Archive for the ‘God’s Faithfulness’ Category

Don’t You Remember?

Posted: September 26, 2013 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Trusting God

I was sitting at my desk, colored pens and highlighters strewn about, a blank Word document flashing on my computer screen, and all I could see was that to-do list in front of me with those ominous words: “Due This Week.” The list was too long. A 10-page paper, a biology exam, extra class lectures, another test, a biology project, moot court arguments, a mock trial round, regular class readings…and all in a four day period. I looked at that color-coded list and could only think one thing: I just can’t do it. Not this time. It’s not going to all get done.

Sometimes I wish I could see God’s face when I say things like that. Does he chuckle? Does he smile knowingly – already seeing exactly what my week is going to be like? Or does his face show disappointment? Are his eyes sad, as I imagine they were when he turned to His disciples in the middle of the storm and said, “You of little faith…why do you doubt?”

The thing is, while the last week and a half of my life has been ridiculously busy with hardly an hour to rest between finishing one project and starting the next, and though  I’ve gotten little sleep, finished assignments sometimes at the last minute, and sometimes just didn’t perform up to my perfectionist standards…this wasn’t anything new for my life. I’ve had busy weeks before (as a college senior, I’ve already survived six semesters and two summers of midterms and finals). I’ve looked at a long to-do list before. And yes, I’ve panicked over them too.

But even so, I’ve always made it through. And more than that – I’ve still always managed to thrive through even the busiest times. Why? Not because of anything on my part, but because every time that I’ve reached the end of my rope, God has shown His love and faithfulness to reach even farther.

Over my time at college, I’ve watched as God has provided the perfect research for papers the night before they are due. I’ve seen how He inspires professors to cancel classes, change due dates, or give extensions for no particular reason…just in the moments when I need it most. I’ve experienced God’s love through hugs from friends or conversations with professors, when I desperately needed encouragement. There have been nights when I should have been utterly exhausted, yet God gave me wakefulness and alertness to finish the assignment due the next day. He has, in fact, somehow always provided for my needs and sustained me through my busiest and most stressful weeks at school. But I forget this so easily.

I think God nudged me with His truth this week. Even as I looked at that long list and swore I’d never get it done, in the back of my mind, I could hear Him asking me, “Don’t you remember? Haven’t I always sustained you? Haven’t I always carried you through this? Why would I abandon you now? I’m here…have faith in me.”

Jesus promised that if we have even the smallest faith in him, “even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen.” My pile of schoolwork may not quite be a mountain (though it feels like it), but resting in God’s faithfulness, I was able to make it through. Now if only I can remember that next time….

A Detour Worth Taking

Posted: November 12, 2012 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Trusting God

The other day, I was visiting my younger brother’s college campus to pick up books from his college’s library for a research project. After picking up about 40 lbs. of books and shoving them into my backpack, I met him on the main floor of the library. Being the sweet young gentleman that he is, he immediately reached out and shouldered my heavy backpack for me. As we walked back through his campus so that I could bring him home for the weekend, we were struck with a bit of a dilemma. I needed to pick up the car in the parking garage…and he needed to go get his luggage from his dorm room. Either we were going to have to split up and go our separate ways — in which case I’d have to walk alone and carry my heavy backpack again.  Or, I’d have to walk with my brother, out of my way to his dorm, while he continued to carry my load.  Honestly, the choice wasn’t too difficult.  I decided to take the detour rather than lug my books to my car.

While it ended up being a fairly simple choice to change my route to walk along with my brother so he could carry my books, I find it difficult, at times, to yield my way to God so I can walk alongside Him.

Midterms are over now, but paper and forensic tournament season has arrived. Toward the end of the semester, one of my favorite verses always is Matthew 11:28-30:

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

These verses always serve as a good reminder that God is willing and able to carry my load and give me rest.

Recently, though, I’ve been under a lot of stress. Between tests, papers, upcoming moot court tournaments, and falling behind in school due to a long illness, I’ve got a lot on my plate and on my mind. Feeling weighed down, I turned to this verse and wondered…why isn’t my burden light like this verse promises?

The answer came to me in the form of Jerry Bridge’s book Trusting God. In one chapter, Bridges notes:

I once attended a seminar on the subject of Christians and stress.  One of the speaker’s main points was that, if we want to live less stressful lives, we must learn to live with a single agenda: God’s agenda….God is sovereign over people.  He will move their hearts to cause them to do His will, or He will restrain them from doing anything contrary to His will.  But, it is His will, His agenda for our lives, that God will guard, protect, and advance.  We must learn to live by His agenda if we are to trust Him.

