i have confirmed yet again a truth about myself - i am not a fan of change. i like the idea of change, but when change actually occurs, i find myself fighting it, resisting it, suddenly quite content with the prior circumstances i am changing from. the unknown. the mystery. the walking by faith and not by sight.
we have had much change in our lives in the past two weeks. God has shown Himself clearly to be the One to close the doors that no man can open, and i await Him opening the doors that no man can shut. smack in the middle of huge transition, so obviously orchestrated by God that anyone who hears the story in its entirety always are left excited for the possibilities that lay just around that upcoming corner for us, i find myself unsure of anything and everything around me. it is as if in my own personal life and surroundings He is shaking everything than can be shaken that i would learn to cling to the only One who remains unshakable: Jesus, our rock and our foundation.
at the start of 2009 i took a little time to ask the Lord what lay in store for us this year. i was relieved to say goodbye to 2008 and all that went with it - what i would say may have been the hardest year, or possibly tied by only one other, i have ever gone through. 2009 looked to be a year of new possibilities and as i asked the Lord for His perspective on what we were entering into, i felt Him encourage me that this was to be a year that i learned what it was to live by faith. i joked with my husband as i told Him of this that my response was, "but God! that means i will surely die, for i have so little faith!" it is always so interesting to me how we never know how much faith we really have gained in our lives until we are asked to live on it. what an encouragement that He said He could work with such small faith, as small as the smallest seed from the mustard plant, and use it to do seemingly impossible things.
how i needed this little "preview" to our year for what has transpired over the past couple weeks. because God spoke His word to me, when the shaking came i felt a real peace in the midst of the storm. i still have tears, uncertainties, questions, my own human doubts, but i know beyond any explanation that God is not only allowing my circumstances, but causing them for my good. the obvious involvement of God has grabbed my attention because i know He is good, and because of my commitment to love His Son Jesus He has promised to work all things together for my ultimate good and gain. His goodness far transcends my goodness or understanding and definitions of what is good; all He does is not only good but is the sum and source, the beginning and ending of goodness.
in reading the small, yet profound book, the knowledge of the Holy, by a. w. tozer, i find this wisdom:
to believe actively that our Heavenly Father constantly spreads around us providential circumstances that work for our present good and our everlasting well-being brings to the soul a veritable benediction. most of us go through life praying a little, planning a little, jockeying for position, hoping but never being quite certain of anything, and always secretly afraid that we will miss the way. this is a tragic waste of truth and never gives rest to the heart.
what rest i can find when i realize that He leads the way. He has promised that when i put myself under the leadership of Jesus, He will lead me to Himself. i cannot adequately express the burden i feel lift from my shoulders when i realize that it is not left up to me.
12 years ago, on a choir trip in great britain, i picked up a small greeting card in an old cathedral in wales that has brought me encouragement and perspective in the times when the path ahead of me feels dark and uncertain. the short verse written by an unknown author comes to mind:
God would not give the darkness,
if He thought we could handle the light.
but we would not cling to His guiding hand
if the way were always bright,
and we would not choose to walk by faith
could we always walk by sight.
and so, my journey of learning to live by faith begins. i suppose it really began back when i chose to start this life of following Jesus; however, this season i believe will mark a time in my life when i really learn the power, peace, and rest of walking by faith. as i cling to His hand i can rest in the fact that He knows my paths, as unfamiliar as they are to me, and will make what seems intimidating and rough ahead of me easy and smooth as i follow His lead.
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them,
and make the rough places smooth.
these are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.
He will not forsake me.