When Trusting is All You Can Do

We say we trust God. And we do. We trust him that the paycheck will arrive next week. We trust Him that even if it doesn’t He will take care of us.  We trust Him with our kids’ bazillion issues. We know that somehow God will come through.

It may seem easy to trust God with those things because in our minds we can see the path to a solution if it doesn’t go exactly the way we are trusting it will. We can visualize a way that God will provide when the paycheck doesn’t arrive.  We can believe the details will all work out for all those day to day things where we tell ourselves that we can trust God.

But then something happens that jerks you off your feet and you are desperately grasping for something tangible to hold on to but there is nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Last week my family was collectively jerked off our feet and in some ways it still feels like we are flying through the air. But the fact is, we have landed solidly in the very hand of God and have decided to take up residence right there.  We aren’t going anywhere.

After a long week of gradually deteriorating health, my husband was taken to the hospital on Friday, admitted to ICU and began undergoing a multitude of tests looking for internal bleeding. They found no bleeding but did find that he has cirrhosis.  His liver is failing and nobody knew it.

With words like fatal and transplant  dropped into conversations by doctors, we began to get discouraged. As we sat in the ER that first day and heard those words for the first time, Randy and I just looked at each other in shock. We had no idea what to do with this information.  We felt ourselves flying through the air as the rug was definitely jerked from beneath us.

Now it’s been 3 days and we have made a decision.  We are no longer flying. We know that we can do nothing to change our circumstances. We know that there is only One who is able to help us. Yes, He can choose to use medical professionals. Or He can choose to do a miracle, or not.  But the fact is, He will do the choosing, not us.  The only thing we can do is trust. Simply trust.

Yesterday’s sermon was on Moses being called to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. When he complained to God that he didn’t have what it would take to get through that challenge, God told him that Aaron was already on the way to help him. God had begun to send a solution even before Moses needed one.

Even though this difficult news for our family has caught us off guard, it was no surprise to God. He isn’t wringing His hands saying, “what are we going to do now.”  He knew this day would come when Randy was formed in his mother’s womb.

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. (NASB)

And He already has a plan to help us walk through this.  So we will stay firmly planted, in the palm of His hand and let Him carry us. Because trusting Him is all we can do.

Is there something in your life that you need to trust God with?  Throw yourself into the palm of His hand. It’s big enough for all of us. It’s a place of safety and comfort.  Do it today. Just do it.

Psalm 34:4-7

I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
This [c]poor man cried, and the Lord heard him
And saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him,
And rescues them.

What Are You Waiting For?

God’s Word has two major themes that are so simple. The first is “come” and the second is “go.”

He asks us to come to him, first to be saved and then for relationship. He doesn’t have a long checklist of things we need to do to be saved. We don’t have to pre-qualify. We just have to “come.”  To believe that Jesus is who He says He is. It doesn’t matter what stage of life we are in or what our past looks like. We don’t have to clean up our act. We don’t have to have all the answers. We just have to “come” and we will be made new.

If this is true….what are we waiting for?

God’s second theme is “go.”   As our response to God’s willingness to love us unconditionally and save us, He asks us to go and tell others so they can experience eternity with Him as well. Again, God doesn’t have a list of qualifications we must meet before we can answer the call to “go.” He uses the young and old.

Are you young?  “But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak.” (Jeremiah 1:7)

Are you…not so young?  “The righteous man will flourish like the palm tree, He will grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God.  They will still yield fruit in old age; they shall be full of sap and very green.” (Psalm 92:12-14)

He uses people from every class and culture. He doesn’t need to see our college diploma. He doesn’t need references.  Yes, there are certain areas of ministry where some degree of training is helpful.  But you don’t need training to go to your family or your neighbor. You just need your story about how God loved you enough to send His son to take your place. You can be used on the day you receive salvation right up until you breathe your last breath before being ushered into God’s eternal kingdom.

If this is true…what are we waiting for?

Instant Communication

In this high-tech age of cell phones, email, instant messaging and texting it’s easy to stay in constant contact with the people in our lives. Sometimes we even go to extremes and carry on instant conversations with several people at one time. This method of communication can sometimes lead to confusion or misunderstanding. I’m sure if you’ve used texting or instant messaging at all, you’ve experienced a situation where your words or tone have been misunderstood and you had to go back and clear things up.

I know  man believes that he has invented instant messaging but actually…God did.  He’s been using instant communication ever since he created Adam and Eve.  And the amazing thing is when you talk to God there are no misunderstandings. Psalm 139:2 says that God “understands our thought from afar.” And 139:4 says “even before there is a word on my tongue behold, O Lord, you know it all.”

The best part is, talking to the Lord doesn’t need any fancy devices. You can talk to God anytime, anywhere. You can even talk to Him in the shower…try that with your cell phone!

I have to ask myself why we find it so easy to stay in contact with people but we so easily forget that we can talk to the Lord continuously. I wonder…how much time do we spend having urgent conversations about trivial things compared to the time spent talking to our Father?

Being Invisible

Last week I wrote in my journal, “Sometimes I feel invisible.”

Sometimes I wonder if what I’m doing has any real significance. Does any of it matter to anyone? If I were to just disappear would anyone even notice?  Or am I already so invisible that it wouldn’t be evident to anyone at all?

Last week when I wrote in my journal, I had been experiencing an exceptionally challenging week. I’d known ahead of time that it would be difficult and I’d need God’s grace and strength to make it through. The circumstances were out of my control but my response to them wasn’t. I started with a good attitude, acknowledging my need for God’s direction. But as the week went on and I began to get tired, I also began to lose my perspective. By the time I wrote that I was feeling invisible, I’d allowed my focus to shift to myself.  Then, as He does so faithfully, God intervened. The method he often uses with me is the written word. His, as well as others that He has inspired to write.

This time He used John 3:30.  John the Baptist is speaking about his ministry when he says, “He must increase, but I must decrease.”  The Lord also used a tiny little ninety page book by Nicole Johnson called The Invisible Woman, When Only God Sees.  In this little book the author talks about the building of the great cathedrals in the 1400’s.  Some of these magnificent structures took more than a hundred years to complete. Dedicated craftsmen spent their entire lives working on a project that they wouldn’t live to see completed.

The cathedrals are breathtaking to behold. But what’s even more amazing is to consider the thousands of skilled artisans whose names will never be known and who received no credit for their work even though they faithfully gave their talents for a lifetime. And the ultimate gift they offered? Some of them labored over miniature intricate carvings and then hid them behind walls…where they were intended for the eyes of God alone.

The question I find myself asking is – how willing am I to faithfully complete the tasks the Lord has given me? Am I willing to be invisible on purpose instead of whining about how unappreciated I can feel when no one seems to notice me or what I am doing?

My prayer today is, “Lord make me invisible so others may see You more clearly!”