“Trust in Yahweh with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes, fear Yahweh and turn from evil. It will be healing to your body and refreshment to your bones.” ~Proverbs 3:5-8
Has it only been a year since I drove the dusty Tempo from the S Family’s house, down Crooked Branch Road and up our driveway for the first time? Only a year is gone and yet gone is a year of death and resurrection, of old and new, of past and present. Gone far behind us is Papa’s “ideal” job at Parkway Dental. Gone also the little home fellowship we began with the S Family. Gone are the days when I babysat for four blond, energetic kiddos. Gone are the days when I hung out on campus in the Sweetest Suite or walked into the Cafeteria at the side of Lauryn or Jacinda. Gone are Friday nights with Taylor and Nathan or Sunday afternoons with the gang. Gone are Wes and Audrey and their little Wednesday night Bible study. Because life doesn’t stay the same and things move on and people change.
Before me lies a future no more certain than the past has been, yet full of hope. Resurrected are my once buried dreams to live among the people lost in darkness that I might be able to show to them the true light. In a few months, my whole life has become a perfect preparation, a surprising equipping to do exactly what I’ve always desired—serve the low-income, low-education, sin-trapped people of the urban United States as serving Christ. Recreated are my relationships with my family—my father is my trusted friend, my mother has become a sensitive confidant, Josiah is a brother I can lean on and Lydia is a sister in Christ.
And Yahweh, in His supreme wisdom has been teaching me about wasted emotion—especially anxiety. My emotions, He reminds me constantly, are given as a precious treasure, to worship and enjoy Him forever. Yet how often I squander them in fear, guilt, anger, confusion, frustration and worry. What will tomorrow bring? Once Jesus sat on a sunny slope in the land of Israel and boldly proclaimed that it doesn’t matter! Quit worrying about tomorrow, He reminds me. Tomorrow has plenty of worries of its own. Instead of being wasteful of my emotions, I am to turn them to singing and praising and offering thanks. Then I will worship and enjoy Yahweh, even as He has intended. I turn to glance behind me at the past year, thinking how much emotion I have wasted worrying about situations that seemed cloudy or unclear, how many tears I spent weeping because I didn’t have the answers to quiet my soul. That was never what Yahweh intended. He intended me to enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise, saying each day was the day He had made. I will rejoice for He has made me glad!
A year of death and resurrection. And isn’t that the meaning of life? The sting of death is only in hopelessness, but while there is life there is hope. My hope is in knowing the Lord works all things for the good of those who love Him. To this promise I confidently cling and plunge ahead through each day, wondering what He’ll do next. But not allowing that question to consume me.
What will He do next?
Lord, Thou sought to teach me trust,
Faith in Thy good word is a must,
Yet often I flung down Thy word
And turned to other sounds I heard:
The sounds of fear and worry’s call
That tempted me to slip and fall
Yet Thou were always near to save
And resurrect me from each grave.