Tuesday, September 20, 2011
As I have shared before, I am in the midst of a tremendous Bible study. And not just because the study itself is great – which it is – but because our leader is exceptional at guiding us into insightful and meaningful conversations. It is a small group and everyone contributes something to the discussions. Each week, I walk away amazed at how much that day’s message spoke to me.
One thing I find very intriguing is that several of us are in a season of transition or letting go of a stage in our life. We are trying to navigate into unchartered territories and fumbling our way into the next season God has in store. Our leader has recently come out the other side of a huge change in her life, and is intimately familiar with the seasons of change and transition. I know it is no coincidence; this is one of God’s divine appointments. We were divinely placed in this study together, to learn together and to encourage one another. This could be one of the best Bible studies I have ever had the privilege to be a part of.
Oddly enough, moving 1,300 miles to a new home has not been the life-changing event that has caused me angst. God has blessed me beyond measure with making this transition as smooth as possible into a new city and state. I believe God has granted me this gift so I am comfortable and assured enough to help my children feel secure with such a big change in their little worlds.
For many, many months I have felt God calling me into a new direction personally. This calling means moving out of a season that I didn’t think was a season, but a life-long career choice. I have been wrestling with letting go. Letting go of what has been the norm in my life for the past 7 and ½ years. It is my place of security because it is familiar. It is safe because I know what to expect, even in the hard times. And, my biggest source of angst, it is my resource for additional income.
Being obedient to God is the only optional for my life. I want to choose nothing less. But….but….this is going to require faith. Not faith that I talk about, faith that I actually put into action. If this is where the rubber meets the road, well, this is where my choices meet my faith. Is my faith in God a noun or a verb?
Faith means letting go of a secure place to step into the unknown. Faith means risking failure or embarrassment. (I am okay with the first, the latter is a little harder to handle.) Faith means I have to stop wrestling, and surrender. Faith means trusting God to be my provider, and trust Him with my finances. Yes, faith is leaving the familiar and stepping out when I am not sure I can see the first stepping stone to land on.
When I was praying over this today, I remembered the bird’s nest in the tree in our backyard. Seth and Dad were working in the backyard when they found a baby bird that had fallen from it’s nest.
- Dad and Seth were careful to rescue the baby back to it’s nest without touching it with their hands. It looked so fragile.
They were cautious not to get their own scent on the baby, and not to hurt it when returning it to safety. It nestled right in, back to the comfort of it’s warm little home. Of course, Dad and Seth wondered where the momma bird was, and when she would return. They got their answer pretty quickly.
- Momma bird came from behind Dad’s head, making angry dives at him. Momma bird was not happy at all with someone being close to her baby.
We had a good chuckle about how the momma bird was so protective anytime we would take a peek at her baby. Today, I was reminded of this baby in our tree as I was seeking God and praying to have active faith.
The opposite of faith is worry. And I am an expert in the field of all-things-worry. I have years of experience at it, and if there is nothing glaring that needs fretting over, I am skilled at finding something to be anxious about. There are few that possess my level of expertise in worrying. You know the saying, “90% of what you worry about never even happens?” My thinking is, “Look at all the things I prevented just by worrying about them.” This is not an achievement that I am particularly proud of, but it is a fact.
Obviously, the following passage is highlighted and underlined in my Bible: Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavently Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you worrying can add a single hour to his life? (Matthew 6: 25-27)
I know that God is watching over me at all times, just as the momma bird seemed to come out of nowhere to save her baby from perceived danger. He meets all my needs, just as the birds are feed. He is ever-present and ready to direct my steps. I know my part is to take the first step, and willingly and whole-heartedly obey. I cannot waste precious time worrying, instead of using my faith. Despite the sadness I feel over the passing of a season, I want to embrace what God has in store for the next one. And it is going to take my faith to be able to do that. The verb kind of faith.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)