That was my problem, I realized. Like my walk with my brother, I was faced with a dilemma. If I am to be yoked with God – if He is to carry my load and give me peace – one thing is required: I have to be going the same direction. Stress comes from choosing to carry pressures myself. We have a choice between two ways: walking alone or walking with God. God only walks on God’s path in His way. If we go His way, He’ll carry the weight of the pressure (as He shares our yoke). But if we decide to go our way, we’re left to carry the load alone.

With all my pressures and tasks, the stress was coming because I wanted things to go my way. I wanted to ace the test. I wanted to write the perfect paper. I wanted to win in Moot Court. By insisting on my own way, I was forcing myself to carry the heavy load. Rather than prayerfully giving my burdens to God and trusting Him for the outcome (going His way), I’ve been figuratively “heading straight to the parking garage carrying my own load of books.”

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Like my little brother – and, obviously, so much more so – God  is right there to carry my load…if I just choose to go along with Him. While I may resist the “detour”  from the route I’ve plotted out for myself, if I want rest, peace, and joy, God’s way is the only option.

Was God a No-Show?

Posted: November 8, 2012 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Hope, Trusting God

Every political candidate knows that one of the most important parts of any campaign is the Get Out the Vote (GOTV) effort. You can do anything you want on the campaign and spend however many millions of dollars on campaign ads, but if you don’t get your supporters registered to vote and ensure that they actually show up at their polling location, your campaign is worthless. This election day, the GOTV effort was legendary as millions of Americans flocked to their polling stations and waited for hours in line to vote. But, as I sat in my family room on Tuesday night and watched the results of the election come in – as my heart sank with each reported result that went the “wrong way” – one thought echoed in my mind: where was God’s turnout in response to my prayers?

I pray for our nation – and particularly, for this election – every day, as I know many Christians in this country do. I prayed specifically that God would raise up godly leaders who would fight for Biblical principles and defend the innocent – like the unborn. In a way, I and many Christians across the country waged a prayer campaign for this election.

Perhaps that is why I, and others, felt so devastated and discouraged when the results returned to show that our country had elected men and women who – although I believe sincerely desire to help the country – do not promote biblical principles, nor work to protect the unborn. Also, across the nation, ballot initiatives passed which undermine traditional values of faith and family.  It wasn’t just that campaigns failed to turn out enough voters. It felt like the most important person of all – the One to whom we’ve directed our pleas and petitions to for all these months – just…didn’t show up, like the many no-show voters who were just “too busy” or forgot. Where was God on election day?

As I’ve been mulling over this question for the past couple of days, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions:

  1. When we don’t see His hand, we learn to trust His heart.
    One of my favorite verses in the Bible is in Hebrews 2, where it says, “Now in putting everything in subjection to [Christ], [God] left nothing outside [Christ’s] control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to Him. But we see Him…”At the moment, we can’t see what God’s plan is for our nation. We can’t understand how this election somehow fits into His overall scheme. We can’t even see how this election was somehow subject to His sovereign plan. However, we know Him. We know His heart. We know that He will never leave us, nor forsake us. We know that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes. And we know that He is watching over us…even when we can’t see it. We may not understand God’s plan for our country…but we know Him and can trust His heart.
  2. God doesn’t need to do things our way to accomplish His purposes.
    I’m sure we are not the first Christians – nor the last – to wonder why God allowed bad things to happen to our nation. The Israelites must have wondered what God was doing when He allowed them to be conquered by the Assyrians and Babylonians. The first Christians must have wondered why Jesus didn’t return to overthrow Nero and bring an end to the persecution the church experienced. Christians around the world must wonder why God allows tyrannical Communist and Muslim regimes to rule despite prayers for relief.Under today’s leadership, we do not experience anything like what these Christians have experienced. But we can take comfort that God works, even through ungodly leaders to accomplish His purposes. The pagan Babylonian king – Nebuchadnezzar – had a direct encounter with God which forced Him to acknowledge God as the Sovereign of the universe. Through Pharaoh, God revealed His power to the Israelites. Through Artaxerxes, God provided the funds for the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt. Through Nero, God scattered the church and His saving gospel across the globe.God’s purposes will be accomplished in His time and His way. He does not need to operate through our chosen leader or through our chosen strategy. He will accomplish His perfect will in this country – no matter what the election results say.

