Who do we go to first?

Written by Cindy Palin, Centre Director at Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre

Caring for people in my workplace has its specific challenges, but where there are challenges there are also opportunities for spiritual growth and wisdom. This year, the most important lesson I have learned working at the Central Alberta Pregnancy Care Centre is to trust God. God is big enough for every situation.

We’re taught about trusting God in the Bible, but trusting God is not in our nature. It is something that needs to be learned and practiced in our relationship with Him.

I found I can measure my ability to trust God just by reflecting on my actions throughout the day. Recently I had an appointment scheduled with one of my clients who had a particularly difficult story. Listening to her pain had become exceptionally challenging for me, and I began thinking about cancelling that week’s appointment. I wasn’t feeling strong enough to share in her pain that day.

I reached for the phone, but before I could punch in the numbers I paused. “Dear Lord,” I began, “do you want me to cancel this appointment?” My spirit sensed the answer was no. At that moment I could also sense I needed to pray and trust God to be present in our time together and be my strength (Psalm 46:1). I put down the phone and laid my head on my desk.

Thirty minutes later she arrived with a smile, something I had not yet seen in all of our visits. I closed the door as she sat down, and she grinned at me again.

“I am so glad to be here,” she exclaimed. She said that having someone to talk to one day out of the week had cleared her mind for the other six. She was no longer all-consumed by the extreme trauma she had experienced as a young woman. My shoulders relaxed as I pulled up a chair beside her, thankful I had listened to the Spirit’s guiding.

I’ve also discovered how easy it is to turn to human support before asking God for guidance. It is easier for us to run to our pastor, mentor, or friend in times of need than it is to be still before the Father and make our needs known to Him. If you are faced with a situation and you go to anyone before God, you are getting in your own way, and taking matters into your own hands.

No matter what challenges we are facing, we should always go to God first and cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7). Then, we can trust God’s Holy Spirit, our teacher, to show us who to turn to next (John 14:26). Here’s a short poem I wrote, inspired by what I’m learning about going to God first and trusting Him.

To whom we go first

It’s not in the sound, or the language or form,

But to whom we go first when the bleakness is born.

It’s not in your strength, or your nature, or name,

But to whom you go first when the world pours the pain.

It’s nothing of man, yet we boast in our knowing.

It graces our lips if our hearts heed the calling.

It numbers our days, yet the promise keeps growing.

One God and one truth, He be first in my going.