It has been a trying year. A lot of emotions, doubt, and fear. The question of will we make it this month? always comes up.
A lot was riding on our move to Austin. We were completely drained, and the problems just kept coming.
This year reminded me a lot of King Asa’s life. King Asa was the third king of the kingdom of Judah. His year of reign started off strong:
Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God. He removed the foreign altars and the high places, smashed the sacred stones and cut down the Asherah poles. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and to obey his laws and commands. He removed the high places and incense altars in every town in Judah, and the kingdom was at peace under him. He built up the fortified cities of Judah, since the land was at peace. No one was at war with him during those years, for the Lord gave him rest. | 2 Chronicles 14:2-6
You can clearly see the dependency King Asa had toward God. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to go the extra mile in putting God first throughout his reign in Judah.
The start of my year was a strong high too. The Lord gave me a challenging but rewarding classroom. He gave me the ability and the heart to teach my students, which was later rewarded in their success on the Georgia State test. He kept my health steady and cancer-free, which brought hope for starting a family. God provided a way to move back to Texas and found us a loving congregation we can serve alongside. God was opening and closing doors, and one thing we didn’t lack at the beginning of this year was trusting God and being dependent on Him.
However, our dependency
took a turn later,
when we found ourselves
struggling to stay afloat.
During his reign over Judah, King Asa was confronted by two crises that tested his dependence on God.
In the first instance, he relied on the Lord, who delivered him and his kingdom from being destroyed by the Cushite army.
In the second instance, however, he turned to the King of Syria for help.
Why would he do this?
Had he learned nothing
from his first victory?
The challenge was not as great as the previous occasion, and, besides, there was enough gold in the treasuries of the house of the Lord and in his house to lure Syria into a treaty and provide him protection. As long as Asa had the resources and cleverness to manage the situation on his own, why bother God with it?
What Asa missed, however, is that it was God’s desire and will that Judah trust Him.
God wants to involve Himself in
every aspect of the lives of His people.
He did not covenant with them to be present only in emergencies, but to dwell among them, to be their God and for them to be his people. God desires that we should live in real, moment by moment, total dependence on him.
I find the same tendency in myself that I see in King Asa. If I have the resources to meet my challenges in life, my first impulse is to rely on those resources. For example:
- obsessing over fertility treatments instead of being patient with the process God was bringing us through
- enduring two more surgeries in the family
- having a spouse with limited mobility who can’t function 100%
- bills on top of bills on top of bills…
Ahhh the headaches and discouragements overflowed!
But wait, listen to this. Our dependence on God is like a branch’s dependence on the vine. It is the necessary connection with him to guarantee a fruitful life. What sort of fruit does God want from us? We know that above else, he desires that we should love him with all our heart, and with all our soul, and with all our might.
How can we show God that we love Him?
By giving Him our complete trust.
If we fail an exam, there will be another opportunity to be tested and get it right. If we lose our job, we have a chance to perform better in our next employment. But after the grave, there is no second chance to live this life over. We have this one opportunity—and no other—to put our trust in God.
My friend, let’s make the most of it.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. | Psalm 73:26