“Commit your way to the Lord, trust in Him, and He will act.”
Several years ago, a dear friend of ours, Pastor Jeff Rudd, was preaching on Psalm 37 our church in NC. I wish I had my notes from that day, but seeing how my journals prior to last April are in storage 1200 miles away, I’ll have to rely on my not-so-reliable memory.
I remember Jeff said the word translated “commit” means “to roll off onto,” the idea being to take your burden off and give them to someone else to carry. It’s like when you have a heavy pack on your back, and you have to let gravity pull it off your shoulders. In this case, the clear picture being to give our way, our lives, to Jesus and let His more-than-able shoulders carry us.
(I know Jeff shared this, and I am also sure he shared what I’m about to say, but the discrepancy in my mind is whether or not he shared it the same day. If I’m wrong, please forgive me, but I do believe it applies to this very verse)
I remember Jeff saying how he really liked that idea, how it spoke to him. Then he said the Lord was like, “Really? You like that do you? How about you try that one on for size.” I remember us all laughing at the notion while, just as I can remember Jeff smiling as he said it. Yet, at the same time, there’s an unease in those words, cause while we all like the idea, the reality is a bit tougher than the concept. For one, it means you have to let go of your own ideas and desires to another, to truly give up your way in favor of Another’s. It means we relinquish control, and there aren’t many folks I know who have done that.
On this journey we’re on, I’m finding that we’ve also had to “try that one on for size” and see how it works for us. And not just this one. I was talking to a good friend yesterday about how many of the things I’ve preached, shared, or blogged on over the years are now having to be fleshed out, lived out, put into practice in our lives…how I’ve had to try them on for size myself.
For example, in no particular order:
“The God that brought you this far is not going to leave you now. You can trust Him.”
“Don’t let your job define you. Do whatever you do unto the Lord, trust that He has you where He wants you, and if He wants to do something else, He’ll make it clear. You can trust Him.”
“I don’t believe God will allow us to miss His will for our lives. If we are truly seeking Him, He will bring us to the place He wants us to go. It might be the long way around, but He’ll get you there. You can trust Him.”
“Even in the hardest times, no matter what comes your way, if you have Jesus, He’s enough. You can trust Him.”
“You always have a reason to sing, to praise God, no matter what you’re going through. Even in our hardest times, Jesus is still worthy.”
“Stand still…be patient…wait and see the salvation of the Lord.”
I could go on, but you get the point. I feel like we’ve been on a crash-course in trusting the Lord this year. I believe that 19 years of marriage have all been preparation for right now, for this moment, as God is working out His good pleasure in us. And while that all sounds well and good, it sounds so spiritual and such…it’s not easy. There are many tears, many moments of “loud fellowship” with the Lord, many moments of doubt, of worry, of fear.
But then…peace. He never leaves us. Like a good, patient Father, I can see the Lord standing back while we throw our little pity parties, not too far away, just waiting for us to tire out, before coming in close, picking us up, dusting us off, and embracing us yet again.
Last week was one of those hard weeks. I have often said how thankful I am that, through this whole journey, we’ve never had a day where we are both struggling at the same time, but when one of us is up, the other would be down. Well, last week that didn’t happen. Like a wave crashing on us, we both struggled mightily all week with our emotions, with worry and doubt.
And then yesterday morning, Sunday, we went to church. I told my wife that I still don’t know why we’re in Oklahoma City, but I know one thing, God is using the ministry of Frontline Church in a powerful way to work in our hearts. From the opening prayer in Lamentations: “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him! The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the should who seeks Him.”
The tears started flowing immediately…the Lord is good to those who wait for Him. Wait. Be patient. Hope.
We began to sing together, “Before the throne of God above…” and I was reminded of who I am in Christ, the hope I have in the Gospel. “My life is hid with Christ on high, with Christ my Savior and my God.” Secure. Safe. I belong to Him.
We sang about the surety of God’s promises in Jesus being “yes and amen.” We sang how the Lord is good…how He will never fail. Then we sang the amazing, mind-blowing truth that we are, because of Jesus Christ our brother, the sons and daughters of God.
Yeah…I was a wreck. We opened the word together, and Ecclesiastes chapter 2 reminds us that our hope and joy lies not in anything found under the sun, but only in One who is beyond the sun, the Son of God. And as we broke the bread and drank the wine in which the Gospel is proclaimed anew, I wept like a baby for the goodness of the Lord to me.
I may not have it all figured out. I may be “trying on for size” a lot of things I might have sadly said flippantly over the years, I’m learning of the love and mercy of God through Jesus in ways I never have felt before. I told Amanda I feel like I’ve been deconstructed, completely laid bare, and now the Holy Spirit can begin the work of rebuilding me from the inside out.
If you’re still tracking with us, if you’ve been following along and praying for us on this journey, we thank you. We simply ask that you continue to pray for the Lord to reveal His will. We ask that you pray He will provide the right job for me, and the right home for my family.
We know we’re just strangers and sojourners here, just passing through, no matter if we spend the rest of our days in OKC, or if He leads us on at some point. It’s just another thing God is having us try on for size. And as we wait for His leading in these next things, I’m learning that I can trust Him with it all and that, in His time, He will act.