Last week provided an opportunity to spend three days on the Makana with our youngest daughter and her family. I’m so grateful for that time because this week, as you read this, we’re packing up their household and moving them to northern British Columbia where our son-in-law will do his two-year family practice residency.
I‘ve so enjoyed having this family within an hour’s drive since last September, but the move puts them about ten hours away. No more popping in to watch the kids for a couple of hours, freeing my daughter to run errands. No more sitting together in church or doing lunch together after the Sunday service. And no more sleepovers on Grandma’s boat. The mere thought of saying goodbye next week, after getting them settled, makes my eyes misty.
I’ll be honest—my heart aches but, at the same time, I’m experiencing the promise in Proverbs 16:20—“Those who trust the LORD will be joyful.”
We asked God to direct this family’s steps for the residency placement, and He did. We asked Him to provide housing for them there, and He did. We asked Him to provide childcare for when our daughter has to return to work, and He did. Well, actually…He’s yet to provide childcare for the one-year-old, but we’re fully expecting Him to come through. As recently as a few weeks ago, they faced a host of unknowns on this journey, but we chose not to worry. Instead, we chose to trust God to meet them at every corner. He did. And He will continue to do so because that’s who He is. Faithful. Wise. Good.
“Those who trust the LORD will be joyful,” says the proverb.
That’s because trusting God in the process and for the outcome means we don’t bear the burden of solving every problem and overcoming every obstacle. We give our cares to the LORD because He cares for us, and He does the hard work. (1 Peter 5:7)
This isn’t a one-and-done promise. It’s backed by many more that guarantee joy when we place our trust in God. Here are few examples.
- Romans 15:13 (NLT) – “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
- Psalm 28:7 (NLT) – ”The Lord is my strength and shield.I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.”
- Psalm 33:21 (NLT) — “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name.”
Clearly, trust and joy share a close connection. This quote explains it well: “Our joy in God is bound up with our trust in God. The two cannot be separated—not ever. Trust is the backbone of joy. And joy is the outflow of trust in one who is fully Trustworthy.” (Tony Reinke, senior writer for Desiring God)
Every challenge we face forces us to make a choice. Will we choose to trust our doubting selves? Or will we choose to trust a God who is faithful, wise, and good? The former launches us into fear and anxiety. The latter brings joy as we wait with hopeful anticipation for a good outcome under God’s control.
So, my friend, what changes or challenges are you facing at this time? Will you join me in choosing to trust God? Let’s believe that He will give us wisdom, strength, courage, and whatever else is needed to carry us through.
Joy comes when we trust the One who is fully trustworthy.