This post begins with a photograph of a nickel. Most of us would stop to pick it up, we’d put it in our care for a short time, then use it and be done with it. Rarely do we stop and take a close look at all the detail on it. Is it a true statement on the face? “In God We Trust”.
Jeremiah 33:2-3 “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’
A new year brings hope and a sense of a clean slate. I was challenged to follow the “one word” challenge this year. So, I had to choose a word that summarized the year ahead of me, or what I hoped it would have for me. It took a while to choose a word, but I settled on “trust”.
Why trust? Throughout my life, I’ve been fairly self-sufficient. I’ve been the trustworthy, dependable oldest daughter in a family of five children. Academically, life has been a breeze, though I’ve been socially delayed and that has caused much pain and misunderstanding.
I spent much of my life with a misunderstanding of who God is and how our relationship is supposed to work. To me, He was a stern God with a firm hand. Pleased if I measured up and frowning if I didn’t. This wasn’t a direct parallel to my own home, as my parents were warm and loving. I still have a great relationship with them and have much in my faith because of their leadership. Part of it is related to the shepherding of the pastor I spent much of my formative years under. Part of it is my own personality and how I process things.
Tammy, Hebrew origin, “perfection, perfect one”. Our names can hold great meaning for our lives. My mother reminds me often to remember my middle name, Jean, also Hebrew origin, means “God is gracious”. So, through His grace, my desire to please Him and lead a perfect life is in line with His desire for my love and devotion.
This year, I will be learning to trust God and His strength and leading, regardless of my inabilities or failures.
2 Corinthians 12:9 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
It is not about me or what I can do. Instead, I exist that God may be glorified on earth and that people would be drawn to Him. As I trust Him to work through me rather than trying to do my own “works”, then He receives the praise and credit rather than me.
Though that is a noble goal, our human selves long for affirmation, applause, recognition, and truly, we thirst and hunger for more and more. Only recently have I come to realize the ability of God to fulfill this emptiness that daily plagues me.
My husband, my children, my successes, all will fail to fill me. When I fail, my disappointments in my own performance cause me to feel only more emptiness. Truly, His words in my Facebook feed are often a breath of fresh air and a steadying point in a wandering world.
As I learn to trust God more, I believe I will also be memorizing scriptures that hold a promise or a strength for me. When I am fully rooted in His strength, I am less moved by the storms that are certain to come.
In John 16:33, Jesus said, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
He was quoting a portion of Psalm 34. In verses 18 and 19 it speaks of the righteous having troubles and the Lord delivering the righteous from all their troubles.
I will be spending the next few weeks studying that Psalm and committing some of it to memory.
Is there an area of your life where you rely on yourself and don’t trust anyone, not even God?
Have you been working hard to fulfill your emptiness instead of letting Him fill it and giving all the glory to Him?
Perhaps you easily trust God and are never hard on yourself. If so, would you pray for me as I journey this year? If you, like me, are quick to pass over others’ wrongs and least forgiving toward yourself, take heart that we are in this together.