PSA: Heaven on earth does exist, and it’s in South Carolina.
In June, we got the heck out of Dodge for a week at Pine Cove Chimney Point near Anderson, SC. We laughed hard, played a ton (Jet skis! Zip lines! Horses!), and studied God’s Word. No phones. Just family, friends, and the best country-fried chicken I’ve had since I moved from Alabama in 1997.
My prayer going in was that we’d be revived after twelve months that included actual storms like Hurricane Harvey and figurative storms like the loss of McLeod’s mom. How funny and so like God that family devotion time centered on Psalm 23. He truly did “restore our souls.”
But near the end of camp, I began wondering how to hang on to that feeling of rest and confidence in my Good Shepherd once I returned home. Maybe you or your kids have had that kind of mountaintop experience recently, too, only to find yourselves singing the summertime blues once home again. So what’s the secret of not losing rekindled faith or restored joy amidst the dirty laundry and healing sunburns?God’s answer is simple, daily, unwavering trust.
God challenged me through His Word and through a great message series by Brian Goins to trust Him like never before. That has meant that each day since camp, I’ve written a simple sentence declaring that I will trust Him for that day. I’ve written things like this:
I choose to trust You today.
I will fix my mind on You and put my trust in You. (Is. 26:3)
I am free to trust you because it is for freedom that You have set me free. (Gal. 5:1)
I trust you with my kids today.
I trust you with my schedule today.
Why tell you this? First, because I want to stay accountable as I continue in this discipline of confessing daily trust, but second, because I think many of us have serious trust issues when it comes to believing our Father loves us with the Reckless Love we all keep singing about. (Go ahead and play your fav rendition–I’m doing the same right now!)
Many of us believe God loves us, but we doubt His power to act on that love in extravagant ways. By extravagant I don’t just mean earth-shaking, mountain-moving ways. I also mean in a million-and-one “just because I want to” expressions of His love and tenderness. When I choose to declare simple, daily trust, I see Him more clearly at work all day, every day, just as He promises in Isaiah 40:11:
He tends His flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in His arms
And carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young.
So I encourage you to take a Trust Challenge along with me. If your kids have returned home from outreach projects, mission trips, youth camps, or just really sweet family time, then encourage them to join you, too. They need coaching and follow-up from Mom and Dad to help their budding faith flourish.
For each of the next 30 days, write a simple statement like, “Today, I trust You.” Say it out loud if you like. What you will find is that after a week or so, you’ll not only start your day choosing to trust the Lord, but you’ll start saying throughout your day, “Lord, I trust you with ____.”
Nothing is too small or too big that it doesn’t deserve to be placed squarely in the hands of Jesus. He wants us to know Him as the Shepherd of our souls and to trust Him like never before. Take Him up on the challenge.
Are you local to Houston? Join me this fall for my class “Outfit Your Soul” at Faithbridge Church. Embrace who you are in Christ. Then, step out in courage to live with purpose, lead with grace, and love with your whole heart. Registration details here!