Life seasons flow through the calendar like water on the shore. We see some of them coming like gentle waves creeping in and some of them hit us from the backside, knocking the wind right out of us!
We slowly built up to the season when my youngest son would graduate high school. It had been the plan all along. He studies, I homeschooled, he learned and we both grew through it all. Then he completed his need for my schooling and I stepped into the new season of “retired homeschool mom” with bittersweetness.
No one saw the health issues coming that sideswiped us and left us reeling, though.
That happens. We are left sitting as one on the sand with a bathing suit full of sand trying to figure out which way is up. For us, finding our bearings meant new foods and new medications and better sleep patterns (we are still trying to figure that last one out!).
As God would have it, in the upending season of life, He had me slowly walking through the book of 1 Peter. Peter is writing to an audience of persecuted believers needing reassurance to remain tethered to their unchanging God in a hostile world of loss, pain and trials. Though my trials were not a result of persecution, the encouragement remained valuable.
“Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good,” he writes in 1 Peter 4:19.
The worn page and familiar words leapt afresh into my weary heart.
Entrust your soul to the faithful One. The Creator who made me as I am, who knows the ins and outs and pains and trials.
My suffering in this particular season wasn’t based on my own sin, I knew those seasons all too well too. But this season was issues that were just broken bodies in a fallen world. Suffering in God’s will.
He was allowing what He hated, the brokenness of life, to bring forth what He loved, His redeemed child entrusting herself afresh to Him.
As I unpacked the verse in my quiet time with Him, I could see that it is reminding me that He is Creator, faithful and trustworthy. I could see that the lesson He was highlighting was for me to know His character is faithful and that is a promise. The command stood out to entrust myself to Him.
How do I entrust myself to you, Lord? What does that look like in my life?
The original word translated “entrust” in this verse comes from the Greek paratithemi meaning, “to place or put right close beside, to set close beside, to commit to in a very up-close-and-personal way.”
So to respond to this was to commit my soul to be very up close and personal to God. Living life with a continual awareness of God’s presence with me, up close and personal. That prefix para stresses nearness. And boy, did I need that nearness to Him!
Funny how the very thing we actually need is the very thing we avoid in hard seasons. It seems easier to remain in the current of the trial and reach for the usual numbing techniques than to make the deliberate choice to lay the weight at His feet and keep pressing in to the One who upholds all things well.
Per the leading of the Spirit today, though, I will seek a paratithemi awareness of the One who never leaves me or forsakes me. Let’s be deliberate to enter His presence through gratitude and welcome Him to be up close and personal.
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