by Karen Kurth
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. (Psalm 143:10, NIV)
My sending church in the States has us fill out an agonizing yearly review. Part of that review is to set a goal for the next year. I confess that I usually write any ole thing and forget it the minute the file is sent. The problem is that the next year, the review asks if I fulfilled my goal. “What goal?” I ask.
Last year I decided to have some integrity with that question, and I set the measurable goal of letting go of 12 kilos. I really prayed about what the goal should be. At the beginning of this year God also gave me these words: “Don’t try harder. Trust deeper.” Was my goal another way of trying harder? Was it me struggling with perfectionism? How did this goal fit into how I was learning to live in light of God’s deep love for me?
As I prayed, I realized that God is truth. The truth is that, for my overall health, I need to let go of 12 kilos. As the year began, I lost 2 kilos, but in March I found 3 kilos. Around the beginning of June, I started to feel quite desperate and I began a diet. The diet was not drastic, and I was able to follow it until I had a birthday. Then… I just could not.
By then it was hot, and the months of living so isolated were getting to me. My resolve was weakened! In August, I was supposed to fly to the States for HMA and I planned to visit a nutritionist. But because of the Corona Virus cases in Romania, my flights were cancelled. My prayers became conversations about my frustrated efforts to obey, both in letting go of the 12 kilos and in trusting more. “God I’m trying to obey but my efforts are being thwarted!”
While waiting to be able to fly out for the USA, I traveled to meet with two colleagues and God showed me how much I needed community. I realized how I needed to make this a priority when I return to my city even in the short time before I left for HMA. So I texted friends looking for walking partners. Hiking up a nearby hill, my friend told me that her son and daughter-in-law had arrived from the States and would be in Romania indefinitely––He is a personal trainer and she is a nutritionist!
Karen, don’t try harder. Trust deeper! My goal is good and not perfectionistic. My obedience is in hearing God even when my circumstances are disappointing. He’s got it in control and is trustworthy.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV)
- Is God revealing to you an area of disobedience? What is His tone of voice as He speaks to you? Write about this in your journal.
- Marvel that you have a God who is ready to help you even to obey Him. Write a poem or a song or paint a picture for God on obedience.
- Listen to the soaking music on YouTube called In Quietness and Trust by Julie True.