November 2, 2023
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"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Working for the world's largest antislavery organization has taught me a few things - perhaps most vivid has been simply choosing to trust God.
My background is in software sales, where I experienced the sneaky trap of self-reliance and grasping for control. Winning or losing, I believed the burden was on my shoulders to perform. However, faced with the audacious mission to free the world's most vulnerable people, I'm now required to trust God in ways I didn't know were possible.
We know God ultimately controls all outcomes. But the need is so great that it leaves us vulnerable to human doubt. So we have a choice: Either we trust that God will inspire miracles, rescue and redemption to happen according to His will or we lie awake at night, stressed out and anxious.
I know what you're thinking: Great! I'll just choose to trust God. If only it were that easy!
Wrestling with this tension begs the simple question: How?
How do we actually go from desiring to be in control to choosing to trust in God? I'm learning that it's not through our own effort; rather, it is a journey of drawing close to our Father.
We know this is true in our personal relationships. Think about who you are closest to in this life. The trust I've built with my husband over the last 15 years didn't happen all at once but slowly, over time, through intimacy and intentionality. We’ve drawn near to one another, with each of us having the courage to let down our guard and allow the other one in.
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight" (Proverbs 3:5-6).
And so it is with God. Drawing near to God requires first a quieting of the exterior so that we can quiet our interior. Laying down our distractions so we can enter the quiet places of our hearts.
In this vulnerable space, you can encounter your Creator, who is patiently and persistently pursuing you. He is the intimate lover of your soul, who knows you and loves you completely. If we can be courageous enough to lean into this, we can begin to feel whole again. And you were created to be whole.
International Justice Mission (IJM) works to restore people to wholeness. Through this journey, I began to understand why violence, especially trafficking and slavery, is so acutely devastating. God created us with agency. And in the beauty of His design, He empowers us with the dignity of belonging only to Him. So when men, women and children are trafficked, enslaved and abused, it crosses a line that God Himself created and upholds - a line that defines the dignity of God's design.
When we hear about these things happening, righteous anger erupts in our hearts. Deep in our souls, we know every person was created to be whole. And our God of justice does not stay still in the face of evil. He also calls us to speak up, to take action.
The work of restoration is hard and holy, and it's an honor to be part of seeing God transform lives from hurting and broken to beloved and whole. This is work only He can do. Our job is to trust Him.
God, we trust You with our work, our lives and our futures. Help us to draw close to You so we can experience the wholeness You designed us for. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 28:7a, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me" (NIV).