I’ve often heard of people choosing a word to focus on for a new year. It’s an instead-of-making-resolutions kind of thing. I’ve never participated in this game, but in this new year I am going to. There is a word I cannot get out of mind, therefore I have no choice. Especially because I know the reason I can’t get it out of my mind is because God is the one whispering it there, over and over and over again. Trust, Janet. Trust.
For too long now, my word has been Fear. I didn’t choose it. Not consciously. Not deliberately. But I’m tired of having my heart ripped out of my chest, stomped on hard. It hurts. Like a wounded animal crawling into the bushes to heal before the enemy attacks again, I’m hiding and holding my heart and begging the world not to beat it anymore.
But that’s not working out so well. In protecting myself from life, I’m missing out on it. God says, “Trust me with your heart.” I’m ready to place it in His hands.
Wait. Didn’t I already do that once when I was six-years-old? So when did I take it back? When life began to hurt and hurt again.
Jesus didn’t betray me, though. He’s given me no reason not to trust. In fact, He said this life would hurt. “In this world you will have trouble,” He said. “But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Take heart. Be brave. Don’t fear. I guess I should have paid more attention to the second part of that verse. Fear should never have become my word.
When I look at the lives of Peter, Paul, John, Job, even Jonah—I see they all hurt. Jonah just didn’t handle the hurt so well. He, like me, maybe, also enjoyed the shelter of a plant—until God took it away. Not to hurt. To teach. I like to believe Jonah learned . . . eventually.
Mary hurt, too. Mother-heart hurt, perhaps the most devastating kind. A sword pierced her soul when it pierced her son’s side . . .
Yes—even Jesus hurt. More than anyone. Ever. Yet He chose to trust, “Not my will, but Thine.” He chose for us and for the glory of God’s name.
When life hurts me, I must choose the same.
No good comes from choosing fear. God calls us to trust for good. For our good. For His glory. Forever! Amen.
I want to explore this concept in 2015. I want not only to come to understand it but also to breathe it, to live it, to know it first before the fear. I want to sing with Steven Curtis Chapman, “This is not how it should be. This is not how it could be. But this is how it is. Our God is in control.” I want to say with Ann Voskamp, “No matter what unfolds here, He is always good and we are always loved. Let go.” I want to let go of the fear that pulls me into the false security of the heart-guarding hedges, so I can walk free in Jesus’ light.
I must practice trust.
I invite you to join me. I’m going back to my blog vacation now, but I’m going to start practicing trust right away with the God Who gives me opportunities to do just that. (Perhaps more opportunities than I want, but exactly as many as I need.) When I return here, to Wildflower Faith, no later than January 8, trust will be the year’s dominant theme.
Until then (or until the words demand to be written again), Merry Christmas once more! Enjoy the season. Celebrate our Lord!