By Lynda MacFarland
I’ve been reading the psalms lately and really trying to apply them to my life. Turns out it’s not that hard. Psalm 11 is about trust in God. I work on this ALL the time! How about you? Maybe you’re better at that trust thing than I am. I try mightily to give everything up to God: all my worries, upcoming challenges, the people I love, my desires, my fears. But then I find myself wrestling them back out of God’s almighty hands. There’s something to contemplate. How do I manage to take back the concerns I’ve handed over to God? Because if we want them back, He just lets go of them. God is not and has never been in the business of coercing us to do anything, nor does He get in our way if we decide to ruin our lives. That glorious free will is a two-edged sword for sure.
As an Army wife who moved with her Soldier 21 times and recently made another major life move, I have been spending a lot of time on what this all means for me. Oh, sometimes I think about what it means for him. Or what it means for our adult children and our precious grandchildren. But I was horrified and mortified to realize this morning that I spend a heck of a lot of time asking what’s in it for me!
My life is incredibly blessed, more good things than I could ever really express to you. I just need to be thankful. And let God handle it all. If my 34 years of Army life, when each PCS (move in civilian lingo) was placed in God’s hands because we had no idea what was best for any of us in our family, then I cannot lose sight of that amazing faith journey now that we’re a retired Army couple. Shame on me for being an ingrate. Sorry to say I was hanging on to a “poor me” narrative that is most unattractive for a daughter of the King. A daughter who is married to a son of that same King. Just like every one of you – a child of the King. So let’s rejoice and praise and give thanks! Let’s give up worrying or crying over the things we think we “need.”
We’re stepping out of the boat in those choppy waters, Lord Jesus. We’re stepping out and looking only at you. We’re walking out to the valley with just a stone and a sling to meet the giant. The size of the waves or the giant don’t matter. We keep our eyes on the One who loves us and we understand that He cares for us whatever happens. And that beauty will rise from the ashes, if that’s the way things go down. God is with us. All is well!
I have written about surrender many times over the years. It’s meant as much for me as for anyone who reads my blog or listens to any of my talks. I need to give things up and then rest secure in the knowledge that God is taking care of things for me. I think I’m almost there. It’s really more out of fatigue than anything! I am so tired of holding on to things over which I have no control! It’s exhausting and futile. I’ve expended too much energy, a useless, waste of time, with anxiety about how it’s all going to turn out. It’s going to turn out as God wants if I just get out of the way and let Him handle it. That is to say, perfectly. It will as long as I truly give up the reins or the wheel or whatever figurative device I’ve been using to steer my life.
I have an overall trust that God’s taking care of me whether I like it or not. But then I think, well, why wouldn’t I like it?! The One who created me and loves me more than anyone, despite knowing me better than anyone, He is taking care of things. What’s my problem? I’m the problem. So, once again, Lord, here you go! Here’s our life – my Soldier’s and mine!
We never step outside of God’s love. God IS love! Divine love is that enormous and that far reaching, that powerful. So I will praise and thank God in every situation that He may be glorified. That’s the mission. Do not be afraid!
About the author:
Lynda MacFarland was an Army wife for 33 years. Author of the autobiography, “Drowning in Lemonade – Reflections of an Army Wife,” she also has a blog with the same title. Both address the role of her faith in dealing with the challenges of living an Army life and are intended as encouragement to others.