“The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name’s sake.” Psalm 23:1-3
Like an unexpected bend in the river that redirects your path, the experience of letting go of our family home has inspired an odd mix of excitement and disorientation. Recently, while sitting on the back deck watching the trees wave goodbye in the wind, I remembered. Along with the dee, dee, dee, of the chickadee I could hear the laughter after a belly flop off the diving board, the repeated thud of a basketball and the clinging of baseballs flying off a metal bat. I also remembered how God kept me afloat over the years. His grace has been sufficient for me to forgive, love, raise a family, let go and even embrace change because I know this is not my real home.
Like water, change can easily overwhelm us unless we relax (The first step in learning how to swim). Knowing that God is sovereign and holds me in His hand is enough to buoy me through any difficulty. His mighty hand is under me now. Like a loving parent teaching a child to swim, He does not intend to let me drown. He is faithful even when I am not. Of course, relaxing in the water with your arms out and head back is not instinctive, especially if the water is choppy. It takes faith to lean back and trust that you won’t sink! Praise God we are not asked to splash around and strive in our own strength but to rest instead. However, when we do choose to flail we will tire and drown in a sea of have-to’s and what-ifs. Some may call it fear or lack of faith but I know it’s rebellion.
To this Jesus says,
“Take My yolk upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30.
But my heart responds,
“I don’t like the way it fits and I cannot steer with Your yolk upon me. Can’t I just stand next to you without a yolk?”
Then, He lovingly reminds me of His faithfulness,
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Unfortunately, there have been times I’ve flailed through the current of change, resisting the bend in the river. Over time I forced many things into place, drowning myself in expectation. The truth is I was in rebellion, trying to do things my way and simply not trusting God with all the changes that were happening. Fortunately, I am learning that only while I am at rest can I be buoyed by the very thing that threatens to drown me. Now I want to encourage you to trust Him. He is taking us someplace wonderful. Our role is to float by faith into heaven on the current of His love.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18