This morning, my husband announced to our church of twelve years, a church we love deeply, that our last Sunday will be May 4. He will be entering a Church Planting Residency at Mission Church. In 2015, we'll be planting a new church. I'll be part of the teaching staff for the plant, which is admittedly, very exciting. We adore the pastoral team over at Mission, and look forward to what God will teach us and how he'll use us there.
My husband is passionate about reaching the 2 out of 3 people in our area who do not know Christ (about 230,000 people) and those who are languishing in their faith. He has wrestled with this calling for years. Through it all, and specifically over the past year, we've sought wisdom and prayer from trusted friends, counselors, seasoned church planters, and our own church elders. Each has affirmed and celebrated this calling. Our church elders, especially, have been incredibly supportive. We're so thankful.
Kevin is both an adventurer and a man of great faith. I, on the other hand, am not a bouncy cheerleader for change. I still have the same tv/vcr combo that I had in my college dorm. And yes, I watch VHS tapes on it. I still own ET, Pretty in Pink, and the Secret of Nimh, for crying out loud.
Over the past several months, God has had me on a personal journey of learning what it means to surrender and obey.
As with any new challenge from God—a job transition or relational change; the fluctuating seasons of life or a goodbye; the life-altering upgrade from an old VCR to a BluRay—change, as we all know, can bring up fear and insecurity.
Some of us thrive on change. For others, like me, the prospect of change brings up all kinds of questions:
Can I trust God's sovereignty and timing for this change? Can I trust His provision during the change? Can I trust the ways in which he chooses to provide? Can I trust that whatever he provides will come from the fullness of his love?
When it comes down to it, the resounding answer is YES. I can trust him.
In fact, if I'm being honest with myself, the big fear-question is not really about God's trustworthiness.
When faced with change, the real question for me is this: Can I trust myself to surrender to God's will?
In Trusting God, Jerry Bridges writes this:
"[It] often seems more difficult to trust God than to obey Him...
The circumstances in which we must trust God often appear irrational and unreasonable...
Obeying God is worked out within well-defined boundaries of God's revealed will.
But trusting God is worked out in an arena that has no boundaries."
I don't know if that's always true, but I'm certainly feeling it now.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
God's boundary lines lead to pleasant and delightful places, for all involved. The change may be difficult, or even painful, but God never operates or calls us outside of His goodness.
Bridges also suggests, "Trust is not a passive state of mind. It is a vigorous act of the soul by which we choose to lay hold on the the promises of God."
In other words, obedient surrender takes courage.
In spite of my fears, I choose to surrender to this change with trust, with joy, and with a little dash of shamelessness on the side.
What about you? How do you respond to change? Is God calling you to surrender to anything right now?
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