Trusting God

Announcements: 1) The November issue of Latest In Spec is now on line at the LIS site. You’ll find listings of book releases, contests, author appearances, interviews, reviews, and much more. It’s a great tool for those who want to stay current with the Christian science fiction and fantasy genre; 2) Check out the SFF short story contest hosted by Tracy Ruckman—details available at Pix-N-Pens. BTW, yours truly will be the judge of these stories (I accept chocolate! 😉

– – –

I’ve been thinking about trusting God. It seems to me, in contemporary western culture, especially in the US with its emphasis on the individual and personal freedom, we Christians have a tendency to trust God for our salvation, then shoulder the rest of the burdens of life ourselves.

The Bible is clear about salvation. The release from the bondage of sin and death is not something we can work for. It is a gift we accept, or we don’t have it. It requires complete trust in God.

But what about the rest of life? Seems there is some measure of us “doing” from there on. We are to love God and our neighbors, and love is an action. We are to obey God, and certainly obedience requires action. We are to take up our cross and follow Jesus, make disciples, submit, pray, give, encourage, worship, and on and on—all actions.

And somewhere along the line, it seems to me, we leave God out.

The “thou-shalts” are all things we understand we are to do, but eventually we face the fact that we can’t really do them well enough. Consequently we feel discouraged or we work harder or we adjust our sights and expect less (because we are, after all, only human). Or we rail against God for asking so much of us—hard things, like forgiveness of those who use and abuse us, or patience as we stand at the end of the road watching for the return of the prodigal.

All the while, God wants to shoulder the burdens for us, to take the lead, show us what and how, to give us the strength to stand, walk, work, and to transform our feeble efforts into something for His glory. All we have to do is let Him.

It reminds me of when I was little. When we were in the mountains on back dirt roads, Dad would often let us kids drive the car (set aside for the moment the questionability of him letting his unlicensed kids drive, OK? 😮 ). But for the youngest (me) that meant sitting on his lap and steering while he worked the gas and brake pedals.

One time, as we were returning home, he let me steer out onto the asphalt. I was stunned at how much faster we were traveling, and frightened at the responsibility of navigating the car around those mountain curves. In the end, I was too frightened to continue and took my hands off the wheel, because I knew Dad would take over.

On the surface, it seems I trusted my dad, but the real test of my trust would have been for me to keep on steering, even when I didn’t think I was capable. After all, Dad thought I was, and he was there to rescue me if I made a mistake. I didn’t get that. I thought it was all up to me.

It never was. He put me in the circumstance. Yes, it was challenging and frightening and new. But I was never on my own, though I felt like I was.

Trust understands God does not abandon his children, that He has my good—for now and eternity—in mind, that He doesn’t make mistakes, that He is strong enough, wise enough to handle whatever I come up against. Simply put, no place can be safer than with Him in charge.

Published in: on November 19, 2007 at 12:14 pm  Comments (7)  
%d bloggers like this: