On Saturday I talked about letting go and taking a step of faith toward whatever God is calling you to. Today, Naomi Musch, author of The Red Fury and The Green Veil reminds us of the pain of not following after God’s will. Throughout the pages of Scripture, we read accounts of strange obedience–washing in a river seven times to be cleansed of leprosy, marching around a wall for seven days, stepping into a river at flood stage. In every account, from the confusing to the amazing, it all boils down to trust. If we truly know who God is, if we truly understand His nature, the God-head, full of grace, mercy, love and truth, we’d surrender fully, completely, instantly, continually.
The Silver Lining of Trust by Naomi Musch
I’ve never been one for New Year’s resolutions; however, for the first time in my life I feel pressed to take inventory. The past year has marked a season of change. I turned 50 in November, and next month my youngest child of five hits that magical 18. I’ve been a nester, a homeschooling mom for the past eighteen years who only took on a part-time job a few years ago. 2011 has been a year of very high highs and extremely low lows. Suddenly, despite moments of tremendous joy, I find I have a lot of soul-rending regrets. Sorrows have clouded the landscape of my heart. In dwelling on the lows, I find that I regret my leniency as well as my severity. I regret some jobs and some seasons. I regret most battles and many words — or the lack of them.
Regret is a grim reaper. It kills hope and faith and turns the joy of love into heartache. And yet…
When I was a teenager I swore I’d live without regrets. I said I’d never be sorry for anything. That was a prideful thing to say, even privately. A person who doesn’t regret lives arrogantly. It’s like saying they never do anything wrong, or if they do, so what? That was me back then.
But I’ve learned that regrets, when put into a right perspective, lead to repentance, and repentance leads to mercy. And mercy makes me grow in Grace.
I wrestle with those things I can’t change as I watch my children grapple with their own decisions. I struggle between the right balances of introspection and putting the past behind.
“Press on toward the mark,” the Holy Spirit whispers to my heart. My choices have consequences. Sometimes the consequence is the knowledge that I can’t have a do-over. Still, if I also choose to repent, or if my regrets aren’t the result of sin, but merely disappointing outcomes to decisions, I can turn them over to the Lord and not be overcome by them.
A new year stretches out before us. It may be a terrific year, but it will likely come with disappointments too. Regrets may surface. Loss could be inevitable. But my goal for the year is to trust God intentionally when it comes to these hurts, heartaches, and the things I wish I had or hadn’t done.
It’s a familiar Scripture He whispers, “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way (italics mine), and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.” (Philippians 3:13-16)
What intentional living and intentional trust!
This morning I wrote in my journal, “Dear Lord, help me to trust in You for the silver lining around the clouds.” Some might call it positive thinking, but not I. I know it is intentional trusting. It’s the course I must steel my heart to take, keeping my eyes on those sparkling edges, holding fast and true to God’s embrace.
The Red Fury:
Lainey Kade has been spurned twice since the death of her true love in a logging accident. Now there’s been talk. “That Lainey, she’s a shrew all right. Not ever going to marry, likely.” Seeing herself as an unlovable vixen on whom God has turned His back, she hardens herself to the prospect of such a painful emotion again. Walking away from love’s possibilities and from trusting God, Lainey looks for solace instead in seeking adventure and breaking the rules.
Zane and Kelly Beaumont are drifters, brothers suffering their own disillusionment and bitter degrees of “soldier’s heart” since the Civil War. When their paths join Lainey’s, risky actions and emotions long thought buried set their course on edge. Then the Great Peshtigo Fire sweeps across the young Wisconsin wilderness, swallowing thousands of lives and 2,400 square miles in its wrath. And Lainey realizes that if she allows the spark of love inside her to flame again, it may tear them each apart.
Naomi Dawn Musch was born and raised in central Wisconsin and now makes her home in Wisconsin’s vast northwoods where the vistas are ripe to feed the imagination of anyone interested in history. She and husband Jeff have three grown children and two under wing on their 150 acre farm where they dabble at raising a menagerie of animals.
Naomi has been publishing a regional newsletter for home educators for the past thirteen years entitled Apples of Gold. See the page “Apples of Gold for Home Educators” for more information. She is also a staff writer for Living Stones News, a regional Christian newpaper; and a regular contributor to Home School Enrichment magazine.www.livingstonesnews.com www.homeschoolenrichment.com www.applesofgoldnews.com
Besides writing, Naomi enjoys homeschooling her children, gardening, taking walks in the woods, a little basketball, and fellowshipping with friends.
Visit her online.
And join the conversation:
What has helped you to trust God more? What are the benefits of full surrender based on total trust? What do you think hinders our trust?