By Kathleen Richard
“What would change if you were applying the lessons from your past experiences?”
Last week I sat in a leadership class and this particular question was on a card at my table. My “table partner” was a total stranger who works in the same type of non-profit that I do and we were asked to share our answer with each other. It was a humbling way to be introduced to someone.
I recounted a time in graduate school when I was incredibly lonely and 600 miles from home. My then-fiancee (now husband) was back in Ruston, my roommate had taken a job out of state and I was biding my time in my last semester before I could return to north Louisiana. I felt like I had been forgotten and exiled to a faraway land. (My dad had renamed Tallahassee to Tally-hassle because it was such a long drive — but that’s another story for a different day.)
My first week back to school after the summer was particularly difficult. One evening during a walk as I was bemoaning to the Lord regarding my lonely soul, I noticed a large brown pile of trash near the road at a neighbor’s house. As I neared the pile, I realized it was moving boxes — used once and neatly broken down — for the trash man to pick up. The Lord whispered to my soul, “These are for you. You won’t be in this place forever.” I ran back to my house and drove my car to grab them. Four months later, when I was packing up my place, it was the EXACT number of boxes I needed. God had known what I needed — in every way!
Fast forward nearly 20 years. If I’m honest, I still don’t trust God completely that He knows what I need and will provide it — in His time. I am not sure why this is, but I have a suspicion that it has to do with living in a culture that tells us that we must worry more and try harder. We constantly hear that our good isn’t good enough. And it isn’t. But God is!
If you find yourself in a place today where you are asking God how much longer He has you in a season, or you’re so lonely (or frustrated, overwhelmed, exhausted, depleted, etc.) that it hurts to even pray, take heart. He has not forgotten about you. He has not abandoned you. He is a good God with a good plan. Trust Him.
If you have an experience where God showed up and showed out — even with regular ole moving boxes, allow that experience to be your testimony going forward about the faithfulness of a great God. Do something different today because of the goodness that God has shown to you! Our world needs your testimony.