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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Trust Me...

Trust: reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence (Dictionary.com)

As I was walking to the train after work today, staring down at my feet as I dodged puddles of rain water, I noticed something...Something that I rarely ever think about. It was as if a light came on and something that is normally mundane had new meaning. What did I notice? That I had been walking over grates in the sidewalk - grates that cover possibly bottomless holes that potentially lead to sewage, the subway or some other unpleasant destination. And at this moment I realized, I have an immense amount of trust in the ground I walk upon. Now, it may seem silly, but seriously...at any moment the frail metal could break or shift and I'd be lost in the abyss of Chicago's sewer system.


Doesn't sound too pleasant, huh? Why do I trust Chicago's sidewalks and streets so much? Who told me they were good, reliable or "trust"worthy? No one. Experience has made a pretty strong case for this. But even when I first roamed these bustling streets I'm pretty sure I didn't tiptoe around making sure it was safe to tread.

Hmmm....
This topic is especially relevant to me right now as I am in a constant battle in my personal life to TRUST God! The other night I was wrestling particularly hard with trusting Him in a certain area of my life and so like any hopeless soul, I just opened my Bible randomly searching for help. Thus, dun, dun dun...it opened to Psalm 118. Nothing too strange about this, right, the Psalms are in the midd
le of the Bible. But I beg to differ, especially after reading vs. 8, "It is better to TRUST in the LORD, Than to put confidence in man." Ha. There you have it folks...plain as day. God answered my inability to trust Him with scripture telling me that I'm a fool. Gotta love His sense of humor.

But seriously, why is it so much easier for me to trust the ground I walk upon than the creator of the ground? The Bible reminds us to trust in the Creator, not the created, over and over. I'm reading a great book right now, that probably brought this whole issue to the forefront of my mind, Seizing Your Divine Moment by Erwin McManus. It has literally rocked my way of thinking, challenged me and has caused me to change (yes that often dreaded verb). The book challenges you to "Dare to live a life of Adventure". All four things I love: Dares, Living, Life, Adventure!

In this book he talks a lot about trusting and responding to God through Biblical parallels. Two of which are Jonathan and Elijah. Jonathan's story can be found in
1 Samuel 14 and it's a tale of his bravery and obedience to follow God's direction to attack the Philistine army. Now, this may not seem all that brave until you realize that A) He goes against his Father's (King Saul) orders, and B) He approaches the Philistine army with only a sword and his armor-bearer by his side. Also, he doesn't attack them while they sleep or via some strategic mastery. Nope, he goes out in plain sight and yells at them!!! Knowing that if they responded "Come up to us" then God would deliver them. BUT, if they said, "Wait there until we come to you," they would be doomed.


Ahh...does anyone else see that he is crazy! The armor-bearer too - he concedes to this mad plan, "Go ahead; I am with you heart and soul." Wow. Well, the story goes...they were called up and defeated the Philistines with the hand of God. How's that for a lesson in trust? My issues aren't even life or death.

Another great example of triumph and failure is the story of Elijah in 1Kings 18. In this passage, Elijah finds himself in a Battle of the Gods, a real life show down between his God and the God Baal. The test was to see who's god could rain down fire from heaven onto the alter. Simple task, right? Well, Baal ceased to respond and left his followers in a bloody mess. Then confident Elijah builds his alter and places his offering to God and proceeds to have it drenched in buckets of water 3x!!! I'm thinking..man, this is really not going to help you out. However, this radical action proves even more so his immense trust in God to even produce fire on wet wood. WOW. He calls to God in Heaven and sure enough, fire comes raining down and all are amazed and fear the one true God!

Great story ehh? What a steadfast man of trust and confidence in God, right? Well yes, at this point. You see, the thing about Elijah's story that really got to me is that in the very next chapter 1 Kings 19. Ahab threatens to kill him before the next day and Elijah runs off like a scaredy cat! Ummm...hello! God just rained down FIRE! He runs off to the mountains where God finds him and whispers, "What are you doing here?"What a great question...Erwin says it best, "Whenever we run from the challenges sets before us, He asks us the same question. Whenever we settle for a life of mediocrity, God asks us the same question, 'What are you doing here?' Whenever we decide that the average is good enough, He asks us. Whenever we settle for simply existing, God asks us, 'What are you doing here?'"

Elijah is then commanded by God to go back to where he came from. To face his fears and fulfill his God-given destiny. And folks...that's what he does for us. When I repeatedly don't trust God in an area
of life or a situation, I repeatedly find myself in that situation, weird huh? Frustrating, but as I'm learning, God is gracious and keeps giving me chances to turn back, face my fears , and move on! Fear prohibits freedom. And I don't know about you, but I long to be FREE! So here's to TRUST and GOD. May they live happily ever after!

2 comments:

Leah Barrett said...

Michelle,

This is a really nice, and very well thought out, blog post. You have an exceptional way of taking real life experiences and drawing parallels to them and your faith. Thank you, this was a really nice message. Sometimes we do just have to trust there is a bigger plan for us each day and at every moment. Even those moments as simple as walking upon the ground that takes us to and from work.

Leah

pocket full of pink said...

AWESOME POST, LOVE!!!! God has an amazing way of using you to write such beautiful and thought provoking stories!