Sunday, October 11, 2015

Don't Trust God, I of II

Don't Trust God, I of II
October 12, 2015
Proverbs 3:5  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on our own understanding."

The Bible is so poetic at times; it would be wonderful if our lives worked out as such.  So many verses, I read them and they leave me warm and comfortable inside, feeling loved and important.  Yet seldom in the day-to-day does it ever work out that way.  I get frustrated, wondering how I got it wrong, or if I'm reading the Scriptures wrong.  But then I realize, the Bible is not complete; which makes it hard to trust the Lord.  The one thing the Bible lacks is the story in between the story.  Take for instance the story of Noah.  The Lord tells him to build the ark and so he builds it.  Then the Lord tells the animals to get in the ark.  Then the Lord sends the rain.  Then the boat lands, cue the sun and the rainbow, dove flying above with an olive branch, and done.  Oh, and by they way, it took Noah 100 years to build the ark.  OK, so what happened in those 100 years?  Did Noah quit a few times?  Did Noah fight with his wife and kids about it?  Did Noah have years of insecurity that he was doing the right thing?  Did Noah run into a supply issue with the gopher bark?  It doesn't say.  The Bible just works out the story so perfectly, just like we perpetuate it in telling the story to our kids.

When we know the end of the story as quickly as we are introduced to the story, it is easy to trust the Lord.  Sure, you can trust the Lord; it will work out perfectly in the end.  Noah had to trust the Lord for those FULL 100 years and I doubt it was poetic.  Noah was human and I've never met a human who was without emotion or the physical capacity to mess it up.  Noah had to trust the Lord that the Lord would work it out.  If you read the Bible, everyone had to trust the Lord: Joseph in slavery, Daniel in the lion's den, Nehemiah rebuilding the wall, John being exiled on an island, etc.  We read the Bible and get to the end so quickly; but when the people were living it, well, it probably was hard.  As the reader, you're omniscient to the characters' fate.  This is why it is so hard for us to trust in the Lord, I think.  We don't know the fate of our situation, the situation where WE have to trust the Lord right here and right now.  Sure, if we knew the situation's resolution before it ended, THEN we could trust the Lord.  Unfortunately, we will never know ahead of time how the situation will work out.  So, as humans we default to what we know; we default to our own personal history of situations in trying to predict the future resolution of our current one.  And this is how we fuel our trust in the Lord.

But here is what I've learned about trusting the Lord based on my own past.  I can't trust Him.  The Lord is not trustworthy.  When I use my own personal history as my only means to decide if the Lord is trustworthy, the fuel for the fire is gone.  You might suggest this should be the opposite, but let me explain.  When was the last time the Lord worked out your situation exactly how you wanted it?  I bet you're living with a resolution to a past situation that you don't like.  You're not satisfied with how it resolved.  Your imagination could have improved upon it so much, if you just got to make the determination.  But, news flash, you don't get to determine how the situation will work out.  You just get to trust the Lord.  And this is why you should never just trust the Lord---because He will never resolve the situation how you want it to resolve.

But Noah trusted Him and it worked out fine for Noah.  Oh yeah?  Did you ask Noah?  Maybe Noah was completely unsatisfied with the resolution in the end.  Maybe he grieved for those who died.  In fact, if you read the Bible, the end to Noah's story, he ended up a drunk, in a cave, most likely suffering from depression.  This is hardly a poetic story of trust.  But there is more to trusting the Lord than our version of how we want the situation to resolve.  Sure, the Lord will work it out, just not necessarily how you think.  This is actually not a bad thing....

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Gen 6-9, Proverbs 3

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