It seems that when God gives you dreams, passions, and “homes,” it’s often hard to remain focused on where he’s placed you in the present. Not because where you are is a terrible place to be, but because your mind is incessantly focusing on the past and the future, in both anxiety and anticipation. At least, this is what I have found to be true in my own life. I catch myself constantly daydreaming about the future and reminiscing about the past, sometimes with laughter and butterflies and sometimes with pain and tears. I treasure people people, places, and moments so deeply that I find it is a cycle quite hard to avoid. As are the worries over the amount of money I have in my bank account, the type of career I am pursuing, and the various decisions that always seem to be looming around the corner. Even the thought of eventually leaving where I have been living for nearly two years now is scary. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable, and it’s routine. And still, though I treasure it as well, I again find it hard to simply be.
For nearly a year now the word “remain” has been a theme in both my heart and in my mind. It came to be as I was, per usual, stressing about the future and how I was going to accomplish the things that I felt the Lord placing on my heat. For some reason as humans I think we learn to recognize our failures and shortcomings, realizing that we aren’t actually in control. And in our fight to regain some sort of dominance, we overcompensate, our efforts typically futile. And that’s exactly where I was, feeling trapped by my own lack of control, and desperately searching for a way out.
It was during yet another reading of David’s life in 1 Samuel where “remain” became a normal word in my vocabulary. I read that though he had been annotated for great things early in life, he was depicted as trying to rush or force this calling upon himself prematurely; David simply remained. God gave him opportunities and he took them. There was no selfish and no personal glory in disguise. God took a young, insignificantly shepherd boy with a knack for words and a pure heart and made his name one of the greatest in biblical history.
I don’t believe that this means that everything is predestined no matter what or that we won’t make mistakes along the way. I also don’t believe that this gives us an excuse to become lethargic and stagnant with the assumption that if we sit in the basement eating take out that God will provide results. And I definitely do not believe that God promises us perfect lives on earth, void of disappointment and pain. But I do believe that it gives us an excuse to emotionally rest. To let go of the toxic thoughts that plague our minds or the incessant worries that consume our hearts. It gives us reason to remain in the present, our focus on what has been set before us. Faith is not something based on unreasonable data – we have every right to assume that God has a purpose for us and that His promises are still true and relevant.
To remain is to make a choice, a choice that I have to constantly remind myself to make. To take it one day at a time, not obsessing too much on the future and not too much on the past. Yes, we will have to exhert some effort and spend some time on our goals in life – that is evident. But trust God, the God of miracles. Remain in His faithfulness and remain where He has called you presently. For your calling in the future is just as real and just as important as your calling is for right now. Chase your dreams, pursue your passions, and live courageously. Just don’t let what could be or what could have been interfere with what God has for you right now.
Because trust me. If you let Him, He’ll do something big.
words by Jodie Jones and photo by Clara Espe