Monday, June 13, 2016

A lesson in trust

Have you ever been in the place where God is yelling at you: MOVE!  A place where it is undeniable that it is time to get out of your comfort zone and do something in HIS will.  That is where I am right now. 

Joshua 1: 9 says: "Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

I use this verse all the time. I tell my daughter, don't be afraid, God is with you wherever you go.  I say things like be strong and have courage.  You are not alone, God is always with you, and then I send her off to do this or that, and expect her to have the courage to do whatever I've asked her to.

Then there is me.  I make plans.  I put my ducks in a row.  Some may even say I like to control things.  I like my schedule, and I like my box.  Have you ever noticed, that is NOT how God works?  God almost never picks the likely person for the job.  David, the youngest of all Jesse's sons will be King.  David also the smallest soldier will slay the giant.  Saul a well known persecutor of Christians, is set apart and changed to Paul to be a major proponent of the Gospel and writer of several New Testament books.  Gideon, self proclaimed weakest of the weak, is sent to lead an army of men.  Jonah a guy who can't stand the people of Nineveh is the messenger God uses to give them one more chance.  All of this to say, God does not call us to be in a comfortable box.  He calls us to listen and obey when He is ready to move.

As the story goes, it was the last week of school.  As the Director of Development I was already preparing for back to school.  I was setting up fundraising dates and beginning of the year events.  Then God gave me a hiccup.  I was informed that my job may be either eliminated or modified based on necessary budget cuts. My immediate response was this, I am going to take a couple of weeks to think about how I want to proceed, and I am going to pray about it.  My words were exactly this, I want to make an intentional decision, not a reactional decision.  Having said that, I began to think and pray about what God's will was for me. I had no idea what to do.

The Bible says:

“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8
"Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him."  James 1:5

This is what God gave me.  He gave me a church sermon called: What to do when you don't know what to do.  I have told this story a couple of times and it was like the lights dimmed and the spot light was on me, and the voice of the Lord, which sounds like James Earl Jones in my head, said, MIRANDA...... listen.  By the end of the sermon, I was crying and I knew what I needed to do.  I knew that I needed to resign from the comfortable spot I was in.  I knew God wasn't just hinting around, he was ready for me to MOVE.

The thing is, it was a hard decision because there is a guilt (Not of GOD) about leaving work in a Church/ Christian environment.   There is also a Spiritual blanket that people cover themselves with, saying that they are doing the Lords work so they need to stay, even when it is time to move on.  I don't think either of these mentalities represent what God wants us to feel.  I think He wants us to listen to Him, be passionate about Him, and then move as HE sees necessary, especially when it is outside the church walls.  If we never move out, how can we bring people in?

In my decision to MOVE there are a few things God laid on my heart:

1) God is not a God of left overs.  I have a thing about left overs.  It is my personal hang up.  I think I often get the left overs and settle for them, because that is what I THINK I deserve.  God is clear in his plans for us.
Jeremiah 29-11 says: For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
His plan is greater than I could ask or imagine, and God does not want me to stay, for staying sake.  He wants me to move, to grow, and to continue to be refined by HIS plan, not my own.  Some one told me to have faith, and that is what I am doing, taking a leap of faith that God's plan for me is so much better than the plan I had in mind.

2)  God wants me to Trust HIM in everything, and not pick and choose when and where I want to.  The thing about this whole situation was I had a plan.  That plan included Christian education for my daughter.  It included keeping her in what I deemed a safe environment where I know everyone.  God was clear on this, as He put it on my heart, that controlling Mackenzi only limits the opportunities God has to grow her and bless her.  That if I truly give up Mackenzi and trust God with her future, she will be far better off than any plan I had for her.  Trust is not something I fall into easily, and especially not with my precious daughter.   I keep reading the Psalms over and over looking at verses to remind me, God is my/her protector, He is my/her shield and my/her rock, and that His love is never ending.  In the midst of all this change and chaos, I have peace, and know that trusting God with Mackenzi is so much wiser than trying to control a plan that isn't His.

3) God wants me to TRUST HIM.... just incase you didn't catch it the first time.   It is not only the plan for Mackenzi, but it is the job and plan for me.  I have to work.  Turning in a resignation with no job, is CRAZY in my book, BUT GOD, well He works in a different economy.   My God is not only a protector, a shield, and a rock, but HE IS A PROVIDER.  I turned in my resignation and emailed a few of my contacts.  God is so good that with in the first 10 minutes I had two responses, and a third followed later.  I received a request to talk, a request for my resume, and a job offer.  THAT IS GOD!  He confirmed my decision many times over, and has helped remind me that TRUSTING GOD is the safest place to be.  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths. Proverbs 3;5-6

God is moving in my life right now, and the truth is all I can do is trust Him and watch where He is taking me.   He continues to give me confirmation in so many places and people.  A sermon just this week  on NO REGRETS confirming that a life of no regrets, is a life that perseveres TRUSTING in God.  God is really with me wherever I go, and He is so good!

This is my story and I hope that it blesses you.  We live in a crazy world where  many people are lost.  I hope in some small way, this tiny real life story will encourage you to TRUST in Jesus today.  He is the author of love and the creator of hope.  Until next time I leave you with this prayer:
16 I never stop giving thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. 17 I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, would give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. 18 I pray that the perception of your mind may be enlightened so you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the glorious riches of His inheritance among the saints, 19 and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power to us who believe, according to the working of His vast strength. Ephesians 1:15-19