19: Trust God #Lent2021

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; God is the one who will keep you on track.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

My faith, for better or worse, has always been a simple one, not deeply theological, but quite deeply spiritual. It has also waxed and waned from the very likely intolerable to those around me zeal of a freshly born again Christian in my mid 20s through to the less connected/taking for granted place I found myself in early 2020. God of course has quietly been sitting waiting for me to return with some subtle and not so subtle calls back to be close over the years.

One of the most profound “Oi, remember me?” moments came from events in 2020. The existential fear of Covid-19 bringing about an online reconnection to my old church in Canberra and equally joyful new connections to the folk at Sanctuary (that a whole lovely story in itself) – God quietly started calling me back through this reconnection. Melbourne CBD lockdown was pretty bleak and I/we by no means went through the worst case scenarios of job loss, loss of a place to live, passing of loved ones etc. It did however bring a timely reminder that no we are not doing any of this alone.

A nearly thwarted attempt to move to the Warrnambool area: Thought thwarted to the point of literally saying to a real estate agent “Sorry, can’t buy the house after all…” To really have just mentally concluded it wasn’t going to be a thing and to prayerfully having given up the whole idea to God. Only then to have the agent call back a week or so later and say “…was talking to the owner, they asked would you like to rent it in the meantime…”

Taking a physical leap of faith and leaving behind what connections I had in Melbourne, and indeed moving to be even further from four decades of connections and a home base in Canberra and trusting that God would help me start a new chapter.

Finding wonderful friends in my new local community – truly I have never felt so welcome and even, most unexpectedly, the joy of a burgeoning new relationship with an old friend. Of course, she lives back in Melbourne, but she has deep roots in Koroit/Port Fairy and had wanted to move down there one day. What are the odds? 🙂

So many reasons to be thankful but the overriding takeaway has been that while we might move away from God sometimes, God never moves away from us, just patiently waits for us to remember to have that quiet prayer, that closeness and all that is good that comes from that reconnection.

I am beyond thankful that it looks like the buying the house thing might even come to be after all, but the point of this not a case of God answering our prayer shopping list but rather, that no, if you prayerfully try and follow what God wants you to do, God makes the next step, or maybe next few steps clear. Doesn’t mean you know the final destination necessarily, but there’ll always be a next step or two to take if you’re open to it.

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; God is the one who will keep you on track.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 was a favourite of that overly zealous 25 something year old evangelical former me. Perhaps the younger me did actually have something useful to tell me twice that many years along. Ω

Reflect: When have you had an “Oi, remember me?” moment with God? Are you aware of God’s presence now? Pray about it.

What is this? Lent is the 40 days, excluding Sundays, before Easter. Traditionally it is a time of intense reflection and pilgrimage. To help you on this journey, Sanctuary has put together 40 stories from people both within and beyond the congregation, with associated questions for reflection and prayer. A reading will be uploaded every day of Lent.

#Lent2021. Real People, Real Stories: 40 Readings for Lent, Sanctuary, 2021. Image credit: Rachel Coyne on Unsplash.

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