So where was God on election day? He was there. He was present. He was aware. He never left us. He heard our prayers. Though many of us may wonder what God’s plan is for our nation, this election should not be a source of discouragement for us, nor should it shake our faith in our good, gracious, and loving God. When we serve a sovereign God, no situation is ever impossible or hopeless. Instead, it is time for Christians to continue to pray for our nation and wait in anticipation to see how God is going to work and move beyond our wildest hopes and dreams.

Note: This blog post is not meant to be a commentary on the “rightness” or “wrongness” of any particular party or politician. If your party celebrated a victory this election, I hope that you recognize that this post is still relevant to you. Whether you face disappointments in prayers for an election, or for healing, or for — really — any area of life, these points still stand. Please continue to intercede in prayer for our nation and our leaders.

Beautiful Scars

Posted: May 24, 2012 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Truth

My toe nail is black. Yes, literally, black. It happened five months ago now playing an alumni basketball game with my old high school team. I’m happy I at least injured it athletically and not by stubbing it on a stair. But, over the past several months, while I’ve been waiting for my toe to heal, I’ve done my best to cover up the “injury.” It isn’t something that’s terribly pleasant to look at so when I go out in flip flops, sandals, or bare feet, I’m careful to cover up that particular toe with a band-aid. When I forget, I just tuck that toe surreptitiously under my other foot. My “scar” isn’t something that I want to show off to the world because, frankly, it’s ugly and makes me look bad.

I think I sometimes do that with other areas of my life, though, too – not necessarily with physical scars, but with emotional or spiritual rough spots. I’m a perfectionist and, as such, I usually like to seem like I have it all together. I like to make it seem like I’ve got no problems, no flaws…like nothing bothers me.

But, not surprisingly, I’m human. I’ve had times of spiritual dryness, times when I’ve been hurt, times when I have been less than perfect. We all have these pockets of imperfections. But, like my toe, I think we often try to cover them up and make sure that no one can see them. That way, we seem whole, even if we are somewhat “broken” inside.

But I think this is a mistake. Our “scars” are a testament to who we have been and who God has made us today. Every physical scar comes with a story – like my little brother’s small scar above his eye where he got hit going up for a rebound in a basketball practice (yes, another sports injury). In the same way, our scars from our histories tell a story – and, for those of us who are Christians, a story of grace.

For example, when I was a freshman in high school, I went through a very difficult time spiritually and really began to question my faith. Am I proud that my faith waivered for a time? No. Do I love broadcasting the fact? No. But still, I’ll talk about it with my friends and I’ve written about it on this blog. Why? Because that “scar” – that rough time – points to God’s grace in my life and can be used to help others.

I’ve been able to relate to many of my friends who are doubting their faith because I’ve gone through it. I can talk to unbelievers about how God has changed my life because I can point to that time of doubt. I can be a testament to God’s grace by revealing that “scar.”

I know there are other areas of my life that can be witnesses to what God has done as well. There are things in my past that I may not be proud of, decisions that I regret, or experiences where I’ve been hurt. But by being open to using these experiences to  testify to God’s grace, these scars can be used by God…not band-aided over.

Hanging On

Posted: November 28, 2011 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, God's Goodness, Hope, Purpose, Trusting God

I think that one of the most poignant scenes in the Lord of the Rings occurs at the end of the Return of the King. The ring has finally been cast into the sea of lava in Mount Doom and Frodo dangles over the lava at the edge of the cliff, clinging with all his might to a jagged rock. He looks down as the most important object in life — the reason for his year-long journey — sinks and dissolves in the fire beneath him. Then he looks up at Sam, offering him a hand. He looks back at the ring. For a moment, it looks like he will let go…that he will follow the ring to a fiery end.

It’s that moment that always stands out to me. Frodo thought — even just for a moment — of letting go. What was going through his mind as he watched the most valuable thing in life dissolve beneath him? What could he do? He couldn’t get it back. He was faced with only two options: cling to the cliff or let go and sink below.

Recently, though, I feel like I’ve been able to understand Frodo just a bit more. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve watched as God has taken certain things that I have invested in and cherished in my life — just like the ring for Frodo — and has dropped them into the fires of “Mount Doom.” Some days, I feel just like Frodo…like I’m just “holding on.”

