I’ve often heard the comment: “I wish I found it as easy to trust God as you do…” I generally smile and say something along the lines of, “If you see that, it must certainly all come from the Lord and His graciousness, because I certainly don’t feel that way a good portion of the time,” gently – or perhaps nervously – laugh, and then try and direct the conversation away from that particular topic because trusting God isn’t something that comes easily or naturally for me… not at all. The head knowledge is all there. I know He can. That statement uttered by the three Hebrew boys before they were cast into the fire, “but even if He does not…” is the part that trips me up every time. I know He can, but what if He chooses not to act the way I think is best… or to provide in the way I want?
This stumbling block touches all areas of my life missionary wife and mom, including finances. We are your larger than average family. The support allowance our mission requires us to raise stopped growing several children ago. As children grow, appetites increase, plane tickets inflate and tuition jumps, it becomes more and more difficult to plan how we are going to make ends meet from month to month. For a planner personality, that is difficult. We left the field for home assignment a bit over a year ago at 65% of our recommended support allowance. Scheduled to return to the field in July, 2010, last spring we flipped the calendar from April to May still shy of the 80% mark and had only half of the funds needed to purchase plane tickets. We were wondering…
So my husband sat down and started crunching numbers, looking at our budget, trying to figure it all out. The numbers never added up. They certainly didn’t look neat and tidy. People frequently asked if we were going back; frankly I would avoid the question with the spiritual sounding answer of “Lord-willing…,” all the while doubting and desperately wondering how in the world it could happen.
At that moment, these words from Job 8 described me well: “…the hope of the godless will perish, whose confidence is fragile and whose trust a spider’s web.” I was functionally godless. Skeptical that God would provide, in my head and heart I was spinning a web of intricate, delicate and fragile filaments, attempting to construct the needed support, yet knowing such a concoction could not stand the winds and storms of life on the mission field. I think it was Matthew Henry who wrote “…the spider’s web, spun with great skill but easily swept away, represents a man’s pretensions to religion… without the grace of God in his heart.”
Isn’t it interesting that trust is both a noun and a verb? As a noun, it carries the idea of a sure and confident hope as described in Hebrews 11:1, “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not yet seen.” But trust is more than a thing or idea; it is a belief that requires action. Proverbs 3 says “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,” and then continues by showing us just how that verb “trust” looks in action: “Lean not unto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.”
I’m so thankful for a husband whom God has graced with an incredible ability to gently trust… and to gently encourage me to trust, too. He looked at the same numbers that I did with eyes of faith and said, “We’ll go, Lord… and I can’t wait to see what You will do,” while I was saying “God, just get us to this level. Then I’ll be able to trust. Then I’ll commit to taking my family.” Once my husband committed to a July departure, God opened His storehouses and provided abundantly, lavishly, far above and beyond what we had hoped for… (to be continued)
Are there areas in your life where you are “functionally godless?” …areas where you say you trust God but instead of waiting confidently on Him, you find you are spinning some sort of web?
(Post by: Richelle)