Slow and Steady

They say “slow and steady” wins the race but what about “scared and stubborn”? What happens to those of us that don’t learn the first time, or the next, or the next? What happens when the same lessons keep showing up and you just can’t learn what is trying to be taught? What happens when letting go of what feels so true and right and comfortable is too difficult and so you just stay stuck?

I was reading back through my journal today, reflecting on what all has happened in 2018, looking for glimpses of  growth, success and movement forward. There were some of those, but what struck me was the repetition of many prayers and verses that kept landing on the pages. From one month to the next, the same requests to God and he continued to give me the same responses. I seemed stuck. 

I saw that I was scared in my prayers and stubborn in what was required of me. Scared to let go, to trust Him in the waiting, in the staying put. And stubborn in not wanting to let go of my way, my plans and my agenda.

So what happens now? Do I just keep writing the same worn-out prayers and having Him respond with the same truth-filled verses? How do I get unstuck, how do I move forward in growth and success?

As I prayed through what felt like grounded feet in really thick mud, I kept landing on the word ‘trust’.

Trust- to place confidence in, to surrender to, to entrust, to give into the hands of, to permit, to allow…

Psalm 37:3 “Trust in the Lord and do good.”

Psalm 37:5 “Commit everything you do to the Lord, Trust him and he will help you.”

Prov. 29:25 “Whoever trusts in the Lord will be kept safe.”

Psalm 91:4 “I will cover thee with my feathers and under my wings shall thy trust.

Rom. 15:13 “You will have joy and peace as you trust in him.”

There are some messages floating around out there telling us to work harder, that we are the authors of our success, that we can make it happen. And yes, it is important to work hard and stay focused, but it seems God’s economy tells us something different. God adds another beautiful layer to our work. God’s economy tells me to let go, to rest, to surrender the results to Him.

Instead of holding on tight and digging in my heels, I am to open my hands and trust him with the outcome. Instead of taking my dream and making it happen, I am to lay the dream as an offering at his feet, to give it back to him instead of running ahead. Oh how hard that is.

What a paradox, that the hardest thing is to let go and rest.

However, if I operate in complete trust, if I trust He is who He says He is, letting go becomes the easiest thing I can do. The pressure is off. It’s no longer up to me, but up to the Creator of the universe, Abba Father.

What a breath that creates for me, for us! How unstuck I would feel if I functioned in trust.

My word for 2018 was Rest. I have battled and worked so hard to learn rest. (Did you catch that? I have even made the word “rest” about work!) And here, as 2018 is drawing to a close, he is faithfully showing me what it means to rest. It means to trust: to place confidence in, to surrender to, to entrust, to give into the hands of, to permit, to allow…But will I? Will I lay it all down, rest under his wings and trust him for the results?

Slow and steady, with him by my side, I will win this race because “He is my God and I am trusting Him.” Psalm 91:2

In perfect timing today, a sweet friend reminded me of these lyrics from my childhood:

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Oh, how sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to trust His cleansing blood;
And in simple faith to plunge me
’Neath the healing, cleansing flood!

Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest, and joy and peace.

I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee,
Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend;
And I know that Thou art with me,
Wilt be with me to the end.