Can I Get a New Word for the Year?

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New Word for the Year
27 Feb

Can I Get a New Word for the Year?

In the past few years, I’ve noticed friends posting their “word for the year” on social media. I always wonder how they come up with the word. Christians say, “Here’s the word God gave me for this year,” and I don’t doubt that’s the case in most circumstances. I tend to appreciate those who state, “God gave me this word for the year and it really made me angry at first.”

Given all this, I wasn’t especially pleased toward the end of last year when the word “trust” started playing around in my head. It coincided with the fact that I started building my own counseling practice, which I never expected to do, nor did I save any capital toward the possibility. I found myself needing to trust God, and his love and willingness to provide for me and my family. It’s hard to say whether he gave me the word as my theme for the year or it’s just there because, well, I always need to grow in trust. Still, I’d have much preferred the words “future lottery winner.”

We have a bit of money in savings…a very little bit. Nonetheless, I allow myself to take some reassurance from this fact. We also have an amount set aside for my daughter’s upcoming dental surgery and braces. Not enough to cover the whole amount, but enough to get started.

Yesterday, when I went out to the garage to start a load of laundry, I noticed a wet garage floor. I quickly made the connection between it and the sluggish outside faucet. We had a broken water pipe.

As a highly-trained counselor who helps people with anxiety and depression, I immediately started panicking. Would this swallow our savings? By the time evening arrived I had sunk into depression, consoling myself with the fact that I would know more the following afternoon when the plumber arrived.

I tossed and turned much of the night, worrying about the problem and pleading with God to grow my faith. I thought about “trust” on my early drive to the office. Upon opening my email at the office I found the overview for Sunday’s 4th and 5th grade Sunday School lesson. “Part of the discipline of thankfulness is to thank God even before we know how he will provide.” My first thought? How do you do this?

Back to trust. I realized I put my trust in a certain paycheck but not in the God who provides it. Trusting means I may not know how God will provide, but he knows and I am to rest in that. And I am to thank him for doing it before he does it.

I am still struck by something my pastor said in a sermon. His topic revolved around  the passage where Jesus and his disciples sat in a section of the temple overlooking the giving boxes (Mark 12:41-44). Jesus pointed out a widow who gave her few small coins—everything she had. He didn’t try to stop her and say, “Hey, you’d better hold onto that. It’s your last bit of money.” No, Christ allowed her to put it in because he knew his father would provide. That speaks to me. Yet it remains hard to get over the hump to trust. The thought occurred to me this morning that perhaps God will allow our entire savings to be taken by this issue because he knows I need something more than I need the money. He knows my deepest need is to trust him.

Chuck Roberts, M.A., LPC-S

Chuck Roberts is a counselor in private practice in Dallas and McKinney. He loves seeing God restore people to wholeness. Chuck enjoys writing and he's an avid reader whose wife has accepted the stacks of books around his chair. He lives in Dallas with his wife and daughter.

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