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Posts Tagged ‘Trust’

Absurdity

Rejoice always.
Pray without ceasing.
In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I’ve blogged about this passage before, about how 15 years ago (!) I had just read and journaled about it when I learned my dad was in ICU. It’s remained a powerful passage for me ever since in both trials and blessings.

It truly is a remarkable thing to ponder. Over the years it’s come to mind repeatedly in very different circumstances:

  • as I traveled through the darkest time in my life dealing with depression and loss
  • as I struggled in my marriage and through the process of rebuilding & growing closer again
  • as I walked with my mom through serious health and mental struggles
  • as I’ve given up some very big and long-held dreams for myself
  • as I’ve looked at the messy world around me and have been angry about politics and news and actions of my fellow man

Am I really supposed to embrace that passage and to rejoice always? In each of those circumstances am I to truly give thanks? Are they really God’s will for me?

How absurd!

And yet … there it is. What does it mean, really? How can I truly believe it, embrace it, and integrate it as part of my life of faith?

The thing is, I do believe it – at least at some level. I do know that God brings good out of evil; that all people have blessings and trials and “what we do about them” shapes who we are. I do believe the poem, The Plan of the Master Weaver (found here) is wise and that dark threads are important in our lives.

The challenge for me is learning to live it, to trust God. That brings me back to prayer – and maybe that’s the point of it anyway.

More and more I understand how little control we really have. Anger and worry always makes me more miserable but don’t solve the problem. I’m learning (over and over) to just take care of the things that God has placed before me, to offer kindness and mercy to others, to try to make my little corner of the world a better place, and to leave the rest to God. He’s got this … really.

And somehow over the years, that passage has come to seem more possible and less absurd.

 

 

 

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A Moment

It’s been two months since our trip to Portland and the wedding. I wrote description to my friend after we got back:

I had a moment one day when we were walking downtown – all the kids were quite a ways ahead and I was hanging back with Julie (my sister-in-law) who couldn’t keep up. As I watched the kids ahead, I had an overwhelming feeling of being blessed – like a pitcher of water being poured over my head filled with blessings, overflowing.

Suddenly, like a switch, as the kids got further ahead of us and further away, I felt overwhelming sorrow at my loss of them. It’s a little hard to explain but God has gently been removing them from my life for quite a few years now and I’ve learned to surrender them to Him.

But in that moment, I realized He’s not done yet and I have to let go even more. It makes me so sad but Jesus, I trust in You.

I’m still pondering that experience and what it might mean. I don’t suppose I’ll really know until everything unfolds in due time.

But Jesus, I do trust in You. Lord, help my unbelief.

 

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The longer I walk with God, the more I understand how trials really are a blessing, meant to teach us and to turn us toward Him.

Last week we had a reading from John 12:

“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say?
‘Father, save me from this hour?’
But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour.
Father, glorify your name.”

Father, glorify your name.

I find myself breathing this prayer often now as I pray for myself and for my loved ones. I sometimes picture myself holding people in the palms of my hands, praying for them. But “I” am only doing what I’ve been led to do … holding precious people who have been given into my care only for a time. I don’t want to see my loved ones suffer; I want their comfort and joy.

But more than that, I want them to be saved … to leave this life and spend eternity in God’s presence.

If it takes suffering now to accomplish that, am I willing to trust God? Should I pray for their comfort if it robs them of opportunities to learn, opportunities to turn to Him?

I am troubled now, yet what should I say? I say I trust you, Father;  I know your plans for us are good even if we are unsure or feel lost and afraid. You know how dearly I love these people for whom I pray; and I know you love them far more, far better, far more deeply. So help me release them back into Your perfect care; help me to pray for them in ways that are pleasing to you. And most of all …

Father, glorify your name!

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