I don’t know if it is just my family or if every family has stories that never die. You know the stories that you hear at every Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthday, etc. The story usually changes each time you tell it, and no one actually knows what really happened.
The story I’m about to share is straight fact.
My 2 aggressively average brothers and I were out playing in the snow one day with my mom. My brothers and I were probably between the ages of 7-13 (I’m the oldest and coolest). So we did what any good brothers do – we pelted each other with snowballs. Now because I’m the oldest I convinced my middle brother (Stephen) to team up with me and destroy our youngest brother’s (Daniel) face… in love.
After several snowballs to the face, my wise mother told us to cut it out and to stop hitting him. Well, Stephen wanted to show how strong he was by chucking a snowball high in the air. When he did a magical wind came and blew it right into Daniel’s face!
My mom yelled at Stephen to take a seat until she said he could get up. I lovingly and full of grace pointed out that he was in time-out.
Depending on who you ask the next part of the story takes a dramatic turn. Stephen says he sat in the sub 0-degree temperatures, with ice sickles forming on his nose, for hours until my mom finally remember him. During that time she was serving me and Daniel hot chocolate and laughing about how long she was making Stephen sit in the snow.
If I didn’t heroically remind her that it was -22 degrees Stephen might have lost some fingers.
As silly as that is, that’s what I feel trusting God is like.
Maybe not the snowball in the face part – but feeling like if I trust God, he’ll forget about me and leave me out in the frozen tundra.
Trusting God is one of the hardest things to do. I mean I trust the story of the Gospel. I don’t doubt Jesus (or so I think), I trust Jesus is the Son of God, and I trust that following him leads to the best life possible.
I believe 100% that Jesus was serious when he said things like, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” or “ For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Those are some bold statements. Jesus is literally claiming to be the saving answer, to the age-old questions “What’s wrong with us? And how do we get better?”
He is saying through him you can have a relationship with God, all the wrong things you do – they are forgiven, I’ll die to prove it, oh and just to make sure you know my power – I’m going to show death can’t conquer me.
If I believe the big idea, big life, truths – then why do I think God can’t handle simple things like my bills or providing for my family?
I like control
I would much rather trust myself with my day to day life than trust God. So while Jesus can be “the way, the truth, and the life” I’d rather ignore him on the “I tell you do not worry about your life.”
The hardest lesson I’m learning is that when you trust God, that means you have to be okay with what God’s plans are. Trusting God doesn’t mean it’ll go the way I want it to go. It doesn’t mean that I inform God of what’s up then get his blessing.
Instead that whole “may your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” applies to your life. You need to be okay with whatever God’s plans are – even when they are different from your own.
This doesn’t mean you don’t work hard, have goals, and strive to succeed. What it means is that all of those are underneath God and whatever his plans are.
Anddddddd – That’s the part I don’t like.
What I like is where I tell God how I’m willing to serve him no matter what BUT I just want to pray for his blessing on me, my family, and my ministry. Then God hears this and goes, “WOW! What a humble person who is willing to be successful in my name. Let’s make sure the money, and people roll into his ministry. He really has the right heart!”
I struggle with knowing that God has a plan for me and that it may not be what I have planned. I might have to struggle with things I don’t want to struggle with. I might have to do things I don’t want to do. I might have to go places I don’t want to.
The ironic part?
There is no better place to be than the center of God’s will. Even if, it is scary, not where you want to be, or hard. When you are at the center of His will, you can be used by God in ways you could never have planned on your own.
Cliche I know.
However, the part that is not cliche is asking yourself: Am I really trusting God? OR Am I telling God what I want and trusting he’ll just make it happen?
One of those is okay with God leading you to the frozen tundra, and the other is not okay with anything less than however you define success.
So maybe trusting God can feel like you are sitting out in the cold all by yourself. The truth is that God is with you and he didn’t leave you out there. I don’t know why you are there and you probably won’t know either – until later in life when you look back and thank God you were trusting him.
Trusting God is hard! How have you struggled with trusting God? Have you found ways to help your trust? I’d love to hear about it!
PS. My Mom and brother have made up, and there are no hard feelings between the two. Stephen is still scared of snow and will never play in the snow ever again. =)