At the end of 2019, a friend shared with me a booklet to reflect both on the year behind and the one ahead. As I worked through it and spent time praying about what God had in store for 2020, God continued to repeat a single word to me: Yield.
I’ve always had a problem with control, namely thinking I have any amount of it. Time and time again, when faced with any difficulty, I grit my teeth, dig in my heels, and white-knuckle it to prove that I can solve it.
To me, yielding is the opposite of that. Rather than white-knuckling the steering wheel of my life, I know that what I really need to do is…you guessed it, let Jesus take the wheel.
At the time, I had absolutely no idea just how far God was going to push me into the exploration of that word, but now that the whole world has yielded to Coronavirus, I almost feel like God is asking me to proverbially “put my money where my mouth is” and truly use this time to seek Him and yield to His will rather than forging my own path ahead.
In the physical act of yielding, slowing down is absolutely necessary. Roundabouts are constructed in such a way that, at a minimum, you have to slow down and take in your surroundings to avoid an accident. Sometimes you have to come to a complete stop, and sometimes it’s a short stop and sometimes its longer than you want. (In writing this blog post I’m starting to realize I might also miss driving a little bit…)
Coronavirus has forced me into slowing down. It has made my world the size of our one-bedroom flat here in Budapest and forced me to take an inventory of my life and my heart. Of course, the distractions of this world are still readily available to me (I’m looking at you, Netflix), but I’ve realized that God is calling me to more in this time at home than just getting by or biding my time.
Specifically, it’s a time to catch up, to wade through everything that has happened these past few years, to let go of my thinly veiled façade of control and ensure my feet are firmly planted on His foundation, not my own shakily built one. As a self-professed “control freak” outcomes are incredibly important to me, but I cannot do anything of worth apart from God and He seems to be asking me to use this time to strengthen my foundation in Him.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
– John 15:4
In the last two years, I have quit my family business, started a new job, raised support for said job, moved four times (including out of my first home I lived in alone and then across the world), planned a wedding, got married, welcomed three new nieces and nephews into the world, had an organ removed, was diagnosed with a chronic disease, and said goodbye to my family and friends. That’s quite a bit to process and unfortunately my tendency when dealing with feelings and emotions is to pretend they don’t exist and just push forward. Why “waste time” getting bogged down in feelings when there is so much good work to be done, right? But in this time at home, God has been reminding me that He created me and He knows me AND all of my emotions. They don’t overwhelm Him and bog Him down as they often do me. He is there, ready to take my burdens and guide me forward. In fact, until I slow down and yield to his love and his plan, anything I do will be dust.
“Unless the lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”
– Psalm 127:1
I don’t have a shiny bow to put on the end of this blog post because yielding to God is a minute-to-minute process and I have not arrived. And I also know for many this isn’t a time of slowing down, it’s actually thrust them into carrying even more than they are accustomed to. But I do know God’s promises remain true regardless of circumstance and that He is always present in every little detail of all of our lives.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
– Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)
– By Amanda Buck, OMS Hungary Team Member