Junior year of college, I preached my first sermon. I had given class presentations and speeches before, but for whatever reason, this time was different. This time, I really thought I was going to throw up on the way to class. Fortunately that didn’t happen, but the words of encouragement my classmates gave afterward challenged me with the question:
When you’re uncomfortable, would you still step out if that meant even just one person will be touched?
That question has come back around again a few times in the nearly 4 years since. It seems like no matter how intimidating something is when I’m facing it alone, it’s somehow less intimidating if I know that me pushing through my discomfort is going to help someone else.
Recently, though, I’ve been challenged with a new question:
Would you do it just because you knew God was asking you to?
Sounds easy enough. Who am I to argue with God? But when that call pulls you away from what is familiar or people you care about, it seems like human nature screams on the inside, “Wait! Are you sure?” Would you still trust Him enough to let go?
There’s a lot I don’t know about life, but one thing I know with absolute certainty is God is faithful. With every change, every heartache, every unexpected “plot twist!”, God has stayed steady. He knew how to protect in situations that could have been so much worse, and He knew how to speak comfort and encouragement in ways that only He knew how much they meant to my heart. When it seemed like everything was going wrong, He was there with the hope that it would get better. If anyone can be trusted, it’s Him.
Still, the question stands. Would you step out just because God asked you to? Not because someone needed you to, not because you could logically walk through why the change sounded like a good idea, but because you knew that’s what you were being asked to do. No one else around, just you and God.
My answer was yes but my heart was still heavy. Which led to, you guessed it, another question:
Why is your heart sad if you know there is something exciting ahead? If your lips say yes but you dwell on what you’re leaving, are you trusting God’s love for you? Are you trusting that He will go with you, protect you, and guide you each step of the way?
This wasn’t a question asked out of guilt or condemnation, but of examination. One of wanting to offer a sincerely devoted heart – Nothing held back.
A pastor I was listening to this week was teaching on the story of Joseph. If you aren’t familiar with the story, Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers but later ended up a leader in Egypt – Talk about a plot twist! After his brothers sold him into slavery, though, they told their father that Joseph was dead. Fast forward years later, Joseph’s father, Jacob, is told his son is not just alive but a ruler in Egypt! Jacob agrees to go to Egypt to be reunited with his son, but he stops in Beersheba. It’s here that God speaks to Jacob:
“‘Jacob, Jacob.’ And he said, ‘Here I am.’ He said, ‘I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.'” – Genesis 46:2-4 (NASB)
How cool. God knew Jacob’s heart. He knew the pain Jacob felt when he was told Joseph was dead. God knew what was waiting for Jacob if he chose to obey and go to Egypt. But He also knew Jacob was scared. So, God reassured Jacob that he did not have to be afraid; God promised to go with him. The pastor explained how Jacob’s blessing came because he was obedient to going where God told him to go, when God told him to go. God called Jacob out of what was familiar, but He knew what was waiting on the other side. Even more than that, He promised Jacob that he wouldn’t have to make the journey alone.
“I will do a new thing…” (Isaiah 43:19) A new thing? A new thing calls for change. It requires trust. It gently beckons us to loosen our grip, so we can rest in Him as He molds us into who we were created to be. It’s letting go and leaning on the God who hears our cries, sees our struggles, and provides a pathway to something new – Somewhere we can truly be free.
It’s new people, new places, but the same God. The same hiding place, the same source of strength, the same defender, the same best friend. We aren’t alone.
So, here’s to the winds of change. Here’s to the unknown. Here’s to being thankful for those moments that have shaped us but also expectant for what’s to come. Here’s to finding joy in the truth that God loves us so much, He won’t leave us to navigate the journey ahead by ourselves. Here’s to walking in His peace, resting in His love, and continuing to grow in the trust that He already has it all figured out. Here’s to the One who holds our hearts.
Here’s to this ongoing adventure.