Regarding the future (when it’s a big blank unknown)

You know that feeling when you literally have no idea how something is going to work out? When you know there’s a “next step” that’s coming but you have no idea what it is? When the deadline to have things figured out is just a month (or a week) away? When people ask you “what’s next” and you can’t answer because it feels like there’s just this big black empty void of a black hole ahead of you that will swallow you if you get too close?

Maybe that’s a little bit dramatic, but that’s pretty much what it feels like.

I know I’m not the only one who worries about the future. But I’ve realized a few things lately and I hope you’ll let me share them with you.

In the months leading up to my husband’s graduation from seminary, we prayed for jobs, for connections, for a church that fits, for a position that fits Matthew’s gifts and passions. These are scary and big prayers. We tried to pray with the belief that God can do anything. With the faith and the hope that God can provide. But also seeking to humbly surrender our will to His.

Those things are easy to say. Have faith. God is good. He will provide. Not my will but Yours. But as the days inch on, one by one, and the answers and the provision still haven’t come, those truths are harder and harder to believe. Instead it’s easier to believe those sneaky little lies that tell us “it’s not going to work out”, “it’s because you guys aren’t doing enough”, “it’s because you guys aren’t good enough.” And if we’re not careful these lies will start to strangle our hope.

I’ve realized more than ever these past few months of the desperate necessity of hiding the Word of God in my heart to combat these lies. So that when the lies come saying “you’re not good enough” or “God doesn’t have your best in mind” I can instead think “the Lord is my shepherd” (psalm 23:1), “He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber” (psalm 121:3), “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (psalm 46:1).

And as I’ve tried to pray for faith and belief, I’ve realized something. As I seek to hold my heart in a posture of surrender and belief, I find that the Lord is urging me to an even deeper kind of faith. To a faith that believes big things from a big God, yes. To a heart that is brave enough to hope for something good, yes. But most of all for a deep deep belief that even if the answers and provision never come that God is still good and still sufficient.

And this is a hard place for my heart to arrive at. But it’s also the most beautiful place, a place of surrender and dependence that brings glory to the Lord.

I think the kind of trust that the Lord is urging me to is to trust Him enough to completely release my will to His. To know that no matter what, even if the tangible provision I am asking for never comes, that the Lord will still provide and that He is still enough.

So I pray for the strength to believe, yes, that the Lord can provide. But I also pray for the Lord to shift my perspective on what that provision is.

It might not be provision in the sense of a new job to step into. It might not be provision of the answer or the perfect “next step.” Instead it might just be provision of strength to believe again tomorrow, and the next day. It might just be provision of the understanding that even if my tangible prayers aren’t answered, that I can find complete and full satisfaction in Him.

This posture of submission and belief is utterly impossible aside from the power and strength of God. 

So it’s here, on the brink of the unknown. On the edge of what could be the perfect answer to our prayers or what could be days, months, or years of more waiting; it’s here that I pray for the strength to trust in my God as provider and sustainer of my faith.  He’s never let me down before. He is surely enough to sustain and carry me until the very end.

So whether the Lord’s provision is the answer to your prayers or simply faith to believe again tomorrow, I pray that you will trust that He is good and that He is enough.

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