But like Frodo, I’m also faced with a decision. No, it’s not a choice between life and death, but it is a choice between hope and despair. When these trials entered my life, I couldn’t get rid of them. I couldn’t just “fix” them anymore than Frodo could prevent the ring from dissolving. But that leaves me with only two options: cling or let go.

But unlike Frodo, I’m not clinging to a rock made out of granite and dirt, I’m clinging to the Rock, my Salvation. When I lose the things that matter most to me in life, I can sink into the waves of despair or I can cling to the promises of God. I can cling to the promise that God loves me, that He will never give me more than I can bear, that He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purposes, that He knows the plans He has for me — plans to prosper me and not to harm me, to give me a hope and a future. These are the only sure things I can cling to, and in times of trial, these promises are what is keeping me from sinking.

I think that sometimes God gives us trials just to shake our foundation — to show us that what we’ve built our life upon can just disappear. But when we lose our footing and we need something to grab onto to keep us from sinking, He intends that we cling to Him — to that solid Rock — and His loving and everlasting promises. After all, what other option do we have?

How’s Life?

Posted: October 5, 2011 by clairer in Contentment, God's Faithfulness, God's Goodness, Trusting God

As I sat in a corner booth of my college’s dining hall, hunched over a 2-inch binder full of Supreme Court cases to memorize, I glanced up to see a friend of mine slip into the booth across from me. “How’s life treating you?” she asked as she sat down. How was I supposed to answer that? I had three midterms and a paper coming up within hours of each other this week and I was sick….how did she think life was treating me? As I bit back complaints about my exhaustion, busyness, and sickness, it occurred to me that I was looking at this question from the wrong perspective. My outlook shouldn’t have been, “How is life treating me?” Life is busy, chaotic, and far from perfect. But that’s not what matters. A better way to view this question was, “How is God treating me?”

When I mentally rephrased my friend’s question this way, my whole attitude and perspective on my life drastically shifted. I went from thinking about all the things wrong or hard in my life, to thinking about how many things were undeservedly right in my life?

How is God treating me?

He is treating me with love. He, a holy and just God, is viewing me, a rebellious sinner, through the lens of the righteousness of His Son because He loved me enough to send His son to die for me!

He is treating me with undeserved grace. I am attending a strong Christian college where I can devote myself to studying the things I love. He has surrounded me with caring friends and a loving family. He has given me generally good health, a wonderful church, and a range of opportunities. What did I do to deserve such favor? Nothing. Yet God is gracious and gives these things to me.

He is treating me with faithfulness. Before my tests, I knew that He would grant me the strength that I needed to study. During the tests, I knew He would faithfully give me remembrance. After the tests, I knew that He would grant me rest. And no matter what happened in each test, I knew that He would still be there for me when I cried to Him in prayer.

How has God been treating me? He has been treating me with goodness, kindness, and mercy.

It was with this realization that my perspective was drastically reordered. All those problems that I had to complain about earlier seemed pretty petty all of a sudden. Really, I realized, life can’t treat me that badly, because God is that good.

As my family passed by Cinderella’s Palace, the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom Disney park, a crowd started to gather, music began to blare from the speakers, and Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald Duck, and Goofy all popped out of the castle. Little kids excitedly waved and adults knowingly smiled as the “real live” princesses and princes from the Disney movies joined Mickey on stage. In an instant, though, those kids stopped waving as, in a cloud of green mist, Maleficent, the villain from Sleeping Beauty, appeared on stage telling the crowd that she was going to take over. But the day was saved by Donald Duck who stood up to the evil queen and told her, “As long as kids still believe that dreams come true, evil like yourself will be conquered!” As Donald led the crowd in a chant “Dreams come true! Dreams come true!” Maleficent descended through a trap door in screams of agony.

It was a cute skit with good songs and talented dancers…but something bothered me about the play. To a crowd full of starry-eyed youngsters, all the advice that Mickey and Minnie had to offer the next generation was “Just believe that dreams come true!” That’s it. No promise of success, no foundation for their hope, no assurance for their future. What kind of advice was that?

But as I thought about it, I realized that Mickey and Minnie gave this advice because…they really didn’t have much else to give. When you look at the choices available to us, there are really only four options of things we can choose to trust in: God, ourselves, other people, and other things.

