Jonathan Holmes, Executive Director at Fieldstone Counseling
I write this blog post in a difficult, but not unfamiliar position as many of you have been in. I recently tested positive for COVID, and I am quarantined at home for the next several days. Two years ago, words like COVID, quarantine, and work from home would have been far from our vernacular, and yet I can write something like that to all of you and immediately you know and you understand.
Many people, myself included, hoped and longed for 2021 to be a year that we would finally be able to put COVID and all its attendant baggage behind us, but the Lord had different plans. For most of us (or perhaps I’m speaking for myself), we like to make plans and have a degree of control over our future. We like to know what’s happening, when it’s happening, and who it’s happening to or with. Oh how this year has completely thrown those wishes out the window.
What do we do when our carefully laid plans collide with God’s plans? What do we do when we cannot control our circumstances? Do we strive for more control? Do we despair and want to give up? This passage from Scripture which I memorized as a child has come back to me time and time again this year and has been a corrective to my soul:
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
Be not wise in your own eyes;
fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.
It will be healing to your flesh
and refreshment to your bones.
Solomon’s well-known verses to his son are as timeless and timely as they ever have been. In a day and age where nothing is easily known or predicted, what we can know is that we serve a covenant-keeping Lord who is 100% worthy of our trust. What I love about this passage is that we are commanded to trust in the Lord with all our heart...not just the parts we feel we can entrust. From working with counselees for many years now, I know this is something we learn by practice and repetition; it does not come overnight.
As I reflect over the past year at Fieldstone Counseling, there has been much to rejoice over--record amounts of counseling sessions, counselees, speaking opportunities, and new partners in ministry. However, our counselors who are the front-line workers of Fieldstone Counseling have been on the receiving end of stories of heartbreak, loss, grief, relational breakdowns, and betrayals. Our counseling team has learned to practice by repetition the truths of Proverbs 3 on a daily basis as they labor in love, toil in hope, and serve in faithfulness the needs of thousands of counselees across Northeast Ohio, the country, and the globe.
Would you pray for them as you close out this year? Would you pray that they would trust in the Lord with all their hearts, that they would acknowledge Him in all they do, that they would not be wise in their own eyes, that they would fear the Lord, and turn away from evil? My personal hope and prayer is that in the midst of these prayers the Lord would bring much needed healing and refreshment to their bodies and souls as they prepare themselves for a new year of service and ministry--offering lasting hope for life’s hardships.
Jonathan Holmes is the Founder and Executive Director of Fieldstone Counseling.