“Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away. For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.” – James 1:9-11

Her husband had just lost his job unexpectedly and she was reaching out, asking for prayer.

“Oh friend, I know how you feel…”, I began to type as the memories flooded my mind.

Her words could have been mine just a few years earlier. What was supposed to be an exciting time in our lives as we prepared to welcome our first baby into the world turned into a time of grief and uncertainty as we suddenly faced an unknown future.

I knew something was wrong the minute he walked through the door much too early before the end of one workday. The baby was due in two short weeks, and with great joy and anticipation of becoming a new mama, I had just quit my full-time job the week before. Where would we live? How would we pay our bills? Topics like health care and diapers became sources of tension instead of blessing.

“But God,” I prayed.  “I like this town. These friends. This church. This humble little house that we’ve made our own, with this just-finished nursery…”

God, please don’t take me from this place. 

And just like that, I’d confessed where my security lay – in the familiarity of landmarks and living rooms; in the abundance of stuff and solid bank accounts – instead of in the matchless God who has held my every tomorrow in His hands right from the start.

In our young marriage, that job loss initially seemed devastating. From God’s perspective – and eventually ours – it was an invaluable time of refinement and growth; something that we wouldn’t go back and change now even if we could. We learned to evaluate what were true needs and what we could do without. We grew less impressed with ourselves and more impressed with Jesus and our great need for Him. We identified and painfully surrendered sinful idols in our lives. God tore down walls of false security. Our appreciation for simple things, for the miracle of new life, and for one another grew and filled us with joy even in the midst of uncertain days. I was clinging so close to Jesus during that time that I often found myself praying…

God, please don’t take me from this place.

Don’t take me from this unstable worldly place that provides such sweet, stable communion with You.

The stuff of this earth will never satisfy, and it will all eventually fade away. But because of Jesus, there’s so much more to this life than what we can see. Through each trial and every necessary surrender God is writing our stories, and He wants us to lack nothing (James 1:4) in His process of making us more like Him. Why would I ever dare to think that my plans or any worldly provision could top that?

What about you, friend? Don’t ignore the work God wants to do in you. Don’t waste another day pursuing the things of this world like they will make or break you. Rest in the hope and security that only Jesus can give. Embrace where He’s placed you. Walk humbly. Trust Him fully. Live gratefully. And rejoice in knowing that you’ll look a little more like Jesus coming out the other side.

Oh Jesus, if I boast let me boast in You…

At His feet,

 

 

Let’s talk: Does your security lie in heaven or in the stuff of earth? Is there a materialism idol in your heart that needs surrendering?

 

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