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Trusting and Praying

Enjoy this week's email from Penny McDonald, the elder who works with Outreach.

This month, we have been focusing on Proverbs and one my favorites is Proverbs 3:5-6.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.

Scripture has been a compass for my life, and this particular one has been the guide for my life for years. When trying to make a decision or observing a blessing or needing to get through hard times, God always has words to guide us. His words are a way to ground us and remind us of His enduring presence. It is amazing, that when we feel lost or alone, we can return to this simple proverb and know that we are guided and loved.

Several years ago I was part of a mission trip to Romania, and this particular proverb guided us throughout the trip. God used it to open our eyes to the people of Romania and see them through His eyes. We saw the miracle of St Marys’ adult daycare for developmentally delayed adults, and how prayer created that place. People with mental illness and developmental disabilities were a low priority of the government in Romania, but a few people cared enough and prayed enough to bring about change. We experienced how people who materially had very little were sustained by prayer, and it made us realize how much we take for granted and how little we depend on and trust God.

Often times it is hard to put aside my own stubborn ways and to take the time to stop and listen and let God guide me. It is not enough to just say I believe in Jesus, but the call is to believe in Him AND to follow Him. Many times, this is hard.

It is easier to take the safe and familiar road.

If I wake up and become aware that I am headed the direction of safety and comfort, I can take those risks in His name in very small ways.

I can speak to the person on the street that is looking lost.
I can welcome the new person visiting my church.
I can help out at the Mean Street shelter one night, or I can simply listen to a friend who is in need.

Sometimes, thinking I have to do only "big" things to follow Jesus inhibits listening to that quiet voice of the Holy Spirit and act right now.

I wonder how often we do not trust that voice that comes to us in prayer and we do not act. What if we could take the focus and faith that we have on a mission trip and apply it to our daily living? That is what Christ has called us to do.

Penny McDonald
Outreach Elder