This morning, as my husband was putting a letter in our mailbox, he discovered another letter that had been pushed to the back of the box. The letter was addressed to me, specifically my name in the manner as I had written it when I filed to run for school board a few short months ago. (Not that I changed my name in any way, but I had to include my legal name in parenthesis which is one I almost never use.) In the letter was some requests to make public appearances at commerce events and then to record a short interview with the local cable station. I think it is just natural to get that sinking feeling in your stomach when you know you are going to be put on the spot and what you say and do will be held up against how people view you and determine if they like or dislike you from the impression you have left in that moment. And so, as I was reading my devotional readings and processing this letter this morning, I realized the wisdom I needed to heed as I processed this letter further was contained in the proverb I have written above.
The whole thought process that starts to whirl through one's mind when they know that they will be put into a place where people are bound to bring judgment upon them can be overwhelming. I have talked with a few other candidates for office and they too have experienced this same swirling emotional state. I don't think that these types of feelings are reserved for those in politics though or even just those new or old in taking on any public stage. Rather, any time any of us are called “to the carpet” so to say, we often times will respond with what is called in sociology, the “fight or flight” mentality. In fighting the reaction a person has to an event is to put up a guard and prepare for the worst, usually by calculating and defining strategy as it best fits the scenario ahead. On the other hand, in a flight maneuver the reaction a person has to an event is to run away from it and not face the event or even let it enter into his/her thought process. But God has a third way that our made-made sociological explanation does not factor in – trust in Him.
The snare of human reasoning is that the ideals of the world around us are the tools which we are to use to appease the people around us. But in falling for that type of trap we get stuck in the sinful desires of people (those worldly ideals apart from God) and we forget that the pure and unadulterated ways of God are what people really are yearning to hear and follow. On our own we cannot come up with words that touch the hurting places people desire to have healed in their lives. The hope that we hold in us and that we show to others as we allow Jesus to work in the through us, our actions and our words, must be uniquely from God if we have the desire to not get caught in the snare of pandering our ways to the ways of man.
Trusting in God is not running away and yet it is not running straight at anything either. Rather trusting is resting in God's ability to set before you a way to walk in confidence in Him, to have the right words to say and power behind those words to make them effective for even greater things than you could imagine. Each day as I realize more and more that my calling is to be a light in this dark world, I realize also that being a light has little to do with my abilities to shine. Jesus is the One and only Light of the World and in trusting in His ability to shine through me while I rest in Him, prepare myself as He instructs, and take action when He requests is the only way to I can be that light.
Don't get caught up in trying to adjust your light so that those around you will find your presence more comforting. Rather, trust in the brightness setting the Lord Jesus has set in your life and the places He puts you to shine forth that light He has kindled inside you. Then, just rest in how He desires to use that light to bring glory to Himself. There is no snare for those who keep their eyes and hearts set on the Lord and fear Him alone because His greatest desire is to shine through you and He will remove any and all obstacles that get in the way of that purpose.