I recently began participating in an online Bible study titled Intentionally Focused. I have already learned so much from the ladies I get to interact with, even though all our interaction takes place via Facebook. It works for me, especially in this season I’m in.
A challenge posed to us at the start of this study was to ask God to give us one word that we would focus on in the new year. This word should be something that we want God to change or work on in us throughout the entire year. As many started listing their experiences with this challenge (many had done this for the past several years), I was intrigued to read not only their words but also how they arrived at their chosen word. To be honest, I right away I thought of many words that I could use–there are many things I want God to change about me. I could only choose one though.
I began to ask God to show me what He wanted to work on first. I wrote down a few of what would be my top choices. Contentment, joy, peace, commitment, forgiveness, love, and selflessness are a few that made the top of my list. I turned, as I often do in times of depression, to the book of Psalms. I began reading where I always do–Psalm 18. I then went to Psalm 27–the Psalm I am currently working on memorizing. I chose a few other favorites to read through as well. Most of the Psalms I read had a common theme. That theme was trust.
Could that be the word God wanted me to work on this year? I pondered the idea that trust is lacking in my life. I didn’t have to ponder very long to admit that yes, my life definitely lacks trust. It is difficult for me to trust people. I know why that is, but knowing why doesn’t always help in fixing the problem. For example, right now our dishwasher doesn’t work. No big deal really. I only use the dishwasher two times a year–Thanksgiving and Christmas. This Thanksgiving I loaded the many dishes into the appliance, turned it on, and left it alone. The next day I opened it to put what I thought were the clean dishes away, only to find that the dishes were still dirty and did not get wet at all. Since we had just had an issue with a hose for our washing machine this past summer (the cold water was turned on but no cold water went into the machine) my husband and I both knew what the problem was–the hose must be blocked and no water went into the dishwasher. We know the problem; however, neither one of us knows how to fix it. My trust issue is the same.
I thought about trusting God. I realized that I don’t completely trust him. I know that because fear is often present in my life. Psalm 27:1 says, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” I know I don’t trust God because worry and anxiety plague me constantly. Today my daughter drove herself to college for the start of a new semester. She transferred this semester and has a 40 minute commute–one way. I worried about her. She texted me to tell me she made it. Yeah! Finally my mind could be at ease. Nope. I worried all day about her return trip home. I worry about my son and some school requirements he needs to meet that just aren’t coming together. I worry that he is in a dangerous city. I worry about…I could go on and on. If I’m worrying, than I can’t be trusting.
So, my word for 2014 is TRUST. It will take a lot for me to trust God with my marriage, my kids, my health, our finances, and every other detail of life. I don’t expect things to turn around overnight–lessons learned years ago are not easily unlearned. But I hope that by year’s end, I am farther down the path than I am right now. Small steps over time add up to large gains–at least that is what I am praying for.
Oh, if you see me, ask me how I’m doing in this trust area. It will help keep me accountable and remind me that others care.