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
I'm beginning to believe this is my life verse! It has come up through the years in what the world would call random ways, but I know it's anything but random to God. He uses these words to speak to me and to remind of what I need to do!!
Just the other night He did this again...for the last 2 years I was part of the Rise and Shine Women's Retreat leadership team, but last winter God called me to step away from a position He had used and I had enjoyed. Through the year I've kept in touch with the team and prayed for the event, but as it nears I have found myself missing what was and wondering, "Why?"
Practically I know why - I'm a busy mom and wife...planning a retreat takes a lot of time and energy, something that was lacking with a newborn this past July. Honestly I also know God clearly called me to step down, but still it's hard at times.
So this past Thursday night I received the list of names and promises I'd agreed to pray specifically for leading up to this year's retreat and God got my attention again. My name was "randomly" placed under Proverbs 3:5-6, the same promise I'd "randomly" selected out of a basket at last year's retreat.
I was like, "Wow God!" and moved on with the prayers, but through the night I thought about this more and more. I found myself wondering why this verse again. Then my mind would shift as I reflected on all God had done at Rise and Shine the previous two years and anticipated how He'd work this year as well. These thoughts then led me to that place of feeling like I was missing out...like if God wasn't using me for this BIG event, I was on a vacation or something. Thankfully I didn't follow this down my typical dead end trail to doubt, but instead returned to the promise that has been chasing me around!!
I went to sleep not knowing the why's, but there was peace and I chose to do what God's Word said, "TRUST!!" And friend, I have to say God responded in a fast and BIG way!
The very next day, the kids and I were doing some reading when my little peanut (Jaylyn, age 4) sat on the couch beside me with her sister's old Awana book. She wanted me to read the story with the snake picture. I had my agenda with more school work to do, dinner to make and probably a diaper to change (and in my mind I might have even grumbled a bit), but I knew this wasn't the time for my "we'll do it later" response.
So we get into the story and it's all about the Israelites complaining and whining (I'm thinking OK God, I get it!! And praying the kids do too!!) We read on and the story closes with Moses lifting up the serpent and then the final two sentences say this, "Many years later, God lifted up Jesus on the cross. If we believe (trust) in Jesus, we will be saved from our sin and live forever with God."
The story ends and typically I'd be on to the next thing, but God kept me still and moved my eyes to the question on the bottom of the page. I look at my little Jaylyn, who's snuggled in beside me with her big brother to her right, and ask, "Have you trusted Jesus as your Savior?"
She shakes her head no, so we talk about what that means. I talk...she listens. I ask questions...she answers. We talk about Jesus knocking on the door of her heart and she says, "I want to let Him in."
We pray. She tells Jesus, "I know I'm bad and I know you died for me. I want you to live in me. Come in. I love you." We say, "Amen" and open our eyes - she is grinning and I'm crying. Her big brother who's observed all of this simply says, "I bet they're celebrating."
Jaylyn then asks, "Who??" And big sis says, "In heaven, they are having a party!!" She smiles again and decides we better make cupcakes!!
We had reason to celebrate...a child taking a step towards owning their faith and choosing to follow Christ!!! And personally I felt like having a party too, God clearly showed Himself faithful to me! Twenty four hours prior to this, I'd let myself think I wasn't doing much for God, then He reminds me to TRUST and look what He does!! He brought 3 John 1:4 to life, "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
Friends, His ways are not our ways...they are so much better!! May we keep walking in them!!!!