It doesn’t take long for any of us to learn that other people will fail us. People hurt us, insult us, lie to us, and break promises. Why? Because we live in a world that’s full of sinners. Even Christians, who have been filled with God’s Holy Spirit, will fall short of perfection…often. Because of this, people quickly learn that basing our faith on other people will ultimately fail us.

Things too, don’t satisfy. People often spend their lives jumping from fad to fad, possession to possession, addiction to addiction searching for the thing that will satisfy their need for more — the thing that will give them happiness. Why do their interests continually jump around? Because each new thing they try only leaves them with the empty awareness that it didn’t satisfy. It may have made them happy for a time, but possessions get old and break down. Addictions never satisfy, but leave the addict desiring more and more. Fads occur, then people move on to a new fad. Believing in “things” will never be a sure foundation for our lives.

Then what about ourselves? Surely if other people and other things can’t be trusted, the one thing we can be sure of is ourselves…right? I don’t know about you, but I certainly wouldn’t want to trust in myself for my whole life. I’m very aware of the fact that I fall short and that I control very little. I would hate to go through life beating myself up over all the bad things that happened to me, because, if I’m trusting in myself, those bad things must be my fault. I would hate to have to go into every test knowing that the result depended exclusively on how smart I was. I would hate to know that I would have to be constantly vigilant to find the job I hope to hold, because that’s all up to me to find. No, living by trusting in myself would be the most depressing, stressful, and discouraging option of all.

So…what was Disney left with to tell kids to believe in? Dreams: a vague, hopeful idea that things will happen the way we want them to. That’s all that Disney thought was left to tell the next generation. Just believe!

Donald Duck isn’t the first person in history to tell people to “just believe,” though. Those very words were spoken by another person nearly 2,000 years ago: Jesus. As Jesus came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jairus, to heal his daughter from sickness, people told him not to bother…the little girl was already dead. Jesus turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.”

Just believe. What is the difference between Donald Duck’s advice and Jesus’ command here? The differences is that Donald Duck gave the children nothing to believe in. Believing in dreams will get you nowhere except an understanding that dreams don’t always come true. Jesus gave us an object of our faith: himself. He also gave us a reason to believe: he provides. The crowd believing that “dreams come true” may have defeated the fictional Maleficent in a Disney skit, but Jairus’ belief in Jesus defeated death in the real world: Jairus’ daughter came back to life.

So, while the world is telling us to believe in things, or people, or dreams, or ourselves, it is important to remember that there is only one steadfast foundation that can satisfy: Jesus.

It’s all over the news. The Republican party has swept through the nation, taking many many of the seats held by Democrats back in Washington.  The phrase “Change in Washington” keeps getting thrown around as the newly-elected Republicans vow to repeal healthcare and to fix the economy.  Sound familiar?  Didn’t someone else promise change just two years ago?

In the 2008 presidential election, President Obama’s rallying cry was “Vote for Change!”  He promised to fix the economy, to fix healthcare, to fix everyone’s problems.  People were in tough situations in the middle of a recession.  They wanted someone to change things and President Obama was promising to be that person.  He was promising to be their savior.

The problem was that President Obama and the Democrats couldn’t live up to people’s expectations.  No one could.  The people wanted a messiah, and no matter how hard the president or any other elected official worked, he couldn’t save people.

Now, two years later, the same thing is happening.  People are still in difficult circumstances and they want someone to change things — someone to save them.  So, once again, the people voted for change and voted in the Republican Party.  But will this really solve everything?

The problem is that people are looking for a savior in the wrong places.  Ultimately, no human can ever live up to the perfection expected of political leaders.  No one can ever solve all the country’s problems and make everyone happy.  No one can make life perfect.  People want a savior, but they won’t find it in political leaders…no matter how much change is promised.

In the end, only God can be relied upon to change our lives.  He is the savior that everyone is looking for in all the wrong places.  He’s the one — not politicians — who understands exactly what every individual is going through, and He’s the only one who is concerned about not just our material problems but also our dire spiritual state.

Jesus already solved our biggest problem — our sinfulness — by dying on the cross for our sins.  He already has begun to change our lives as we follow Him.  He always hears our prayers and listens to what we have to say.  He’s the perfect “representative” as he mediates between us and God.  He won’t ever fail.  He’s the only one who lives up to and exceeds all expectations.  He —not Obama, not the Republican Party   nor any other political institution —is the Savior.

