(This is a blog I wrote a couple of years ago, but thought it went well with our sermon this morning.)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
Trust is something that we rarely allow ourselves to do. For me, leaning on my own understanding is much more familiar and comfortable than to trust in that which I don't understand. It's amazing how many times I have taken something that I have been going through and tried to reason it out by using my own understanding. Many times I forget to look around and realize that God is working.
The other day I was asked, "Where do you feel you are in your walk with God?" We were in a small group setting so while everyone else is answering I was asking myself and God the answer. When the circle got to me I told everyone, "I feel like I am learning to trust God in ways that I never have before." It's the truth because I feel like the road ahead of me is so dark. As I walk with God every step is a step of trust because I can't see the road ahead. This is a part of the walk that I wouldn't take back for anything. While it's frustrating, it is where I learn to take God for who He is and to take Him at His Word. Lately I have realized that God is completely in control and the more I try to do on my own the farther off the path I end up.
We all go through this at sometime in our life. We are trusting when we really don't know which foot to put in front of the other. Through these moments our trust in the Father becomes stronger. God says trust me and I will take you exactly where you are supposed to be. I would compare it to a time when a father is teaching his son how to ride a bike. He says, "Trust me. I will take my hand off the bike but know I won't let you fall." Without the father removing his hand the son will never learn to stabilize on his own. It is during these times of faith, that we are strengthened. One day we look back and realize that time wasn't as big and difficult as we thought it was or we look back and marvel at how faithful God was during each of those times.
My encouragement to you is this, when you struggle to see the road ahead or when you feel like every step is one of faith, know that God will be faithful. Know that, God will not let you fall. Know that, there is always something that God wants you to learn through that situation. Lastly, know God is in control. Just trust God and you will end up right where He has always intended you to be.
Today I can’t help but think about how blessed I am. Yesterday was the first Mother’s day that Jamie got to really celebrate. We had an awesome day and it was huge to see the girls bring gifts to Jamie. As many of you know, we have taken in 3 foster daughters that we are trying to adopt. Those little girls have come into our home after going through so much and wanted nothing but love and affection. Meanwhile, they have absolutely stolen our hearts. Now I can’t imagine life without them.
I still remember the first day they came into our home. They had this look in their eye that I can’t even explain. It was a look of desperation and distrust. They wanted to trust us but they didn’t know if they could. I can still picture one of the twins clinging to Jamie. I think she was a little scared of Jamie but she was terrified of being put on the ground. Looking back through pictures you can see how they have grown physically but you see how much their demeanor and facial expressions have changed.
Jamie and I were driving down the road the other day and I told her that I couldn’t imagine loving the girls anymore if they looked just like me. Sometimes we start thinking that this is too good to be true because we struggled to have kids for so long. So immediately the conversation went to how bad we wanted to adopt them. During that conversation, one of us said, “I think God understands adoption more than we do.” I don’t remember what exactly brought that up but I remember how the mood of the conversation changed. We found hope and we found encouragement as we started to talk about what it meant that God would adopt us as his own.
Romans 8:15-16 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry “Abba Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
I still remember the first time the girls called me “daddy.” Can you remember the first time you called God, “daddy.” Just like the girls, there is a fear that most of us have as we come to Christ but now after feeling His love we are terrified of being put down on our own. Didn’t you feel the need for love and affection just like the girls did? You found much more than that through Christ. The idea of “sonship” that this verse speaks of, means that we are not just sons and daughters of Christ but now heirs. We didn’t do anything to deserve life yet God loved us so much He made us family heirs. I know that Jamie and I love the girls so much it hurts but God loves us more than that. What am I supposed to say to that? How can I even respond to that with anything else but awe? There is no greater honor than to be in the family of God. God I am amazed by you!!!
Have you ever thought about the view that David must of had as he looks up and sees Goliath towering over him? You know there has to be a moment when he thinks, “What have I done?” I think everyone in ministry has this thought ever now and again. “What have I done? Maybe I’ve bitten off more than I can chew this time.” The view from ground level is always the wrong perspective to take, but isn’t it the view most seen.
This weekend I was speaking at a tools conference in West Tennessee. We were discussing writing a vision and we touched on what my vision for the youth in Bristol looked like. Sometimes when I share my vision, I tend to take the small view approach. I have opposition towering over me and I have the thought, “What am I doing?” Sometimes even having the feeling that this just might be too big for me. But if vision is truly God given then we can’t worry about how big it is and how difficult it is to achieve.
David was the only person in Israel that looked at Goliath and saw the big vision instead of the small view. I don’t think that David was so focused on seeing the big vision that he didn’t realize how small he was compared to Goliath. What he saw when he saw his small stature, was the need for God to come through. This is precisely what we should do as leaders. We see the big vision, we notice the small view, and we expect God to take care of the in-between. Even when we don’t understand how God is going to move our ministry from the place it is to the place we need to be. We have to believe, “The Lord who saved me from the lion and a bear will save me now.”
If there is something that God has promised you or there is a vision that seems unattainable know that God will get from the place you are to the place you need to be. It doesn’t mean you don’t handle your part. You sling the stone and let God kill your giant. Don’t worry about your small view but let God take care of your big vision.