By Sheree Harrington
Recently, I received some challenging news regarding my current employment. I need to make a decision whether to continue my counseling with my current practice group or establish my own private practice. The director of our practice group has been talking to the clinicians in our four locations about his plans to retire in a few years. However, we assumed we had at least two years before we had to decide what to do after the practice closed its doors. Apparently, finances have become challenging to the point where the director felt it necessary to make some hard decisions. As a result, the site where my office is located needs to be eliminated this year. My initial reaction was one of anger, and then fear began to set in. The news took me completely by surprise, and I began to think of the financial implications. My husband is planning to retire at the beginning of next year, which leaves me as the sole income earner apart from his Social Security benefits.
I decided to gather as much information as possible before making a final decision on how soon to leave the practice. In the meantime, a friend had invited me to a concert by contemporary Christian recording artist Steven Curtis Chapman. The opening act was a fellow artist who has been a longtime friend of Steven: Geoff Moore. Before introducing a new song he had written for his upcoming album, Geoff talked about his lifelong struggle with anxiety. He stated he had difficulty with not being able to predict what was going to happen in his life in the future. A turning point came upon reading author Oswald Chambers’ devotional book, My Utmost for His Highest. This particular devotional is a classic and has been a favorite standard of followers of Christ for many years. One line in particular became Geoff’s “saving grace” and has encouraged him during his times of doubt and fear. Oswald Chambers states, “When you don’t know what to do, trust God and do the next thing. Take the next obvious step in front of you and trust God to lead you.” Those words truly ministered to my spirit and helped me take a new and different perspective on my situation.
Abraham trusted God
I am reminded of Abraham, who trusted God and left all he knew to go to a promised land that he never lived to see.
“By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance,obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise.” (Genesis 12)
As a result of his obedience, we are told, “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6 NIV). Abraham in essence did what Oswald Chambers encouraged believers to do, “Trust God and do the next thing.” What about you? Can you take the next step of faith in an unknown situation and trust God to be with you? As I prayerfully consider the next step to take, I can rest in the knowledge that God will go before me, leading me down the next path in my life’s journey toward the kingdom of God.
Sheree Harrington is a Christian counselor in private practice and an ordained pastor. She serves as part of a pastoral team in her home church in Auburn, MA. She feels her calling is to speak God’s Word into the hearts of His people, whether through counseling, preaching, or blogging. In her spare time she enjoys reading and spending time with friends. Sheree lives with her husband in Webster, MA.
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