And, thankfully, God is unchanging and sovereign, and can never be “voted off” His throne…

God Never Crashes (Computers Do)

Posted: October 6, 2010 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Trusting God

About a week ago, I returned to my dorm room after spending the weekend at home with my family.  I had enjoyed my time with them, but of course, I hadn’t worked on any school.  After grabbing a couple of textbooks off my desk, I flipped open my laptop in order to get some of that much-needed homework done.  If there was one thing I didn’t need to happen right then, it was for my computer to crash.  Completely.   As in, crash to the point that the computer will not run at all (even in safe mode).   But, that’s exactly what happened.  When I needed my computer the most, it failed me.

In today’s technological age, I’m not the only one who is depending so heavily on machinery (especially computers and the internet).  I’m not the only one who has had a computer crash while needing to do homework.  I’m not the only one who has ever had an entire essay deleted in an instant because the computer shut down randomly.  I’m not the only person to have to go computer-less for nearly a week while the computer decides whether or not it’s going to revive itself.  In fact, in our culture today, we have come to depend very heavily on technology.  And, we’re still discovering that, as good and helpful as it is, technology simply isn’t reliable.

But as I’ve been mediating on the failings and unreliability of technology this past week, I have become increasingly thankful for one thing.  We may not be able to depend on computers, but we serve a dependable God.

Unlike my computer, God isn’t fickle.  He isn’t going to abandon us when we need Him most.  I needed my computer this past week, but even more than that, I needed God.  I needed my computer to help me finish a research paper, but I needed God to give me strength when I was up late trying to get my computer to work.  I needed His comfort when I received some less-than-favorable news about certain assignments.  I needed His joy in my frustration as I had to creatively try to work around not having a computer.

God promised to fulfill all of these needs.  In the Bible, time and time again, God promises that He will never leave us nor forsake us.  In Isaiah 41:10, He says, “I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”  He promised to comfort me (“As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.” – Isaiah 66:13).  He promised to turn my “mourning into gladness” and to  give me  “comfort and joy instead of sorrow.”  And not only did He promise this, but He was faithful to do exactly what He said He would.

I love how we serve a God who is so faithful.  Can you imagine serving a God who wasn’t dependable?  What would it be like to serve a God who was only there “some of the time?”  What if we prayed to God and didn’t know if our prayers “got through?”  Or even worse, what if we prayed to God and He simply decided that He just didn’t feel like answering that prayer?  What if we needed God, but He decided to take the day off? What if we trusted in God’s promises to always be there, but he wasn’t reliable and we couldn’t count on those promises?  I thought I was pretty depressed at the unreliability of my computer, but this would be infinitely worse.  Without a dependable God, life would be hopeless.

But thankfully, we serve a God who is always there for us…Who never leaves us…Who fulfills His all promises…Who always hears us and always answers our prayers.  Our God is faithful.  Our God is reliable.  And, yes, He’s even infinitely more dependable than my new MacBook.

Leaving…But Not Alone

Posted: August 16, 2010 by clairer in God's Faithfulness, Trusting God

This has been an emotional weekend for me.  The week has finally arrived: I’m leaving for college.  All weekend, I’ve been thinking about the “lasts.”  The last time that I have devotions with my family at night.  My last family dinner.  My last Sunday at church.  Of course, they’re not really lasts.  I’ll be home for holidays and some weekends, but a season in my life is ending and, for a time at least, I’m leaving everything I know behind.  Well, almost everything.  The load of things in the trunk of our family’s van can attest to the fact that I’m not leaving everything behind.  But, I am leaving my family, my friends, and my church.

But, as I’ve been thinking about all the things I’m leaving and all the things I’ll miss, there has been one thought that I’ve found extremely comforting:  I’m not leaving God behind.

One of my favorite verses over the past couple weeks has been Deuteronomy 31:8 which says, “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

I’ve come to realize that although I’m leaving my friends and family, my Father and my Best Friend is coming along with me — in fact, as the verse says, He has already gone before me.  He is with me now and He is also there, in my dorm room, ready to give me a grand welcome.  Just because I leave home doesn’t mean He won’t meet me in my devotions, instruct me as I read the Bible, or strengthen me as I pray.  No, He’ll still be there — never changing and ever with me.