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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Letting Who I Know, Overwhelm My Circumstances

I would not consider myself squeamish. I don't even know that I have any particular phobias. I can be cautious at times, but I don't get freaked out by spiders or heights or anything like that. In fact, for a number of years I took horseback riding lessons. A series of events and temperament ended up with me taking lessons on one of the biggest horses in the stable. While I was more hesitant at jumps after a fall, I always go back on and set my sites on higher jumps. So, height was not the issue one day at camp.

I stood on the tall block willing myself to relax. I told myself, "Close your eyes. Just lean back. They will catch you." But I couldn't bring myself to do it. I unceremoniously hopped down from the platform assuring the leadership team I was working with, "It's not you. It's me." Even after participating in 7 trust falls as one of the catchers when we had not dropped one person, I could not will myself to fall backwards and be caught.

Trust. I like to believe I'm trustworthy. I often come through in pinch. I go to great lengths to fulfill my promises. but being trustworthy and being trusting are two vastly different thing. The heart of the matter is control. If I'm being trustworthy, I'm in control. If I'm being trusting, I let someone else drive.

My lack of trust means that I am always waiting for a person to let me down, always wary that something good isn't going to last. Unfortunately, this lack of trust is also evident in my relationships with God. I can watch God come through -- like when we caught the rest of my leadership team -- with other people, but there is a wariness in trusting Him in situations where I most need to let him drive. I say, "Let me drive another 15 minutes and then you can.

I don't think I am far from the Israelites in this respect. They saw God move in miraculous ways. He brought Moses to lead them and rained down plagues on the Egyptians while keeping the Israelites safe. They came to the Red Sea with Pharaoh's armies behind them and cry out that it would have been better to stay in Egypt than to die in the desert. God rescues them and they grumble about food. God provides bread called Manna and quail. On and on the stories go: the Israelites crying out, sure that God has led them to their death through Moses and God providing. At some point wouldn't you think that they would see the pattern?

At some point wouldn't you think I would see the pattern in my life?

I have not had bread from heaven, but I have never been forced to miss a meal. I have not wandered the desert, but there have been deserts in my life where God has provided a drink.

Too often, my circumstances overwhelm all that I know about God. Too often when God doesn't answer the way I expect, I wonder if God is there at all. So, I'm making a list of what I know about God:
  • He is my defender (Pslam 68:5)
  • He is my deliverer (2 Samuel 22:2)
  • He is my refuge (Psalm 18:2)
  • He is my help (Psalm 40:17)
  • He is my friend who laid down His life for me (John 15:13)
What can you add? Will you leave a comment with a verse reference?

Now here is where the rubber meets the road. What if we let who we know overwhelm our circumstances?

I was nervous when I started learning to ride. I was really nervous when I started jumping. I was really scared after the time I lost my balance and landed on my head (seriously). But I knew Eddie, the horse I rode. I knew he had jumped higher thousands of times. I knew that he needed me to put on the gas and steer, but I also knew that ultimately, he knew how to get over that jump better than I could imagine. Getting over the jump after a bad fall was about letting what I knew of Eddie take the place of my fear.

If God is my defender, my deliverer, my refuge, my help, my friend and so much more, I need never be afraid. When I look at my circumstances, I fear. When I let who I know overwhelm my circumstances, I fly.

I may still worry about money or friends or illness, but I can let it go on a deeper level when I focus on who I know rather than what is going on around me.

Will you let God overwhelm your circumstances?

God's Work In Progress,

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Blogger Denise said...

Such an awesome post, bless you.

August 5, 2009 at 3:56 AM  
Anonymous HisFireFly said...

The Lord is my comfort Isaiah 66:13

August 5, 2009 at 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

God is my strength- Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through God who strengthens me."

Thank you for being so honest in your (Our) issue of trust.


August 5, 2009 at 9:35 AM  
Blogger Woman on a Mission said...


August 5, 2009 at 2:13 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

Thank you for a wonderful, thoughtful post. A lot to chew on. :)

August 5, 2009 at 4:08 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

This came at just the right time. My husband and I felt the Lord calling us to send him to seminary and quit his job. We have nothing else lined up as far as work and are trusting the Lord to meet our needs. Today is my husband's last day of work. Thank you for the reminder. It was just what I needed to hear!>

August 5, 2009 at 5:27 PM  
OpenID undertransformation said...

Amy, what a great post. I loved your observation - when I am trustworthy, I am in control. When I am being trusting, I let others drive. Rich! I struggle with trusting although, like you, I am a very trustworthy person. I was talking with a friend last night about trust and I couldn't quite put my finger on what my issue was. The Lord's used your words to bring a little clarity to the situation. I love when that happens because I can see Him bringing His clarity to what needs to be worked out in my life. Thanks so much! Blessings to you!

August 5, 2009 at 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is my Healer ps 107v20

He is a God of Justice isaish 30 v 18


August 6, 2009 at 3:48 AM  
Blogger Marilene said...

Dear Amy,
you really hit it, when you say that being trustworthy is much easier than trusting and letting go. What I have experienced in my life is that it is not only a matter of recognizing God's qualities, but seing Him from the perspective of a child. Just trusting - no questions, no asking "why?", just accepting His decisions, and relying on Him.
Luke 18:17 "Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
God bless you!

August 6, 2009 at 9:49 AM  
Blogger chp201 said...

I have been unemployed for a month --laid off due to budegtary cuts. With God's leading I'm in the beggining stages of starting my own business. My "flesh" has a lot of what if's and sometimes I get nervous ---but I'm doing my best to trust God and take one step at a time as he guides me. This was a great reminder and enforcer that he's in control and to keep on trusting and to do it afraid b/c he will be with me :)

August 6, 2009 at 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Robyn said...

I was in a car accident and ruptured several discs in my back. I already had been dealing with osteo-arthritis pain on a daily basis before the accident. I went thru a long period of "Why did You let this happen God?" that really shook my faith. It became difficult to trust His goodness and watchfulnees over me, I could hear the anxiety in my prayers. I found myself even instructing Him on how to protect me. How lame is that! Eventually He brought me around to praising Him for allowing it, even if I don't understand, for "For we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose" Rom. 8:28. Now I don't have to know why.

August 6, 2009 at 11:52 AM  

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