, I know what to say, but I fail to say it and I think I am lost when I am not. This is my fault, all my fault. Now I am ready to go. I am ready to move out of this cell and start walking again. The Lord is waiting for me to get up and to walk on. I have chosen to sit and stew instead of taking action and moving on into the plan and path of His choosing.
Thank you for helping me understand that I am free, and that no jail cell can hold me. It is up to me to get up and to get moving, and I have sat down and cried because I believed I was locked up. This was a lie of the devil, and now that I see the truth, I realize just how long I have been sitting here wailing and not doing what you asked me to do. I confess to you that I believe your WORD to me, and that I TRUST you for your provision - of everything needed today, tomorrow, and in the future. I am made whole because you complete me. I am made confident because You bring your CONFIDENCE to me. What I lack, you sufficiently provide. I am ready, I am standing up, and I am walking out of that cell. I walk now in faith, believing and leaning upon you for every need this day. I pray this now in Jesus' Name. Amen, so be it, thy will be done. Selah! (pause and calmly think about that!)