Happy Thanksgiving week, friends! Trusting God opens my eyes to see all the gifts He gives us. I pray the words in this post move you one step closer to trust and gratitude. These thoughts come right out of my journals, from my heart to yours!
Writing these posts has been a gift from God these past months. Ideas and words come to me, and I write them down before I lose them. An analogy comes to me, maybe as I weed or notice the grass growing out-of-control. This has been a joy for me! And then it’s my responsibility to respond, with the attention and work to put it into words. This joy has been somewhat of a surprise to me!
This has felt like “trust” instead of “trying!” The difference between “trying” and “trust” is a theme God has been teaching me for a few years now. Blogging has been an opportunity to trust God to give me words and ideas. Then I respond by writing them down. I respond, but I didn’t try hard to make it happen. I receive, instead of achieve. I am an active part of what takes shape, but not the source of it. These words and photos are gifts to me from God. He shapes us each with personalities and abilities to use, so that He is reflected and given glory.
For from him and through him and to him are all things. ~ Romans 11:36
With “trying,” the source is me (from me). I work at making it happen (through me). And it is mine in some way (for me). I have often struggled with “trying.” Along with it I’ve noticed struggles with pride, control, a focus on self, and negative feelings when I don’t get what I desire.
But with “trust,” God is the source. It originates with Him (from Him). He works in my life (through Him). And it advances His glory (for Him). Trust bears the fruit of humility, freedom, and love. It frees me in many ways. I am free to use giftedness more fully. I take steps away from sin and selfishness. I experience freedom from fear and anxiety. When I trust God it is marked by real love – the kind that is for people, rather than for my benefit in some way. With “trust” we do take initiative and responsibility. But we keep our confidence in God and our hearts close to Christ.
This brings us to a place of thankfulness, where the results aren’t something we earned but are a gift from God. This place of “trust” can be hard to get to! It involves letting go. Surrender. Opening us up to the possibility of not getting something we dearly desire. At least, maybe not in the time or way I want. It means admitting we can’t make it happen. And this is humbling.
The surprising irony is that this humble trust leads us to a place where God can work things together for our good and His glory in ways that surprise us. Maybe not in the same way we were wanting, and maybe not as glorious in worldly terms. But in ways that are much more beautiful, mysterious, and good than we imagined!
What are you grasping onto today? Trying hard for?
Will you be courageous to release it to God with trust? Willing to see what He does with it… and in you?
This courageous leap will change us, and the way we see things. It will lead us to a place where our God is bigger – where all is from, through, and to Him!