What I Know to Be True
I have to ask myself, “What does it really mean to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding?” How do I do this practically? Today? In a worldwide pandemic?
WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE:
He is the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8)
He knows the end from the beginning and his purposes shall stand (Isaiah 46:10)
He is the Sovereign King of kings and Lord of lords (I Timothy 6:15)
He is our fortress and our deliverer, our stronghold, our strong tower (Psalm 18:2, 10)
He is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1)
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:6)
My Redeemer lives and, in the end, He shall stand (Job 19:25)
A peace that transcends human understanding is available to guard my heart and mind (Phil 4:7)
In this world, I will have trouble, but in Him who has overcome this world, I can have peace (John 16:33)
Nothing can separate me from the love of God in Jesus Christ my Lord (Romans 8:38-39).
“My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” Psalm 73:26
“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21
Amidst the crazy, God is gently reminding me,
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted in the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
I find myself repeating these truths over and over.
It’s one thing to find comfort in these Biblical promises when life makes sense, when I’m sure the shelves will be stocked, when the sun is out and the Dow is up and the rhythm of my week marches along to the very beat I imagined it would.
But it is quite a different feeling, I am finding, when all of these “normals” shift and change and refuse to cooperate with my well laid plans. I know that He is the light unto my path and that the Lord determines my steps. But when the steps He determines are WAY off the path I thought He was lighting, we’ve got a problem!
So I have to ask myself, “What does it really mean to trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding?” How do I do this practically? Today? In a worldwide pandemic?
My humble attempts at this have been to repeat WHAT I KNOW TO BE TRUE again and again, to search Scripture for more truth, and to pray God’s promises back to Him.
Over the past few weeks, this has brought me to moments of surreal peace and times of deep sadness. So, I go back to prayer and let Him have it. I praise Him for His inexplicable peace. I recount stories of His faithfulness in my life and throughout the world. I thank Him for the constant companionship of the Holy Spirit in my heart and among His people, for God’s Sovereign control over a world gone mad. But I also tell Him how angry I am that this bad dream is only getting worse. I am honest with Him about how I feel; angry, scared, sad, annoyed, disillusioned, confused and worried about the future.
What is going on?! Is this really happening? Where are you, Lord? You see, my God is approachable. My God is personal. My God is not far off. His desire is, and always has been, to be with His people, to commune with them, to hear and listen and act. And He’s big enough to handle my whining, my complaining, my questioning.
“Let us then with confidence draw near the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” -Hebrews 4:16
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you” -I Peter 5:6-7
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” -Matthew 11:28-30
“Be gracious to me. O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O Lord – how long? Turn, O Lord, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love…I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping…The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord accepts my prayer” -selections from Psalm 6
Sometimes my prayers are like yelling, sometimes they are a bit more subdued.
But He listens.
And it’s only fair that I try to listen.
And as my mind inevitably wanders and the anxieties and unknowns creep in, I have to turn to His promises again. And then I wake up the next day, and the latest news updates change everything for the n-teenth day in a row.
And the enemy reminds me of the pit in my stomach. And I start to wonder if I really can trust God and sometimes I forget that He’s even there.
And then, by His grace, He points me back to His Word, to His flawless track record. And to the extent that I allow myself to be still and know that He is God, to allow His Word to speak and my heart to REALLY listen, I am encouraged.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth. Let him sit alone in silence when it is laid on him; let him put his mouth in the dust— there may yet be hope; let him give his cheek to the one who strikes, and let him be filled with insults. For the Lord will not cast off forever, but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
Photograph by Chetan Menaria, Unsplash
By Dan Schmidt
Since 2012, Dan & Courtney, along with their three children, Ethan, Nate, and Evelyn, have been living and serving at Rift Valley Academy (RVA). RVA is a K-12 school that has been supporting missionary families through the education of their children for over 100 years. The Schmidts are currently ministering as girls dorm parents, in the High School Math classroom, and in the Guidance Office. Dan and Courtney love the opportunities for mentoring and discipleship that come along with doing life with these kids.
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