Today I had to do something very difficult. Right now I am on a plane headed back to California. I am going to be a youth counselor at a Christian retreat center in the beautiful Redwood forests of Santa Cruz. But I had to leave behind my beautiful home in the mountains of Montana, I had to leave my friends and church body. But more than that, I had to say goodbye to my big, wonderful, amazing family. I am literally stepping into the unknown, leaving behind everything I’ve ever had close to me 24/7.
I know I’m being called to minister to the youth and to be a young women’s counselor, but sometimes, following God’s lead is scary. We don’t have everything figured out, and I don’t think we ever will. But isn’t it comforting to know that we are following the ONE who does?
Stepping into the unknown can have a different meaning for everyone. It may be entering a relationship, moving to a new town, going off to college, meeting new people, becoming a missionary, beginning work at a new job, becoming a new mom. Everyone goes through stages in their life, sometimes more often than others, where they are unsure of what will happen. Unsure of what the future will hold, unsure of what they are doing or what will come of the situation.
When we are standing on the edge of change and fear sweeps over us like a heavy wind, it is then that we must reach out for God’s peace. Peace from the Lord comes with finding trust in His sovereignty. When we know for sure that our lives are in God’s hands and that He has the ultimate control, we can bravely trust in Him.
Peace also comes with our submission to God’s will.
Part of stepping into unknown areas of our lives requires submission to God’s calling. Sometimes we know that God is telling us to do something but hesitate to respond in obedience because of fear or doubt. This is when the Lord is requiring us to trust Him and release our fears to Him and submit to His direction. Submission to God is often a result of trust. When we are married, we submit to our spouse in love, out of trust. The same goes for our relationship with Jesus.
I really love this quote from Charles Stanley about this same topic, he says it much better than I could anyways. He begins by expounding on this verse. It’s so beautiful. Please read it before reading what Mr. Stanley has to say: “He calms the storm, so that its waves are still. Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.” Psalms 107:29-30
“The desires and goals God has put in your heart may appear exceedingly far away. But your heavenly Father has the wisdom and power necessary to get you to your destination. He understands the best, most effective way to take you-the path that prepares you perfectly for what is ahead. No, it may not be the way you would have chosen for yourself, but be assured-there is no more wonderful or impactful plan for your life than the one He has created for you.
Some people fail to follow God because they’re afraid of the storms of adversity that arise.
But those difficulties are necessary for the Father to reach the deepest places of your soul and grow to your full potential. He does so not to hurt you, but to show you what’s possible and to ready you for His astounding purposes. So cling to Him ad trust His navigation. And be absolutely assured-He will get you to your desired haven.”
-Charles F. Stanley, Every Day in His Presence
Even when we don’t know why or how God is leading us in a certain direction, we can be assured that our ultimate happiness is His goal. He loves us so much, He wants us to understand that so that we might trust Him, trust His goodness, His love, His purposes, His plan.
Sure stepping out into uncharted territory is scary and nerve-wracking, but if God is for us, who or what can be against us? When we remember what the Lord has done for us in the past, what He has done for others in similar situations, we can’t help but get excited about the change we are about to encounter because we know that obeying God’s call can be one of the most rewarding decisions we will ever make.
Look back on your life to times when you were scared, did God bring you through it? When you were in a new setting, did God provide? Has he strengthened you? Equipped you? Then rejoice in the knowledge that He will do so again.
Hold fast to your faith, take a deep breath and enjoy the journey.
Don’t fight it. Don’t struggle against this new season in life. Just live in it. Embrace it. God will bring you through with new wisdom, new joy, new faith and new experiences. Make it count! I’ve always found this verse encouraging when going through a “leap of faith” moment, check it out.
““Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.
When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned,
Nor shall the flame scorch you.
For I am the Lord your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…” Isaiah 43:1-3
No need to be worried! He will not let the waters over take you. He will guide you to your desired haven.
-Are you on this brink of change?
-Have you ever stepped out into the unknown to obey God? If so, what helped you gain peace?
Please pray for me while I am at camp this summer as I will be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers as well. God bless!