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)
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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