When you have no back-up plan

I wonder how often I have a backup plan when I think I’m trusting Jesus.

“It will be okay. I have friends to talk to. Family who loves me. Disability insurance. Credentials.” When do I ever say only, “It will be okay. I have Jesus?”

Is my habit to look everywhere else before looking to Jesus? To exhaust every other option before relying on Him alone?

I speak with the lady in the medical licensing office.  After three years of not practicing medicine, it will do me no good to maintain my license. I’d still (appropriately) have to prove competence. I’m now at two years and eight months and far from being able to practice again.

I hear Jesus’ words as he sent out his disciples. “Take nothing for your journey,” he instructed them. “Don’t take a walking stick, a traveler’s bag, food, money, or even a change of clothes.” No backup plan. Just “Follow Me. Trust Me to provide.”

And I think of the question which has continued to ring through my consciousness since it was first asked of me and the group two years ago. “What are you willing to give up to live more fully in the presence of Jesus? Competence? Control?

And as I do each morning, I slip His rings onto my finger. First the ring my sister gave me when I left for Central Asia, the one she said was because half her heart was going with me.  The one with the heart with the cross in the middle declaring that true love doesn’t have a plan to bypass trouble. The one with the tiny diamond in the center of the cross proclaiming that I was worth His pain. How can I not respond to this love?

Then the wedding ring of my great grandmother, the woman who lost three babies during her service for Him in Africa. The woman so fearful she had to be led across swinging bridges with her eyes closed. She didn’t have a backup plan either. This ring proclaims His faithfulness. To her. To me. No matter what.

And I listen again to the four words that changed everything. And as I send the email letting my license go, my new Hebrew Bible arrives in the mail. I open it and read from Psalm 23, “Surely goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life.” Not passively follow.  Actively pursue. Chase with the intent of overtaking. And though my heart is still a bit fearful, I realize again that I don’t need a backup plan. My back is covered.