In my daily devotional a few days ago, I read a passage about worrying.  It's been rolling around in my thoughts now and I keep coming back to it.  While I don't consider myself a worrier (anymore...see post below), this hit home on so many levels:
"Our problem with worry is a heart issue.  It's all about whether we are surrendered to God.  Do we really trust Him to take care of us?  Do we believe that He will lead us in His will and that His will is always good?  Do we really value his plan, even when His plan leads us through difficult circumstances?  If the answer is "yes" to all of these, then we have perhaps recognized Jesus as Lord in the way that He desires.  But for most people the answer to these questions is "no"---at least occasionally, if not frequently.
Think about what's really in your heart when you worry.  If we are worried and anxious, we don't really accept His lordship, do we?  If we have really submitted to Him, we trust Him to handle our lives.  They are in His hands, and whatever He chooses to do with them is all right with us, even if His will is difficult.  The path is His, the means to live it are His , and the outcomes are HIs.  This is what surrender is all about.  And if we're really surrendered, we're not worried about it."  -Chris Tiegreen
"Worry is an intrustion into God's providence."  -John Haggai
Tonight during Church the older youth who was sharing was talking about really seeking God's will for your individual life and grabbing a hold of it.  Of not letting your friends decide what's right for you and where you should go in life.  God has a plan for each of us and it make be very different from your friends, it may even take you far away from them, but it is God's plan for our life and to live inside of His will is the closest we can get to Him this side of heaven.  After that, a group from one of the dorms came up and recited a passage that they have been memorizing:
"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures.  He leads me beside still watersHe restores my soul.  He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.  Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever."  -Psalms 23:1-6
When I first heard God calling me to Africa, I really had to struggle through these passages.  Did I really trust that God would take care of me...that he was leading me to a good place....that He could even use me here...that it wouldn't be too hard and too tough and too big of a sacrifice.  I wasn't totally surrendered to God.  I wasn't ready to accept FULLY His grace and mercy and forgiveness as my own.  Because when I FULLY did, I saw myself completely, wholly as His daughter, the way He sees me; ready to take on the world, fight His battles, go to the ENDS of the earth to share His love with His people.  And then I knew that He who had called me, who had proven time and time again that He was good and gracious and merciful, would NOT call me and then neglect to join me on HIS journey.  No!  He's here with me every step of the way....He's even gone before me and made my paths STRAIGHT!  He does all of Psalms 23 and more.  I have truly and utterly, whole heartedly surrendered my heart and my life to the Lord.  If we don't really surrender, than we are often just fighting to do it out of our own strength.  I cannot do most everything here on my own.  I promise you that.  This place is too hard, too lonely, too hot, too cold, too uncomfortable, too frustrating, ect.  With Him...He has shown me HIS path, given me His means to walk it, and the fruits that come from it are His too.  I often find myself wanting to take back the control, when I don't like or I doubt His provisions.....when the mountain just seems too high.....but I find myself coming back to these passages and surrendering again....to the one that has EVERYTHING figured out and IN CONTROL and all times.  and I am thankful to be released from having to figure it out or keep it under control all on my own.
As I'm preparing to leave Mozambique for a short break and travel back home to the States in just 6 days, as well as looking to the future and all it might hold, I find myself returning once again to Psalms 23 and reminding myself to just surrender into His hands, because it is ALWAYS good and even better than I could have ever asked or dreamed!

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