Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Tuesday's Theology: Trust
Trust. I have a lot of issues with it.
About a year ago God brought to light my lack of trust in my relationship with Dave and hence, my relationship with Him. I struggle to fully rely, joyfully and gleefully on the Creator of the Universe. I know in my head that makes absolutely no sense. He is the Creator of all things yet I fail to give him my wee insecurities, my hopes, dreams and total love. I know this is warped but sometimes I think when I'm ready to lay out myself before God He's going to hide that proverbial banana peel in my path so I can trip up and he can rebuke me with, "When will you learn!"
A few weeks back several members of our church attended the New Wilmington Mission Conference. Carol came back with a powerful story. God spoke to her about her lack of trust and her fear in receiving things from God. As she spoke to the church last Sunday it struck me, like an epiphany, how receiving hard things (disease, financial instability, hard times) is a good thing, a blessing. We are here to give blessing, share with others the good news we have been blessed to hear and receive - that we can have a relationship, intimate, one-to-one relationship with our Lord, God, Creator of the Universe, because of Jesus' act on the cross, defeating that thing (sin) which has bound us to the world and away from our Creator. It's good news. I know it.
Oftentimes in this world God's blessings come disguised. Carol suffered depression and a number of other disorders a few years back. She didn't embrace her condition. She fought it and God. She sought understanding. She couldn't see why God allowed her to go through that period of angst and hopelessness. Now she understands. She went through all that pain in order to comfort and come alongside others who are going through the same. If she never experienced such suffering her ability to hold up, pray for, empathize with those in similar circumstances would be sterile.
Hard times are a blessing. Even though it may take away loved ones, bring fatigue, weaken our hearts, bones and muscles, having a disease (when we use Christ's eyes) is a blessing to draw us closer into understanding Christ's suffering and our brothers and sisters who suffer.
In our church service I lead the prayer for the people. We have a list of about 8 folks in the hospital, nursing homes, recovering from various treatments. I struggle with what to pray. I pray for healing. I pray for recovery. But I must always add, "not our will but Thy will be done."
Thy Will Be Done. As God confronted Job I know his will is full of grace, full of wisdom, full of mercy, just, right, and perfect. He sees the beginning, middle and end. He knows what I need. Sanctification. He's making me solid. He's making me real and honest. He walks with me through times of frustration and doubt so I can come through with stronger faith to pass on to those coming behind me. And he places brothers and sisters in my path now who have already made such a journey, to come along side, rebuke and encourage me.
On Sunday Dave preached on Genesis 15. God covenants again with Abram. He splits the animals and walks through them "cutting the deal" that Abram will be the father of many and inherit the land. In Genesis 14 Abram placed his full trust in God by taking on the eastern kings with a mere 318 well-trained warriors. Abram doesn't take any spoils and gives away 10% of what he had to Melchizedek. Abram demonstrated in the flesh his full trust in God. Genesis 15 Abram is a bit hesitant and asks God, "When? I have no heir. No children to take my name. I have no land. When?" God makes his promise. Then guess what? In Genesis 16 Abram sleeps with Hagar to insure he has a son. After demonstrated his trust in 14, seeing God's promise in 15 Abram trusts in himself, his wife, and Hagar. But you know what? Abram's faith was credited to him as righteousness! Trust is a journey. It doesn't happen overnight. And sometimes hard times have to come in order for trust to take hold and become real. That's the sticky part of "Thy will be done." I want to trust. I just don't know about the stuff I have to go through in order to trust. But I trust God will stand with me. And I trust that He sees me far differently than I see myself. That is such a comfort.