‘Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
just to take Him at His word;
just to rest upon His promise,
just to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
Jesus, Jesus how I trust him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more.
I’ve heard and belted this song who knows how many times, but the truth of these lyrics haven’t resonated with me quite so powerfully until now.
Over the past year, the Lord has been breaking down my walls and revealing to me the root causes of my struggles through a program called Celebrate Recovery (CR). I’ve found that two of my struggles, pride and control, are rooted in the fact that I look to idols other than the Lord to find my identity and I don’t put my trust in the Lord. After going through a searching and fearless moral inventory of my life, I was able to see that I have struggled with these things as far as back as I can remember. The combination of the truths revealed to me through CR and my discontent with work and constant thoughts of “there has got to be more to life than just trading time for money” and “I want to spend my days not just helping and serving others, but adding value to lives” brought me to a breaking point. I was driving home from work and cried out to the Lord (literally) and said, “Lord, I can’t do this anymore. I’m giving this over to you. Give me the strength to keep my hands open at all times and the strength to be obedient to you; so that when you say walk, I walk and when you say stop, I stop.” That was the first time I really trusted in the Lord and pushed my prideful thoughts of “I can do this on my own” and “Let me handle this one” to the side and relinquished control of my life, handing it over to a God who says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt 11:28-30); a God who says, “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.” (Isaiah 55:1-2).
At that moment, the scales were peeled back from my eyes and I was able to see clearly what I needed to do. The Lord was calling me away from the place I looked to for my identity, value and worth. He was calling me away from the place I put my trust in for my financial security. He was calling me away from my corporate job and asking me to find my identity in Him and to trust in Him.
If you know me at all, you know that I have a “Type A” personality. I’m a planner and lists make me happy. I plan my day, week, month and year. One would think that leaving behind my plan to step out of my comfort zone and into a place where my fears of failure and uncertainty could easily come alive would be a scary feeling. But it’s not scary. In fact, I’ve never felt so at peace in my life. If this were in fact a decision I made on my own, I wouldn’t have made it. Even if I did make it, I would have been doubting myself and fearful that I made the wrong decision. I’m resting in Philippians 4, specifically verses 4 through 9 which say, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Amidst an economy that is not out of the woods and warnings from friends and family that my decision to leave a “good paying job” is not a wise one, I’m thankful that the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, has guarded my heart and mind in Christ Jesus.
God is good and He is faithful. Since making this decision, He has provided me with opportunities to pour into relationships, old and new, and focus on the things that really matter, while earning some money on the side. I’ve learned that money can’t buy happiness and that true happiness can only be found in the Lord. Jesus says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” So here I go. I’ve put my trust in the only One who continues to prove Himself faithful and although I don’t know what lies ahead, I’m excited for the journey to unfold as I follow the One who knows the plan and says, “For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”