Each year I choose a word to guide me instead of making resolutions. This year my word is trust. Throughout 2019 I’ve had to trust God more deeply, as my husband, Rick, and I have made major decisions. Rick recently retired the pastorate after 45 years of serving the Lord in that capacity. God opened the door for an opportunity with another ministry as a “pastor to pastors.” After much prayer, Rick accepted it, which meant we would have to move 500 miles to the ministry headquarters.
I’ve sought the Lord for peace and guidance in navigating these major life changes. We are downsizing and moving into a smaller house than the one that we built 15 years ago. That has been challenging but also liberating. Some items are easier to give away or sell than others. I’m reminded to hold onto the things of life with open hands, knowing that everything is a gift from the Lord. Each day, I remember God’s faithfulness and how God has provided for us in the past.
Having full access to the Lord is a blessing, especially when life is uncertain. When I get anxious about some aspect of the move, I look to the Lord in prayer. God calms my heart with the assurance of his presence. God also uses other people to remind me of God’s truths—sometimes a friend will remind me of a promise in the word when I forget.
Living with full access to the Lord is possible because God promises to never leave us. God is never off duty. He is Emmanuel, the God who is with us every single day and in every situation.
God makes a great promise in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (NIV). I know God is trustworthy. When anxious thoughts about the future keep me awake at night, God promises peace; God is in control of the details. The Lord brings his word to mind with verses like Isaiah 26:3, “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.”
Full access to God allows me to trust him when I can’t see the whole picture. I’m grateful that God sees the beginning, the middle, and the end of the challenges I face. Faith is stretched when we have to trust God in new ways. “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).
Rick and I have now moved to our new location and are unpacking the boxes. I wonder when I will uncover my favorite family pictures from the mountain of boxes. Our transition continues in our new community as we anticipate our next adventure in serving God with full access to God’s power and promises.
Read more from Nancy Kay Grace on her GraceNotes blog at www.nancykaygrace.com.
Joining friends at The Upper Room in morning prayer on Facebook Live has been an anchor in the storm during recent weeks. In the chaos of trying to figure out how to do ministry in strange and uncertain times, it was a compelling call to stop, breathe, listen, and be in community with those who gather "where the world meets to pray." Join us each day for morning prayer.