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Encouragement for Today - October 3, 2011


Alison Strobel

October 3, 2011

The Trust Factor
Alison Strobel
She Reads Featured Author

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)

Yesterday I went into a job interview—junior high substitute teacher; how brave am I? When I walked out of it, I had a whole new calling.

Thing is, I don't want a new calling. I like the ones I've been living with—wife, mom, novelist, children's author. I didn't think God had anything else up His sleeve, and I was okay with that. I'm not a big fan of change.

The man interviewing me told me he has a gift of discernment. Then he did something I've never seen or experienced: he spoke a word over me.

This kind of thing didn't happen in the church in which I was raised. To me, a gift of discernment meant having a reliable sense about whether or not someone's teaching was biblical, or if someone was telling the truth. It didn't mean God could give someone else a glimpse into His plans for me. Yet what this man told me fit, like the one missing puzzle piece, into the changes I've been going through lately on both a personal and a professional level. As he spoke, I knew that what he was saying was truly from the Lord.

But I didn't leave his office glowing with excitement. In fact, I wasn't excited at all about what he told me, despite the fact that it spoke directly to my heart. It would require that I open my hands and release things I've been holding too tightly. And I'll be honest, part of me really doesn't want to.

I like my life just as it is. Remember, God, how I'm not a fan of change—even when it means seeing another dream realized?

The bottom line is this: I struggle with trusting God.

In my novel Composing Amelia, Amelia struggles with the same thing. She'd rather stay with what is familiar than trust God to give her a calling she'll love but can't envision right now.

I don't want to be like Amelia. I don't want to be short-sighted, dubious of God's desire or ability to bless me, or resistant to the future He has for me. But my lack of trust, fear of the unknown, and reluctance to give up my comfortable life are threatening to hold me back from obeying Him. And that's definitely not good.

So I have a choice to make. Will I believe that God's plans are better than my own? Will I risk stepping out of my comfort zone? Do I believe the growing pains I'll face will be worth the blessings that will come? Do I trust God to really take care of me? Or am I going to cower beneath my desk with my fingers in my ears and pretend like yesterday's meeting never happened?

What about you? What changes is God nudging you towards that have you digging in your heels and tightening your grip on whatever you know you need to release? Do you believe the rewards are worth the pain? Or that God's perfect plan is worth leaving your complacency and comfort behind?

Do you trust Him? Or are you hiding and hoping He passes you by?

The unknown is scary. But ultimately—for me anyway—it's scarier to think of what I might miss if I don't let go. And so I say a prayer, open my hands, and peer beyond the edge of what I know, into the vast expanse of the future where a giant question mark dominates the landscape. Do you see it, too?

Today let's choose to trust God and not require that we like or even understand what He is calling us to do. Let's submit to Him, believing that the path He calls us to take will always be worth the change, worth the risk, worth the effort, simply because He has chosen it for us.

Dear Lord, I praise You for Your love and for Your desire to see me grow. I thank You for the promise in Scripture that You are always with us, every step of the way, regardless of whether or not we see or feel You there. Forgive my uncertainty and doubts about the future, and give me the strength to take the next step You are directing me to take. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Do You Know God?

Stop by She Reads to learn more about Alison and her novel Composing Amelia. When Amelia's and Marcus's dreams pull them in different directions, will their love for each other keep their relationship alive? Or will the distance—and their emotional baggage—threaten to destroy both their marriage and Amelia's sanity?

Enter to win a music-themed gift basket inspired by the novel, Composing Amelia.

When you purchase resources through Proverbs 31 Ministries, your purchase supports the hope-giving ministry we provide at no cost. Therefore, we are extremely grateful for each and every purchase you make with us. Thank you!

Application Steps:
Take time this week to memorize one of the power verses below, and spend some time journaling or praying about a situation in your life to which you can apply it.

Where is God calling me to step out of my comfort zone? What is holding me back?

What would help me take that first step? Some accountability? Marking a day on my calendar on which to start? Determine what will help, and commit to it this week.

Power Verses:
Psalm 9:9-10, "The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you." (NIV)

Psalm 56:3-4a, "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise— in God I trust and am not afraid." (NIV)

© 2011 by Alison Strobel. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Originally published Monday, 03 October 2011.