Thursday, August 8, 2019

Trusting God

Proverbs 3:5-6   Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.

There are soooooo many reasons to be anxious, aren't there?   I get anxious about our society and government and crazy dark world every time I see a headline or read a news article. Going to the beach is out - have you seen how many Great Whites are lurking out there, along with the riptides?!  Everything I put in my mouth or breathe in or spread on my body  is going to absolutely ruin my health.
And homeschool mamas, we also face the fear of ruining our kids' lives because we don't really know what we are doing.  So there's that.

* Trust = to wholly and entirely rely on; to be completely confident and secure in

We mamas usually have a pretty short list of who we will trust with the well-being of our kids. And you have to really have a long and solid relationship with someone to trust them with your deepest feelings and fears.

Can I trust God?
  • God is FAITHFUL.   I can read Scripture and see how God has been faithful to lead, protect and provide for His people over and over and over. I can look at my own life, and see how God has been faithful to lead and protect and provide.  Little things and big things.  * Having a son who wanted to play high school baseball before homeschool teams existed and a year long inquiry into whether he could play on a school team as a homeschooler which resulted in an answer of "no, that isn't possible". Telling him that his dad and I had prayed and still felt that homeschooling was the right choice for our family, and his acceptance of that. Followed within a week by a phone call from a friend who was starting a homeschool baseball team (Wake Co. Warriors). God cares about our desires.   *  Or a sweet Christian retired teacher who was teaching a homeschool writing class (again, before this was a THING and was the only class in the whole wide area, but the class was full when I heard about it through a friend and inquired -  but a week later she called to tell me she was adding one more student to her class because she had a DREAM where God told her to add my child. 😮  okay, you've GOT my attention, Lord.  Yes, you provide! Not in every single instance when I've prayed for something - but in those cases you've also been teaching me. Sometimes I THINK I need something, but you want to show me you'll still provide for my family even WITHOUT that thing that I really thought was necessary!!!   Lamentations 3:22-23 – “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is thy faithfulness.”        2 Timothy 2:13 – “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24 – “He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” 

  • God is LOVING John 3:15 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in His should not perish but have eternal life. " God sent His own Son to pay the penalty and take the punishment for MY SIN, in MY PLACE, so that I could be reunited with Him. That's how much He loves me. The whole Bible is God's love letter to me. 

  • God is ALL-KNOWING and WISE  I wish I could see the future. I wish I could know without a doubt that my actions and choices and decisions today will produce good in the end, and not lead to disaster!  I do not KNOW ENOUGH to believe that my decisions are fault-less. But God knows everything, sees everything, Psalm 139:1-4 "You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with ALL my ways. Before a word is on my tongue -  LORD, you know it completely!"   Psalm 147:4-5 " He determines the number of stars and calls them by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has NO LIMIT." Romans 11:33  "Oh the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable are his ways!"

  • God is ALL-POWERFUL.   He is sovereign and rules with authority over all things - including my family, my finances, my time, my decisions.  Everything that comes into our lives must pass by Him first. He is the Creator, Author, Master, Redeemer, Refuge, Ransom, Anchor, King.  Revelation 4:11  "Worthy are you, Our LORD and God, to receive glory and honor and POWER, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created."  Matthew 19:26  "But Jesus looked at them and said, ' With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'  What a relief that this all-powerful God is also faithful, loving & wise!

Not saying that any of you watch  "The Bachelorette", but if you did, you might have heard the word "clarity" about a gazillion times this past season. Because aren't we ALL looking for CLARITY???  God, give me a sign!  Put up a billboard, with flashing lights, please!  Open a door!  Close a door!  Let me put out a fleece and if it is wet in the morning then I'll know ... or is it supposed to be dry to be a sign from you????
agh!!   Because we DON'T KNOW ENOUGH!. We don't TRUST ourselves. We are fickle and tend to make emotional decisions and later regret them.
Just last week, as I was working on this devotion, I found this story on clarity in a book I am reading. 
"When John Kavanaugh, the famed ethicist, went to Calcutta, he was seeking Mother Teresa... and more.  He went for 3 months to work at the "house of the dying" to find out how to best spend the rest of his life. [ no small decision!] When he met Mother Teresa, he asked her to pray for him.
'What do you want me to pray for?' she asked.
He then uttered the request he had carried for thousands of miles.
'Clarity. Pray that I have clarity.'
'No,' said Mother Teresa, 'I will not pray for that.' [ yikes!!!]
When he asked why, she said, 'Clarity is the thing you are clinging to and must let go of. '  When Kavanaugh said that she always seemed to have clarity, the kind of clarity he was looking for, Mother Teresa laughed and said,
'I have NEVER had clarity. What I have always had is TRUST. So I will pray that you trust God.'"
How could your homeschool year be transformed if you could learn to trust God like that?!

Now I can tell you that God can be trusted with your most precious possessions, and you can read that God is trustworthy, but how can you really know that He can be trusted?  In order to trust someone THAT MUCH, you have to really know him.  So that is my advice to you.  Make KNOWING GOD your #1 priority this year. 
Bible study, prayer, meditation, worship =>  NOT. OPTIONAL.

ACKNOWLEDGE : to KNOW, to OWN;  not simply give a nod to, but to recognize the authority, power, wisdom, goodness, and providence of HIM, because you have a deep knowledge and connection with Him (as deep as lovers, people) ; you KNOW him.
God created you.
He created your children.
He knows you better than you know yourself.
He loves you more than you can fathom.

So what are you anxious about?  What do you think you area messing up?  Is God not able to work through you despite your weaknesses?  According to the Bible, He sure can. Do you have to pick the perfect curriculum and have a perfectly scheduled day and all the money and endless patience and perfectly behaved kids to be a successful homeschool mom? I think not.  Look at Abraham.  Not perfect.  Look at David.  Not perfect. Look at Rahab. Not perfect. Look at Peter. Not perfect.  Only one person has ever been perfect.  The rest of us - every person in the history of the world?   A mess! 

This doesn't mean Easy!  It doesn't mean your kids will do all their schoolwork cheerfully, neatly, and on time!  They might throw fits. They might argue with you and fight with each other. You might have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days.  It means IF we TRUST HIM and don't try trust in our own abilities instead, and if we KNOW Him, THEN He will direct our paths to the destination that is GOOD and BEST! Despite all the mess.  The journey might be bumpy, but the destination is glorious.  Would you rather have an easy journey that ends in destruction? or a difficult journey that ends in GLORY?

If you truly KNOW God, then you will LOVE Him. If you truly love Him, you will TRUST him. If you love and trust Him, you will OBEY Him.( not my words, don't remember where I read them) 

Matthew 6: 25-34
“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?[ And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.


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